Symbols of Honor
Folger Shakespeare Library
This exhibition explored the role of heraldry through the many centuries of its existence. How did heraldry help to define power in the political sphere, and how did power structures within the heraldry profession evolve? How did heralds make a living? Given the unusually colorful subject matter, we were pleased to add a series of heraldic flags to be displayed high on the walls.
This case displayed a scroll made to document the funeral of Sir Christopher Hatton (ca. 1540–91), who was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth and a Knight of the Order of the Garter. In addition to the information given by the case label next to the scroll, the wall panel above explained the reasons for the scroll’s creation, highlighted many of the important figures (among them several heralds) who took part in the funeral procession, and explained the meaning of the elements that composed Hatton’s coat of arms.
The materials in each case, and the content of the associated descriptions, usually call for a different panel design at each case, while still ensuring that all graphics should adhere to basic appearances and rhythms. For this show, I set the display type in sans-serif Frutiger Bold, to present the titles that were eminently readable but plainspoken, so that the colorful heraldic symbols could have the lion’s share of the attention.