Exhibition Graphics

My experience

Since around 2010, I’ve regularly applied exhibition graphics in Dundee Contemporary Arts and V&A Museum of Design Dundee. As well as university museums in St Andrews and Anstruther. These world renowned organisations continue to be instrumental in my life and career.

As part of a team, I’m fortunate to work with artists, designers, curators and technicians supporting the cultural sector in Dundee. I develop with every new show and opportunities to use new materials are often presented.

Stuart Whipps If Wishes Were Thrushes, Beggars Would Eat Birds. Matt black vinyl on wall. Installation at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Typesetting by Valerie Norris.

Precision vinyl lettering

Text accompanying displays fuses exhibitions together. Providing information for items and images, as well as acting integrally as part of the overall display. Visitors’ eyes are engaged not only with exhibits but also with signage presenting them.

The text is part of the story and deserves attention to detail.

A comprehensive understanding of type and layout is beneficial for the production of vinyl lettering. Especially with display projects. Knowing limitations for cut vinyl text size and weight, as well as understanding how to format copy saves galleries time and expense.

From upwards of 4mm in height, I regularly produce and install large paragraphs of cut vinyl text. Diligence is necessary for the accurate production of such small vinyl text, as well as knowledge of materials.

With my broad understanding of available adhesive films, I can suggest various vinyl, including iridescent, textured, and architectural finishes. Ask me for samples.

Particular fonts and styles of lettering cut better out of certain vinyl films. In addition, different vinyls bond better to varied surfaces. Often, I provide samples of materials and test their adhesive strength.


Eve Fowler Patriarchal Poetry 2018. Digitally printed vinyl on wall. Installation at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Photograph by Ruth Clark.


Graphic design

Generally, I receive artwork for exhibition and display projects. The project brief and artwork files are provided for me. If necessary, scaled layouts are sent to the gallery for approval.

My job is to reproduce digital artwork as specified. I can advise how to prepare artwork for reproduction on a large scale. I’ll also explain pros and cons for producing exhibition graphics in cut vinyl, digitally printed vinyl or paint.

I’m also happy to discuss the design of your exhibition graphics and I can visit your site in Dundee, Angus or Fife. I regularly provide artwork for clients.


V&A Museum of Design Dundee. Christopher Kane installation. High performance vinyl on textured wall. Project curator: Kirsty Hassard.


Textured surface vinyl graphics

Some surfaces pose challenges as well as the environment in which the display is set. I regularly apply graphics to glass, plasterboard, render, brick and wood, as well as floors and staircases.

Cut vinyl lettering is applied using tacky paper. If there is poor paint adhesion on the surface, the paint may peel off. Sample portions of vinyl can be tested on dubious surfaces beforehand. I always advise test applications as some paints and coatings repel vinyl.

Graphics can be applied to uneven surfaces like concrete finishes and carpets. A heat tool is sometimes used to apply these films onto rougher surfaces. As well as primer coatings. These increase the vinyl’s bond to the surface.

I’m also conscious of exhibition graphics’ terms and how graphics will be removed once the show is over. I use materials from distributors I trust and seek their technical expertise to allay any concerns.


V&A Museum of Design Dundee: Scottish Design Relay exhibition. Fluorescent and matt grey vinyl on plasterboard wall and plywood.
Project curator: Dr. Mhairi Maxwell. Design consultants: the design kollektiv Graphic designer: Kirsten Ambrogi.


A multitude of materials

Matt finish cut vinyl is most common for exhibition graphics, as it diffuses the reflection of light. Matt finish also appears more subtle than high gloss vinyl.

Digitally printed images are also common. Whether cut to shape or butted together as large segments, like wallpaper. There’s a vast range of vinyl available and understanding its properties is crucial for the success of the display.

I will advise which material is suitable for your project. Along with technical specifications for fire ratings, floor graphics slip ratings and exterior durability.

Hand lettering is occasionally sought after for exhibitions too. I know which paints are high opacity and eco-friendly. You can read about hand lettering here as well as learn how to do it.

Cut out letters and shapes are also available in a variety of substrates such as acrylic, alloys, and wood. These options increase the choice of colours and finishes, as well as add dimension to your project.


Philip Colbert: The Death of Marat and the Birth of the Lobster. Digitally printed vinyl wall coverings. Installation at Wardlaw Museum. Curator: Claire Robinson.


Transforming spaces

Large format graphics will change the appearance of gallery spaces with every new show. Walls, floors and temporary partitions can be altered and integrated for each new display.

Large areas of vinyl are often tiled or butted together with no obvious seams, resulting in an even larger artwork format. Upon removal of the graphics, the surface is ready for replacements or a surface re-paint if necessary.


Johanna Basford Wonderlands. Matt black vinyl on wall. Installation at Dundee Contemporary Arts.


I manage large projects and ensure deadlines are met. I respond quickly with advice and present options for successful exhibitions and displays.

Get in touch to discuss your next exhibition graphics in Dundee and St Andrews.