Ajit-Vivek Museum

Research, writing, branding, nomenclature and visualisation for Ajit-Vivek interpretative museum at the historic Futteh Bilaas Palace, Khetri, Rajasthan.

Design for ‘Vivek Darshan Museum’ was already underway at NID, Ahmedabad. Besides research, content and identity, restoration of the palace had begun. On the first research trip to the site, Pradeep roamed around as yet another tourist to get unfiltered opinions of/from the locals. They seemed very grateful about the work done by Ramakrishna Mission, but felt their own Raja Ajit Singh was not showcased enough. Raja Ajit Singh’s crucial contribution to Swamiji’s life and work and their close ties have been well documented. There could be a ‘Vivek Darshan Museum’ anywhere in the world, but only Khetri could host a ‘Ajit-Vivek Museum’. The title made much sense and was adopted after much debate and deliberation with all stake holders.

On similar lines, a front/side view of a lotus is a common sight, especially for a logo, and could not do justice to this unique opportunity. Inspiration came from right under the nose – Swamiji’s signature! The ‘V’ rotated resembles the top view of a lotus and symbolises his influence in dasha-dishas(10 directions) globally.

Unlike most other multi-lingual fonts, Mukta by Ek Type had both Devanagari and Latin developed parallelly from ground up. It was a clear choice for a font for an interpretative museum.

It was also important that recurring requirements like stationery could be produced locally and affordably with simpler techniques like screen printing.

The content needed to engage with a wide range of audience – illiterate visitors from neighboring villages to scholars from around the world. A careful categorisation of information and layouts into larger photos, graphics, names, timelines, brief profiles and deeper profound quotations at smaller font sizes made sure everyone took something home.