Company Mission and History Wall 2024

posted in: History Walls, Timeline Wall | 0

A history wall can be a powerful and impactful way to showcase the rich heritage and story of your establishment in a limited amount of space. Similar to well-designed museum exhibits, they have the ability to pique curiosity and forge meaningful connections with viewers.

Creating a history wall is no small feat. Not only does it involve organizing and presenting a wealth of information, but it also requires sensitivity towards those who will be reading it. History cannot be fabricated; it has already occurred. This is why it is important for companies, schools, and museums to carefully consider their motivations when deciding to create a history wall. It starts by asking critical questions:

Is this something your ideal viewer wants based on your research?

What story are you trying to tell by developing the wall?

How long do you expect this wall to remain relevant?

In addition to those research questions, ground yourself in the following realities about history walls.

History walls have a maximum lifespan of about eight years.

No one wants to be stuck staring at a static history wall forever, and you wouldn’t want that either. History is an ever-evolving story, constantly changing and growing. After eight years, countless new events have occurred, requiring updates and revisions to the language on the old wall. And as time passes, you may find yourself with new graphics or pictures to add, enhancing the visual experience for your audience.

Investing in any project comes with the desire to get the most out of it. But in the case of a history wall, there is no set lifespan before it needs to be refreshed or replaced. That’s why it’s important to be flexible and open to making small changes along the way. By being adaptable and willing to adjust your approach, you can address any potential growing pains and keep your history wall relevant and engaging for years to come.

Engis History Wall 1940-2000
The timeline shows the history of the company and products from the 1940’s to the present.
The company’s highlights are illustrated using a combination of 2 and 3 dimensional design elements.

Contract out the project to a history wall developer you trust.

Collaborate with a DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) expert to carefully craft language that is fully inclusive and embraces diversity. By working closely with an expert in this field, we can ensure that our language is representative of all individuals and promotes equity and accessibility for everyone.

Consider how easily items can be removed or added to the wall should something arise before a full makeover.

Do the research upfront to make sure this is something your target viewers are seeking.

History Timeline Walls - company timeline walls - corporate history wall
Corporate history timeline wall featuring copy and photos on dimensional acrylic panels

Not everyone is going to care about the history of your company.

The walls were adorned with the rich history of the establishment, inviting visitors to take a deep dive into its past. But not everyone was interested in delving into the background. The primary target market for this place may not care about the history wall at all.

Curiosity sparked, the owners asked their usual visitors why they weren’t stopping to check out the history wall. Some found it overwhelming, with too much information to absorb. Others suggested making it a more sensory experience, perhaps incorporating visuals and sounds. And worst of all, some simply weren’t interested in the past, only focusing on the present and future of the establishment. This valuable insight helped guide their decision to create a history wall that would truly captivate their audience and make the most of their time and resources.

History Timeline Wall
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
History/Timeline wall featuring photos, copy and dimensional elements.

History walls aren’t textbooks.

The memories of school days and textbooks filled with dull information flood your mind as you embark on the task of creating a history wall. But this time, you want to make it different – cool and exciting. Don’t let it become cluttered with too much information, or else no one will take the time to read it.

Instead, work closely with a skilled history wall developer who can help you condense and refine your text. Whether you wrote it yourself or hired a firm to do so, they will have the expertise to determine what is essential to include and what can be left out.

As you strive for balance in presenting your company, school, or museum’s history, remember that impact is key. Your primary visitors should be at the forefront of your decisions, ensuring that the information presented will resonate with them and leave a lasting impression.

There’s not a cut-and-dried way to develop a history wall.

Creating a history wall is not simply about displaying facts and dates, but also about showcasing the journey that led to the establishment. For example, if a business in the automotive industry were to create a timeline wall, they could start with an intriguing statement like, “From swimming pools to gas tanks – our evolution as a company.” Or perhaps, “Diving into military innovation – our transformation from a swimming pool company to underground fuel bladder designers.” The key is to highlight significant events along the way and provide context for how they shaped the company’s identity.

For some establishments, a historical sculpture or interactive exhibit may be a more engaging alternative to a traditional history wall. This allows for creativity and flexibility in telling the story of the organization’s evolution. Instead of a linear timeline, this approach offers an immersive experience that captures the imagination of team members and visitors alike. Whether it’s through words or art, finding creative ways to showcase your history can leave a lasting impression on those who encounter it.

History Timeline Walls - company timeline walls - corporate history wall
AKA Sorority Headquarters

History timeline walls – photographs and memorabilia with dimensional elements

Sometimes history isn’t so nice, so it needs to be reframed.

As visitors entered the lobby of the company’s headquarters, their eyes were drawn to a large wall adorned with black and white photos. The photos depicted the founders of the company, all of whom were white men from the 1920s. Some may have seen it as a simple display of history and progress, but others saw it as a glaring lack of diversity and inclusion. The company had created this founders’ wall as a way to showcase how far they had come since their inception, but they hadn’t anticipated the backlash it would receive. They failed to explicitly verbalize the intention behind the wall, which was meant to serve as a reminder of the past while also highlighting their efforts towards a more diverse and equal future.

This situation serves as a reminder that we must carefully examine our historical representations and acknowledge the realities that may have been overlooked. It is not about ignoring or glossing over the negative aspects of our past, but rather finding ways to reframe them and use them as lessons for improvement in the present and future. We must be mindful of how we portray history and ensure that it pays tribute to all individuals and their contributions. Let us not shy away from uncomfortable truths, but instead strive for meaningful change and progress towards a more inclusive society.

History Timeline Walls - company timeline walls - history wall
History timeline wall – Acrylic panels on seamless printed wall covering with painted dimensional letters

Developing a history wall is tough, but it’s worthwhile…

To ensure success, it’s crucial to have all the pieces in place. Viewing event descriptions and connections through various lenses is necessary, and careful wording is essential. These extra precautions will elevate your history wall from ordinary to extraordinary.

A history wall serves as a source of pride for clients, visitors, and team members. It allows them to feel a sense of association with your organization or business. This information becomes a part of their identity, something they will carry and share wherever they go. A history wall also has the power to strengthen relationships and should never be hastily thrown together. It deserves the same time and dedication that went into creating the history itself.

In one instance, we were tasked with creating a history wall using provided text and materials without any creative control. The end result lacked personality and authenticity, which taught us an important lesson. We now refuse projects that do not allow us to infuse our unique touch into the creation of a history wall. After all, what is history without personality?

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