From a Design Perspective: How Can Sign Design Contribute to Promoting Diversity in Museums?

Masako Miyata

Aichi Shukutoku University

Since the 1960s, graphic signs have been used in international events as a way to communicate with many people through visual communication. Recently, it has become increasingly important in design research to represent diversity in the design of public signs. Underlying this trend is the government’s inbound policy and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Therefore, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport have established guidelines for sign designs. Although these efforts are primarily intended for the graphical symbols for foreign tourists in public roads and stations, museums are also important public facilities visited by many people. Thus, it is necessary to consider sign design that is open to diverse groups of people, not only for foreign tourists, but also the disabled and elderly. Graphic signs in museums are often designed from an aesthetic viewpoint or as an architectural accessory; therefore, they have not been designed for the comfort of diverse groups of people. In this presentation, the presenter will show several types of graphic sign designs in museums and discuss the issues of those designs from a designer’s perspective. In doing so, this presentation will provide a perspective for how to consider the diversity that requires graphic sign design in museums.


Masako Miyata is an associate professor of the Department of Creation and Representation at Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan. She received a B.A. from Musashino Art University and a M.A. from the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, University of Tokyo. Her research interests include media design theory and practice


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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