The Design Museum is neither as huge nor as well-known as London’s other museums, but its disciplined exhibitions and pretty place overlooking the Thames make it an interesting diversion. And two current shows offer an added motivation for lovers of design.
Currently on view at the museum is “Wim Crouwel: A Graphic Odyssey,” running through July 3, the first-ever British show of the seminal Dutch designer. Grounded in typography, the show creates a considerable narrative to engage even the casually interested visitor. Mr. Crouwel helped to usher in a modern age of design, and although his innovative fonts may not be familiar to most visitors, they have annoyed and inspired designers for decades.
Mr. Crouwel’s wide-ranging print work, from museum catalogs and posters to official stamps for the Netherlands, is in order and reverently displayed. In addition, his rational and grid-based approach to design is cleverly presented through a range of pieces of multimedia, helping to bring the words to life.
Also at the museum is the “Brit Insurance Designs of the Year,” through Aug. 7. A jury led by the design detractor Stephen Bayley selected about 90 of the most inventive design objects produced around the globe, in categories ranging from fashion to structural design to transportation. The selection might seem eclectic but is thought-provoking and accompanied by interesting and available explanations.