Exhibition Design for Educational Center

Building Blocks: Boston Stories from Urban Atlases

An exhibition at the library documents a changing Boston through urban atlases


Graphic design and coordination for a free exhibition at the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library


Exhibition graphic designer


Joelle Riffle


Laura Schmidt (Guest Curator), Garrett Dash Nelson and Emily Bowe (LMEC), Print House (Fabricator)


Exhibition Graphic Design
Exhibition Graphic Design


The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library inspires curiosity and learning, and fosters geographic perspectives on the relationships between people and places, through free and accessible collections and resources, critical interpretation and research, and K-12 and public education.

The titling for the exhibit which uses a variety of fonts — slab serif, condensed sans serif, and wide grotesque, references the historical typography seen in urban atlases across time.

To emphasize the exhibitions concept of how the city has changed over time, circles, crops, and annotations help visitors see how blocks and buildings have changed in form or use. Postcards, archival photos, and other ephemera help illustrate the story further, immersing the viewer in previous versions of our city.

The exhibition’s tonal color system is pulled from the vivid colored blocks used on the atlases.

One woman, Florida Ruffin Ridley is referred to throughout Building Blocks, a singular figure in Boston’s Black history.