Newseum admissions
Newseum wayfinding
Newseum wayfinding
Newseum wall mural
Newseum wall mural detail
Newseum wall mural detail
The Newseum Freedom Forum Foundation World Headquarters is a 643,000-square-foot facility that features museum displays and experiences dedicated to the First Amendment and a free press. The 6-story, mixed-use building also houses foundation offices and residential condominiums.

An overall environmental graphics and wayfinding sign program was designed to link the various areas of the museum and headquarters facility. Due to the project’s scale, as well as the diversity and mixed-use characteristics of each of its public areas, the challenge was to maintain a cohesive public information program throughout the building while emphasizing the political and historical goals of the foundation.

The building’s main façade is a glass curtain wall punctuated by a 74-foot-high plane of sandblasted limestone engraved with the 45 words of the First Amendment. This treatment accentuates the large-scale typography as a bas-relief and permanently displays the First Amendment as a timeless element set in a modern context. Wall murals located in ‘The Food Section,’ the museum’s international café, depict bold, colorful, large-scale images of food such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and the like. As the visitor approaches an image, a calculated optical illusion reveals typography, consisting of thousands of small-scale words containing ingredients and fares from around the world. The wayfinding sign program also relies upon color, texture, and pattern to define specific Museum levels and exhibition spaces. A pattern identification system was developed, coding each floor with its own well-defined identity. Patterns are based on news transmission devices such as audio waves, newsprint halftone dots, and video pixels.

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Environmental Graphics


Washington, DC


Ennead Architects


Douglas Morris

Publications and Recognitions

Archigraphia Redux (Graphis)
Global Corporate Identity
(Harper Collins)
Graphic Design + Architecture:
A 20th-Century History
(Rockport Publishers)
The Language of Graphic Design (Rockport Publishers)
Novum World of Graphic Design (Germany)
This Way Please (Sandu)