About us

mu·se·um nerd
/ m y o o · z e e · u h m / n u r d /
one devoted to museums of artistic, historical, or scientific interest and single-minded in their pursuit of culture. #visionary #museumnerd

NOV 2017
Penny Bigmore from the Peabody Essex Museum & Anna Gessing from the Addison Gallery of American Art connect with Steve Santangelo from Popcorn Custom Products

Concept : A design that would appeal to Museum Patrons, think of the "I ♥ Museums" idea, but an original concept designed with museums and with a sense of humor... visual cues are fun and funk.


DEC 2017
The design continues to form in this preliminary stage. The museums consider what would appeal to adults, balancing classic vs precocious. They find appreciation in the gentile or finer details of the design. Brainstorming on 'the big picture' is thrown a curveball when David Graveen offers a new take.

Angle : An original concept for 'all' museum patrons... for example, NPR chose a simple graphic concept. What does this look like if we add funk, fun and sense of humor?



JAN - MAR 2018
Steve, Penny & Anna continued to make edits until they came to a preliminary Museum Nerd design that could be sold in the Museum Stores. In addition to creating an original design in partnership with Museum Store Association Members, Popcorn decided to donate 5% of all Museum Nerd purchases to the store's Chapter Scholarship Fund.

Options : Choices arise as the project accelerates. For instance, "If the universal symbol for nerd is eyeglasses, should they be added to one of the many faces?". How do we ground the various elements, including the space designated for a Cultural Institution's branding.


APR 2018
The last tweaks were made and the final design is rolled out into stores. Museum Nerd is officially introduced to the public.


JUL 2018
Usually, when a design takes off it will expand into other products... Fast forward a few months later and Kate Botelho at Newport Mansions and Rita Reed at the Rockwell Museum were looking to revive the idea for some tote bags.

Museum Nerd 1.5 : Thy Hoang, a designer at Popcorn, mocked up quirky looking doodle text and the universal symbol for nerds. He added tape to the bridge of the glasses for extra quirk.


JUL 2019
Skipping ahead another year, David wants to revive the concept for a National Summer event. He got the design process started with a rough sketch of a striped font.

PROCESS : Thy worked on solidifying the concept's structure before focusing on the palette. Below are some monochromatic and color selections from this stage of Museum Nerd.


... still JUL 2019
The design still isn't gaining traction, David decides to up the bid and chose Sol Lewitt's artwork as a design inspiration for the next round. Some specific examples he chose were Wall Drawing #1136 (2004), and Wall Drawing Number 793 C (1996) the transformative wall mural that envelops the Wadsworth Atheneum's lobby.

TRIUMPH : A custom font inspired by Sol Lewitt's work. To nerd-up the font, we needed to square the fluid edges. Et Voila! A look to unite the Museum Masses. Watch out world!