Royal Alberta Museum

Opened in 2018, the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) is the largest museum in western Canada with more than 82,000 sq ft of exhibition space. The museum features expansive galleries chronicling Alberta’s natural and cultural worlds, a feature gallery showcasing travelling exhibitions from Canada and around the world, a 7,000 sq ft children’s gallery, and an adaptation of the long-beloved bug room. The RAM’s 2.4 million objects each tell a part of Alberta’s story. They inspire minds, promote self-discovery, and create a-ha moments that feed curiosity.

Royal Alberta Museum
Edmonton, AB

Exceptional architectural design plays an active wayfinding role by providing visitors with clear sightlines. Recognizing this, Cygnus approached interior wayfinding signage with the goal of labelling spaces in order to confirm arrival and validate the intuitive sense of direction established by the building itself. By focusing on strategic placement, we reduced the number of signs required, minimizing cost to our client and minimizing unnecessary clutter within the space.

Large cavernous spaces, neutral marble, and granite finishes created an opportunity for signage to contrast the architecture without seeming out of place. Bright yellow colours pop against the finishing details and free-standing pylons act as visual markers that dot the visitor’s journey. Studies with scale and frequent prototyping determined the ideal size for interior signage. The results are child-friendly without being child-ish.

To contrast the bright colour used throughout the public areas of the building, a quiet approach was embraced for back-of-house facilities. Our approach defined public/private boundaries within the museum and allocated production costs to areas where the value would be recognized. Similarly, exterior signage aims to harmonize with the soft tonal details of the exterior facade.