Many curators – especially those of contemporary art – will argue the merits of using labels in exhibitions. Not many of them are opposed to identifying the art, but a lot of them wish to stop at that. They don’t like to use extensive text on labels.
On the other hand, the general public loves and needs the text. They love to read the background of the artist and artwork and they need the text to become better educated.
Here are some quick guidelines for your exhibit labels.
- Use good paper.
- Select a plain, readable font.
- Be consistent with your format for name, title, medium, date, and price.
- Make text at least 14 point if you want them to be readable by all.
- Place labels all at the same height around the room.
- Make labels the exact same color as the wall color if possible. You want your work–not the labels–to stand out when people are scanning the room for the first time.
- If your labels will be up for a while, use a spray glue to mount them to mat board. If the paper is a different color, use a reverse bevel cut with your cutter to cut them out. The reverse cut eliminates distracting white lines around the outside of the finished label.
- Add extra text–stories that illuminate your work and help you connect with viewers.