National Gallery Map & Sketchbook For Creatives

design 2


How might I design a map for The National Gallery in Washington D.C., that provides creative visitors a navigational system that allows them to move systematically and intentionally through the space while also documenting their unique experience?

project scope

︎Map Design
︎Icon Design
︎User Research



In the summer of 2021 I visited the National Gallery in D.C. After three days of visitation, I spent alot of time studying their map. While the map is sufficent in providing information, it is not designed with the user in mind. I wanted to concept a redesign of the map to be less obtrusively large, and not cut off information when folder (as seen in photos above).


I wanted to see if my experience was similiar to other users in museum settings. I also wanted to take the design one step further, and create the map with creative people in mind. I designed a survey that asked 8 simple question with the intent of understanding why, and how creatives use maps to navigate large arts institutions. The data is represented below. 

final map:
quick look

This map book includes: directions, icons key, map of gallery, highlight section, pages to sketch, and extra blank pages for sketching / notetaking!

user research

︎Analyzed from the 8 questions survey I conducted, map users want these four components included in an ideal ma

maps made
for navigation


84% of creative users use maps for navigation. This is not surprising, but it is important when design the function of the map.

 a keepsake for memories


52% of users keep their maps to remember the memorie of the experience.

to complete
full viewing


55% of users utilize maps to map sure they have seen everything in the collection before leaving.

to add to the experience


50% of users utilize maps to add to their overall experience in the museum. 

final exhibition layouts

Each exhibition in the Gallery has a designated page sized 5”x7”. On each of these pages the user will is provided all the necessary information to navigate the space. The icons provides information about what building the exhibition is in, what art objects are in the space, must see highlights, and the nearest exits and bathrooms.

The National Gallery is a very large space. To keep track of a users path, they can utilize the scratch off room circles to track which spaces they have viewed. The map will give the user a zoomed out view of where the exhibition is for quick navigation, as well as suggested entry and exit arrows for seamless movement. Each booklet comes with ample blank sketch pages once
can move around as necessary.

*click to enlarge*
page 1: How To Use
page 2: Icons Explained In Book
exhibition page: scratching off room circle to specify completed viewing

Why ringlets?


With the ringlets a user is easily able to manipulate the map for their specific desires. For example, they can take out Gallery pages they do not wish to see, or add more sketchbook pages if needed. The ringlets make the map book customizable. 

Why for creatives?

︎fills a need

The map book was created with creatives in mind. I recognized artists and designs might want more from a guide book than purely a navigational system. The survey I conducted valided that. This provides creative people a map book to allow their creative mind to flourish. 

Why scratch off?


One of the aspects people wanted, according to my survey, was the ablility to recognize when they have completed viewing the entire museums. Thus, the user can scratch off the room circle after they have visited that space. 

informational icons 

map in use 

Accreditation: Ashley Fuchs – Academic Supervisor. Emmalea Chan – Product Photography.