Museum Planning – Flipbook Positives and Negatives

When choosing the right graphics display system for museum planning; exhibit developers have numerous choices, including: interpretive boards, electronic multimedia and additional supplementary solutions such as exhibit flipbooks (sometimes known as as graphical holders).

Though not the main technique to display exhibit interpretive graphics and information; flipbooks definitely are a viable option which should be taken into consideration during the exhibit preparation function. The phrase ‘flipbook’ isn’t a common term in exhibit design; however, virtually all designers have noticed, created or obtained a version of these products to use as a supplemental method for displaying exhibit information.

Interpretive flipbooks are analogous to the recognizable three-ring binder commonly used for school and business but they are created from incredibly tough components including a robust central binding system to retain laminated pages. These flipbooks usually lay open nearby or in the front of an exhibit. Book pages are accessible to visitors and give an uncomplicated interactive encounter while the visitors flip book pages and interact with the graphics and data provided. The interpretive book pages are usually laminated with flexible or high pressure laminate (HPL/dHPL) materials to increase sturdiness.

Below, is a reflection on a handful of flipbook advantages and disadvantages.


Flipbooks can be particularly useful when space is restricted to present exhibit facts and where a basic guest interactive experience is desired. A flipbook that contains 8″ x 11″ or 11″ x 17″ pages can hold up to 48 square feet of exhibit info while just taking up a two (2) square foot footprint.

A properly made flipbook created with high quality materials ought to provide:

• Strong durability to withstand tens of thousands of page flips without wearing out.

• Guests with minimal dexterity a chance to turn or flip pages and connect with the info.

• A simple process to broaden or adjust information and illustrations. This feature is especially useful for exhibits like zoos and aquariums whenever exhibit species are changed or added to on a regular basis.

• Security attributes as an important part of the construction design to safeguard against vandalism.

• Complete guarantee of at least ten years.


Flipbooks don’t have equal long-range visibility of ordinary interpretive panels affixed to a wall surface and will require the museum visitor to manually turn pages in order to obtain exhibit info.

Furthermore, when employed in exhibit layout; if a flipbook isn’t constructed properly, the guest encounter is less than optimized and might end up being negatively affected.

Improperly created flipbooks typically have these particular weak spots:

• Interpretive pages aren’t very easily turned and don’t fulfill ADA layout concerns.

• Improper pick of laminate substances will end up in pages tearing or falling out within a couple of months of installment.

• Bad binding design or methods of attaching pages, leads to the exhibit books falling apart and won’t stand up to the tens of thousands of page-turns necessary for exhibits with a large degree of visitor traffic.

• Second-rate materials and design allows for ultra violet breakdown and possible vandalism.

• The majority of flipbooks are not designed to enable pages to be simply switched if exhibit data has to be brought up to date.

To sum it up; interpretive flipbooks or supplemental graphics holders certainly are a necessary piece of a museum planner’s tool-set. There are lots of benefits of using flipbooks whenever construction situations or goals merit this type of option. Nevertheless, the museum flipbook construction should be properly thought out and produced from quality components in an attempt to enrich the end-user encounter and permit guests of all abilities to interact with the interpretive artwork and information.

Source by Sean A Smith

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