“How Can I Help You? Business and Commerce in Kenilworth” KHS Exhibit

From big cities to small villages, large and small, all around the world have been asking this simple question for years. “How can I help you?” Anywhere people live, businesses are a necessity. This is no different for the small village of Kenilworth, just north of the Chicago city limits.

The award winning Historical Society of Kenilworth (KHS) wanted to celebrate various businesses, both small and large, Kenilworth has been home to since it’s founding in 1899. The museum curator Kyle Mathers had an idea to use all the available space for a single exhibit, instead of sharing multiple exhibits in one space. Being a rather small space, this would give the exhibit a more open feel. He would build a replica of the soda fountain bar of village favourite Blann Pharmacy, on Green Bay Rd!

While designing the overall look of the exhibit, DavidB landed on the idea of mirroring important factors that we all think of as quintessentially “business”. Sifting through 100s of logos, DavidB pulled the most common bold bright colours that were used over and over again – Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green and Purple. Business is bold, so these colours were used in large blocks of colour – large bold square blocks of text, and tall narrow title panels reminding one of soaring skyscrapers.

Business is also about standing out, so in addition to the bold blocks of colour, all the photos were styled in black and white (inspired by bold and beautiful architectural photography.) The contrast of the black and white photos, paired with the big bold blocks and towers of colour, brought a strong, solid style to the exhibit.

To finish the visual ties to Businesses, the most famous font, known for it’s popularity in business logos, was used for all the text throughout the exhibit – HELVETICA

On Thursday, May 18th, 2017 the exhibit opened with a reception for members of the Kenilworth Historical Society and the Kenilworth Village Board members, including the President of the Village herself. The event was co-sponsored by the Village of Kenilworth and the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce.