Free Exhibit Resources

Exhibit Resources from POW!

Introduction to The EXHIBIT CHEAPBOOKS

The Exhibit Cheapbooks have always celebrated the “worldwide” nature of museums. You will find varied exhibit ideas from museum colleagues from around the world inside each volume.
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Paul Orselli Talks Museum Exhibit FAQs

We started the library of Museum FAQ videos and have received some great reviews, click below to see our informative videos of "Frequently Asked Questions" and interviews.
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The Great Big Exhibit Resource List

A constantly updated compendium of resources for museum design and exhibit fabrication (including websites and contact information.)
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Donor Recognition Examples

This is a PDF of examples of Donor Walls and other recognition devices in museums that were featured in an ExhibiTricks blog post. It's a BIG file so be patient as it loads.
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POW! in The New York Times

A nice review of a children's interactive art exhibition I created for the Nassau County Museum of Art.
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Downloadable Exhibit Articles by Paul Orselli

"Creating the ‘Wow-Aha!’ Exhibit"

Paul Orselli was interviewed in the Association of Children's Museums (ACM) journal, Hand to Hand, about developing museum exhibitions and what a post-COVID future might hold for interactive experiences.
>> download the PDF now

"Can Museums Really Change?"

In this article from the Informal Learning Review, Paul Orselli questions whether museums can really make the changes needed to move into the post-COVID world.
>> download the PDF now

"Producing Great Exhibits on a (Not So Great) Budget"

My article from the January/February 2014 issue of ASTC's Dimensions magazine. Some simple, inexpensive ways to add to your exhibits program.
>> download the PDF now

"Green Design Nuts and Bolts"

An article jam-packed with resources and techniques to help you expand your green exhibit design toolkit.
>> download the PDF now

"Million Dollar Pencils and Duct Tape: Some Thoughts on Prototyping"

Concrete examples and tips about how to move through each phase of the exhibit prototyping process.
>> download the PDF now

"Good Things Come In Small Packages" (Small Museums Article)

Lessons learned from a quarter century of working with a variety of different types and sizes of museums.
>> download the PDF now

"Do You Really Need a 3D Printer, and Other Essential Questions You Need to Ask about a Museum’s Makerspace"

5 questions to consider when creating (or updating!) a Makerspace or design-based learning environment at your museum.
>> download the PDF now

ExhibiTricks blog

  • Off to Pittsburgh and the ASTC 2022 Conference!



    I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new folks at the upcoming ASTC 2022 Conference in Pittsburgh!

    POW! is proud to be one of this year's Conference Sponsors.

    If you aren't able to attend this year's conference in person, you can check out my reports from Pittsburgh on my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram channels.

    However, if you will be in Pittsburgh, I have a special bonus for ExhibiTricks readers!  The first three conference attendees who find me each day and mention ExhibiTricks will receive a fabulous prize! (HINT: I've written about this project in a blog post during this past June.)

    Looking forward to a fantastic ASTC 2022 Conference!



    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • What's your Plan B?



    As an exhibits person, I always like to have a "Plan B" (or even Plan C or Plan D!) to deal with anticipated problems.  Do you have spare parts at the ready for your interactive exhibits?  Do you have a secondary (or tertiary!) installation schedule in place to deal with the seemingly inevitable construction delays for new museum buildings?

    Those are good plans to make because even if those anticipated challenges never happen, you can still feel prepared.

    But what about unexpected or unanticipated problems -- things that leave you feeling woefully unprepared or downright baffled? 

    Take, for example, the pipe that burst in my workshop yesterday.  Unfortunately, the break occurred in between the exterior wall and the water meter, so the shut-off valve was after the burst section, which meant the only real way to definitively resolve the problem was to turn the water off outside the building at the curb.

    After calling my wife at work, the fire department, and the water utility, I frantically started grabbing duct tape and rubber tubing in an effort to stop or slow down the gallons of water shooting out of the pipe like a firehose.

    Eventually, a water utility worker came and turned off the water at the curb (but only after having to break open the metal cover to the access pipe -- but that's another story ... )

    Anyway, as I spent today cleaning and running fans and calling insurance companies and plumbers, I realized that I had no real "Plan B" for what had happened with the burst pipe.  I just had to trust and rely on a set of existing systems to carry me through to a place where I could begin to put things back to "normal." 

    I guess I share this to say that it is good to have a "Plan B," but it's also ok to realize that sometimes we will be caught off-guard.

    In that spirit, I close by sharing this poem:


    “Our Real Work” by Wendell Berry

    It may be that when we no longer know what to do
    we have come to our real work,

    and that when we no longer know which way to go
    we have come to our real journey.

    The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

    The impeded stream is the one that sings.




    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • What's the Definition of Done?



    It was my great pleasure recently to share a conversation with Christian Greer, President & CEO at Michigan Science Center, which you can see here on the POW! YouTube Channel.

    Christian focused on the notion of "What's the Definition of Done?" and mentioned some great resources and tips that museum folks can use.

    On the one hand, a project is "done" when the money and/or time run out, but from another perspective, projects should never truly be finished because there are always possibilities for growth and evolution.

    Wherever you land on that philosophical spectrum, you should check out Christian's video -- it's short, but packed with great information!



    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • Design Inspiration -- Life Stats



    Time is a topic that many types of museums touch on.

    The Web-based app called Life Stats was developed by creative coder Neal Agarwal to graphically show things that have happened since the day you were born.

    Life Stats ranges from very personal things (How many breaths have you taken?  What's the total amount of time you have been asleep?) to very universal and global things (How many times have you orbited the Sun? How much has the world literacy rate increased?)



    This approach could be a fun addition to exhibitions or programming centered around the human body or topics related to space and time.

    Click over to Life Stats and other interesting projects from Neal Agarwal to find out more!






    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • Cool Design Tool: WhatTheFont




    Have you ever seen an interesting font on a product package or in an advertisement and wondered, "What is that font?"

    If so, the free Web-based app called WhatTheFont is for you!

    WhatTheFont searches a collection of over 133,000 font styles and finds the best match for the fonts in your photo. The company behind WhatTheFont will also sell you fonts from your searches if you want to use them for your current graphics projects.

    WhatTheFont even works when there’s more than one font in an image because the app lets you draw a crop box around specific areas of type. (Like the turtle food container shown below ... )






    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"