03. Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach, 1996, Beverly Serrell

Before I begin, I'll acknowledge that there is actually a newer, 2015 edition, that I wish I had read. The fact that using computers was a fairly new for designing labels reveals the first editions age.

This book is a 20 chapter exploration of things to consider not only in designing exhibit labels, but also designing exhibitions. It's well written, with each chapter standing mostly alone, in the introduction the author encourages you to read chapters in whichever order you wish.

This book discusses how to be effective with creating labels, what to focus on, word count, legibility, placement, formats, everything. For science communication of all sorts, I think this book is a must read. For whatever you might be working with in science communication, whether it's conference posters, presentation slides. 

What I really like with this book is that it explores the rationale of good exhibit labeling, provides both good and bad examples of most of the major concepts, as well as case studies exploring both successes and failures, while explaining the rationales at all stages. 

Major takeaways includes: People can read about five words a second; 15 words someone can read without stopping; more than 50 words will lose viewer interest unless you break it into chunks; the distance at which people can read should be taken into consideration.

Honestly, whether I'm thinking about card text for games, or how to improve presentations in slide or poster form, this book is just a wonderful resource. Compared to The Scientists's Handbook for Writing Papers and DissertationsExhibit Labels provides a fantastic resource for shorter form and informal communication media.

03.5 Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach, 2nd Edition

02. Oxymoronic, the Gamification of Games