A very short introduction to the "easy-to-read" method for writing panels in exhibitions, created and championed by Margareta Ekarv.
Examples from her book "Smaka på Orden", 1991 (https://bibliotek.kk.dk/ting/object/710100%3A40016627 )
THE EKARV METHOD
easy to read
Charlotte S H Jensen
Which kinds of texts do we write?
Main goal: To express feelings of the writer.
Exclamations and poetic approaches.
Main goal: To influence the reader and get reaction
Main goal: To provide information about a topic,
without ”symptoms” og ”signals”.
Karl Bühler, 1930´ies
Reading in a museum
- Maybe on a hard floor
- Lots of ”background activity”
- Lighting is set with objects in mind
Text is a challenged format
Text has a lot of competition
The text is dechiperable in font, size, typeface etc.
The text containboth language and information,
which gives the reader joy and ”payback”
The sum of linguistic capacities, which makes the text
more or less accessible.
Margareta Ekarv (1936 – 2014)
- Swedish author and poet
- Worked as a schoolteacher
- Producer at Riksutställningar
- Lifelong interest in readability & adult litteracy
- Be specific
- Do not use passive tense – active verbs when possible
- Always subject before verb
- Place line break at natural pauses
- Use coversational rythm (long/short sentences)
- No hyphenation
- No interposed phrases
- No brackets
- No technical terminology
- Explain or avoid uncommon words
- No more than 45 charachters
- No more than 3 lines pr. sentence
- The ideal sentence has 9 – 13 words
- Divide your text into smaller sections (3-4 lines)
- Total: 15 lines for labels – 22 lines for panels
It is NOT easy.
You´ll have to ”kill your darlings” often.
Example : ”ekarved” text
Queen Kristina was born in Stockholm 1626 and died in
Rome April 19th. 1689. Today, almost 300 years
later, The National Museum show some of the
portraits painted during her time.
Queen Kristina was born i Stockholm 1626
and died in Rome, April 19th. 1689.
Today, almost 300 years later,
The National Museum exhibits some of the portraits
painted during her time.
Both from ”Smaka på Orden” (in my translation)
Facktional ”ekarved” text
Kungliga slottet, Stockholm.
Example: ”ekarved” text
Vasa Museum, Stockholm.