Protect Me from What I Want

In previous posts we’ve showcased exhibition and wayfinding graphic developments and looked at interesting ephemera created by the Graphic Design department throughout MoMA’s past. This post is about a much more humble, but extremely important, type of design: the warning sign. These signs are created for a wide range of purposes—to prevent overcrowding in the galleries, to prevent damage to the artwork or Museum spaces, to alert people about potentially controversial artworks in the galleries, etc.—and they represent a collaboration between Graphic Design and the Curatorial, Legal, Visitor Services, and/or Education departments. Some signs, such as room-capacity notices, are required by law; others, such as the “warning” notices at the entrance to the Marina Abramović exhibition, are more of a courtesy. They all have one thing in common: they’re designed to make sure each guest has a safe and fun time at MoMA. The slide show above includes just a few of the signs we’ve made over the years. Enjoy… at your own risk!


I’m curious—do you know what that first sign was from (the one w/ the bloodied fingers)? I’m imagining MoMA exhibiting a live tiger or something….

“Please Touch”. Marcel Duchamp

I do like your visual Mine

I like the word play in no. 16. Watching her step onto the Op art style carpet

best title – ever!

J’aime les numéros 5 et 6 et le 16 !

Thanks for your comments! Amy, the “bloodied fingers” Do Not Touch signs were designed for the exhibition “Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge.”

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