When was the first lottery draw in Costa Rica? What was financed with the proceeds it produced? What kind of wagon was a curette? How long was a wagon ride from San José to Puntarenas? The National Archive of Costa Rica has just redesigned two travelling exhibitions where you can find these, and many other answers.
The first exhibition is entitled “Let’s get on the wagon”; the second, “The game of solidarity. History of lotteries in Costa Rica”, which can be borrowed free of charge.
The travelling exhibitions are one of the most outstanding educational services of the National Archive. Every year, different institutions and organisations take part in these exhibitions, which vary in subject matter and size, free of charge, to bring them to their communities. The service aims to offer an approach to the documentary heritage for the enjoyment and learning of citizens.
The recent process of redesigning the displays mentioned here was carried out by Gabriela Soto Grant, graphic designer at the National Archive.
Those interested in having these exhibitions in their communities can write to Catalina Zúñiga Porras at [email protected]. The service is free of charge and is formalised by means of a simple loan document.
Let’s get on the wagon
The exhibition displays the colours and ornaments of the typical carts and, through its redesign, offers a renewed product of greater attractiveness, as well as a more user-friendly reading.
According to the ANCR, this is a highly sought-after exhibition, and this has been a factor in the decision to relocate it. Among the elements that make it interesting for the public are its subject matter and the fact that the number of panels is relatively small. This last detail makes it practical for people and organisations who want to exhibit it and have little space.
Gabriela Soto Grant, graphic designer at the National Archive, explained that the first task of the redesign process was to thoroughly review the content and decipher the intention of the first mounting of this exhibition, which took place between 1997 and 1998. Based on this, a process of analysis and design of the information was carried out, and support was requested from the historian Alejandra Chavarría to complement relevant data. Subsequently, the graphic design was carried out. “It was necessary to research and internalise the graphic concept of typical Costa Rican carts in order to create a design that reflected this spirit,” said the designer.
In the reassembly work, the designer faced the challenge that the photographs are in black and white and the documents lack colour. “I took advantage of this factor to enhance the documents by using bright colours in the background of the panels to bring the exhibition to life; I selected a palette of colours alluding to the wagons and made related ornaments.