Natural History Museum of Utah

As a graphic designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates,
I have had the opportunity to collaborate with designers from a range of disciplines to create highly integrated story driven environments. This recently completed project opened in November 2011.

Systematic typographic hierarchy used throughout the 37,500 sf of permanent exhibits.

Commissioned illustrations by Doug Henderson provide environmental context for the paleontology collections.  Photo: Chuck Choi

The gallery is organized into time periods, which are titled with letters cut through steel.  Photo: Chuck Choi

A timeline, map and introductory text orient the visitors as they proceed through each time period.
Photos: Jennifer Whitburn

Graphics printed directly onto an abstracted landscape explain the geological processes evident in the surrounding region.  Photo: Chuck Choi

Telltale features of valleys sculpted by glaciers are identified in a custom diagram.  Photo: Tommy Matthews


Rough sketches used during the early stages of development.

Direct-to-substrate printing allowed the interpretive graphics to be highly integrated with the architecture.

Materials left by some of Utah’s earliest inhabitants are on display.  Photo: Chuck Choi

Photo backdrop, text and diagrams are woven in with featured objects and artifacts.

A gallery devoted to the unique ecosystem supported by the Great Salt Lake features a map of previous shorelines rendered in terrazzo and interactive gel tiles.  Photo: Chuck Choi


Minimum radius parameters specific to the materials informed the design.

Sample design documents showing labels to be set into surface of the floor.

Utah’s immense diversity of biological life is featured in multiple ways, from dimensional dioramas to simple silhouettes on semi-translucent walls.  Photo: Chuck Choi

A gallery wide diagram charts the past 80 years of weather data. Visitors are prompted to leave a note with their weather-related memories on the wall.  Photo: Chuck Choi