Design exhibitions or displays

Business Sectors (Suites): Cultural Heritage
Developed by: Creative & Cultural Skills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2022


​This standard is about designing exhibitions or displays. Many organisations do not have an exhibition design department and will rely on those who know the space to help layout the exhibition. This is primarily for creative or cultural organisations but could be used by any organisation that prepares exhibitions or displays. It includes considering access to exhibitions or displays for those with special needs.

It includes evaluating the success of previous designs, researching possible designs, selecting designs that best present contents and associated information and meet security, environmental, health and safety and accessibility requirements, specifying materials and producing mock ups.

This standard is for anyone who designs exhibitions or displays.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. obtain reliable information about potential users and their requirements
  2. evaluate relevant information about the success of designs for previous exhibition or displays
  3. obtain reliable information about budget, available resources, contents to be exhibited and the space to be used
  4. research possible designs that meet the requirements of exhibitions or displays
  5. evaluate possible designs and select designs that best present contents and associated information
  6. ensure chosen designs will enable maximum access from as broad a range of people as possible
  7. ensure chosen designs will ensure the environmental and security requirements of contents in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. carry out risk assessments to ensure chosen designs will comply with health and safety requirements
  9. ensure chosen designs will minimize disruption caused to other areas of the organisation
  10. agree chosen designs with appropriate people
  11. select and specify suitable materials for construction
  12. use appropriate techniques to make mock-ups of chosen designs
  13. brief anyone involved with design work with sufficient information for them to carry out their required role
  14. put in place appropriate mechanisms to gather feedback from colleagues and the public to evaluate the success of designs

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​how to select and source appropriate materials, technologies, and other resources
  2. facility requirements
  3. sources of information about target audience, user requirements and project constraints including colleagues in visitor services, operations, project management, collections, and curating
  4. information about display requirements and audience flow and movement that will impact on designs
  5. techniques of design layout
  6. the potential challenges encountered by visitors with mobility, hearing or sight impairment, neurological conditions or from different community groups and the different strategies available to maximise their access
  7. why it is important that access considerations are included in the design
  8. current and emerging methods of presenting information about contents that maximise access and engagement
  9. security and environmental requirements of content and how to ensure they are met through design
  10. the range of viable construction materials and their benefits and disadvantages for designs and for exhibitions or displays
  11. who needs to agree designs
  12. how to identify the skills needed for producing designs and mock-ups
  13. the information needed by others involved and how to brief them
  14. how to produce mock-up designs
  15. how to commission work from others including those external to the organisation
  16. what can be done to minimize disruption caused by exhibitions or displays
  17. the health and safety regulations that should be met, including how to create a risk assessment
  18. mechanisms to gather feedback from colleagues and visitors and who is responsible for implementing them


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation

Creative and Cultural Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Archaeology and Archaeological Sciences, Artistic and Literary Occupations, Arts, Media and Publishing, Conservation Associate Professionals, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, General, Leisure and Travel Service Occupations, Leisure, Travel and Tourism, Media and Communication, Performing Arts, Publishing and Information Services

SOC Code



event; exhibition; display; cultural heritage; cultural organisation; access; accessible;