MOX, The Museum of Oxford

How do you design a musuem in a city packed full of some of the world’s best? 

The Museum of Oxford had been languishing as a poor cousin to it’s neighbours, despite being the museum about the city’s people and communities. 

To re-establish it’s presence colour, icons, pattern and illustration were embraced, alongside a new visual identity. Indestructible (children’s) interactives and refreshed object displays including a gallery wall designed to be fully flexible for local curators to refresh throughout the year.

Rebranding to a simple abbreviation based on the core aspects of the museum. An easily remembered name that reflects the welcoming and unstuffy character of the space - a contrast to the typical historical grandeur that dominates the city’s cultural scene.

To add life to the displays a comprehensive set of icons were developed, based on the various objects. These could then be built into tiled patterns, set behind the objects.


Illustrator Emma Kelly (Handsome Frank) was commissioned to create some life-size portraits of notable figures from Oxford’s history. These were printed to wallpaper for the listening booth and direct printed to ply and cut to shape in the welcome area. 

A layout showing the typical components of a section:

(i) Patterned back panel. Cyan crosshairs were provided as a seperate layer for the printer to add pegholes for object mounting.

(ii) Section graphic with cut file holes for mounting.

(iii) Ferromagnetic object labels.

(iv) Index Labels that provided an overview of the objects. 
Printed on GF Smith Colorplan and mounted in custom holders.

Vector illustration of the Town Hall. 

An additional asset provided to the client for use in various marketing materials and merchandise. 

If you are ever in Oxford, check it out. It’s free, accessible and great for kids.