MUSEUM of SERIAL KILLERS

Museum Concept & Branding

At the end of Graphic Design IV with Lisa Rosowsky, we were given an assignment sheet with the title Museum X, and it said that we could come up with the branding, interior signage, website, and advertisements for a museum on the topic of our choice. Wary of doing yet another project involving shoes, I decided to explore a darker topic: serial killers. Although I have always found the topic interesting, I realized that I didn’t have a lot of information about it off hand, and so began a twenty-hour marathon of pure research into the general definition, trends, case studies, and psychology of American serial killers. This particular assignment highlights my passion for learning and research, a part of design that I hope to work in heavily in my professional life. 

 

While researching this topic, I noticed patterns in the psychoanalysis of each serial killer, the sequence of events leading up to the strings of murders, and the private lives of the perpetrators. I noticed that each of these people had a deep-rooted personality flaw derived from a specific type of mental disorder (i.e. schizophrenia or sociopathic tendencies) or an abusive figure in their adolescence. Thus, from my research came my design solution: to explore the psychological workings of serial killers, from the general psychoanalysis to the ritual of the kill, and use that perspective to drive the branding and exhibit outline for each type of killer. In my logo design I used a typographic mark incorporating a slash which represents the psychological break in the personality, or in the words of Dexter, “the dark passenger” of the person who became a serial killer. I expanded on the concept of the division of personality and used it as a visual element to show more or less content in the interior signage, billboard advertisement, and as an expanding window in the header of the website. 


       I had known from the time that I chose this topic that I didn’t want to design a typical horror-and-gore type of establishment, and I wanted to avoid typical imagery such as blood spatters, dark colors, grungy textures, and metalband typefaces. Instead, I chose to use a lighter, muted color palette inspired by skin tones, I illustrated portraits of the exemplary serial killer for each exhibit in pen and watercolor, compiled signatures and quotes from the headlining serial killers, and utilized crisp typography to give the viewer a deeper sense of the person behind the macabre mask that the media presented to the world at the time of their trials. 


      I truly believe this project exemplifies my ability to soften heavy or dark topics and make them less intimidating to a wider group of viewers. The Museum of Serial Killers confirmed that I was finding my place in this design perspective of utilizing research, an openness to all sides of the story, and tactful, subtle visual choices to see the significance in a normally taboo or touchy topic.

 

Feature 1

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Feature 2

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Feature 3

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