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Graphic Design Evaluation – Exhibits Office Internship

The National Zoo invites intern applicants to work on an exhibit design research project at the Zoo. The selected intern will design graphics, implement an evaluation and assess the results for a study aimed at defining “What makes an interpretive graphic most effective in a zoo setting.”

Interested interns should have an understanding of the basic principles of graphic design and be willing to interact with the public.

The selected intern(s) will work under the supervision of the Zoo’s Design Manager and an Exhibit Developer. Starting with the Zoo’s standard graphic ID, the intern will work under the guidance of the Design Manager to change different elements (including color, font, object and images) within the graphic while learning about and adhering to best practices in graphic interpretive design. Under the supervision of the Exhibit Developer, the intern will create an instrument to evaluate the differences in visitor use of the graphic as a result of the elemental changes. The intern will learn how to create an objective instrument and how to best frame an exhibit evaluation. Working with the Zoo’s exhibit development staff and other interns, the intern will then implement the evaluation. After evaluation of each changed element, the intern and Design Manager will determine the direction of the next element to be tested. The intern will continue to test and change different elements until a set of number of elements have been evaluated.


As a result of this study, interns are expected to learn how visitors use zoo graphics and which elements are most effective at attracting and holding attention. Interns will also learn the principles of evaluation and how to conduct and interpret visitor studies. Depending upon the extent of the evaluation, the intern may work with the Exhibit Developer and Design Manager to publish the results of the evaluation in a professional journal.





Length of tenure: Three month minimum


Application Instructions: Email resume and letter of interest to


Eligibility requirements: Junior or Senior-level undergraduate student or graduate student in exhibit design, graphic design or museum studies. Must be proficient in design software and be able to conduct visitor evaluation.


Contact: Cheryl Braunstein


Phone: 202-633-3297