It is not surprising to see galleries and museums today start putting more effort in the promotion/marketing of their gift shops. Forget about those souvenir shops where you bought a boring post card or a notebook after visiting a museum during the school field trip, souvenirs today have already become an important source of income to most of the public-running galleries. Museums/galleries nowadays are also trying to build up their own brands with iconic products from their gift shops: even sometimes those designs would be bold or hilarious. The one impressed me the most recent years is the “Emperor memes” stickers launched by the Forbidden City Museum at the gift shop and it became so popular on China’s Internet. You may argue that it’s a sign of our society’s fall into the trap of consumerism, but those intriguing gift shops did bring old museums tremendous media exposure because of the more “grounded” products, and their design teams also offered young people opportunities to be creative on those historical art pieces.
Since I’m living in Melbourne, it’s quite common for me to visit the gift shop of NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) frequently. As one of the most influencing galleries in Australia, NGV has a design team specialised in gift shop product design based on the exhibition and art pieces they are showcasing. For this winter, the biggest show is the MoMA X NGV exhibition which has brought the work of Vincent van Gough, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and other great artists to Melbourne. There is a pop-up gift shop at the end of the exhibition hall and I strongly recommend you to check out those crazy designs. I personally LOVE the emoji tote bags a lot and I will definitely shoot an OOTD with it! You can also check them out online: https://store.ngv.vic.gov.au/
Embedding the content of exhibition into the design of the products. (@Fashionmimo)