When approached by Francesca Rosenberg to design the Meet Me publication for MoMA’s Access Programs, we were given three criteria:
2. Don’t make it look like a guidebook (even though, in its essence, it is a guidebook).
3. Make the content accessible to three diverse audiences: museum professionals, care organizations, and individual families.
The unusual color request was just one sign of how MoMA’s Access Program educators were contributing to an ideological shift in the way both institutions and individuals think about Alzheimer’s disease. This was not going to be just another black-and-gray manual. The intention was to create a book that was uplifting in both function and form, focusing on the fact that life can still be meaningful and joyful for these families, a book that embodies the mission and focus of the Meet Me at MoMA program. This was going to be a book about inspiring meaningful interactive experiences, making connections between people and art, and making art accessible. It would be anything but a guidebook.
The project has personal meaning for the design team as well, because each one of us has either a family member or acquaintance who has been affected by the disease.
The book assembles a wide array of opinions, facts, and recommendations—including a “simulated real-time” chronology of the Meet Me at MoMA tour; a historical timeline of MoMA Access Programs; interviews and testimonials from numerous individuals; clinical study data evaluation; and a practical how-to for care organizations and museum professionals. In addition, this book is supplemented by a companion lesson book Art Modules, an art card set, and a DVD.
The fluid working process between the educators, authors, and designers contributed enormously to the success of this project. The designers were welcomed participants not only in matters of a purely graphic nature but truly in the creation of the meaning and purpose of the book. In this refreshingly open framework, the designers helped in the naming of the book and in developing the sequence of the content, allowing the designers the freedom to enrich the project on myriad levels.