2019 | Estonian History MuseumGraphicEnvironmentalExhibitionInterior GraphicsInformation GraphicsPrinted Media

Exhibition „Choose a better past“ in Estonian History Museum

Or how we designed the scenery for Estonia’s first happening exhibition

How to design Estonia’s first happening exhibition?

„Choose a better past“ is (actually was, because of the temporary nature) Estonia’s first happening exhibition that lets the guests experience five eventful days of the legendary year 1992 – a year when Estonia had been independent again for one short year. Creating the graphic design for such an innovative exhibition meant that we needed to find a really good answer to two questions. First, what could be the fresh angle to depict the much covered 90ies? Secondary, how to change a room into a scenery to a special kind of an event that has never taken place in Estonia before?

Concept “Entering the poster” created perfect scenery


As a reply to these questions a concept of „entering the poster“ was born – a room celebrating the graphic design style of the 90ies. Basing the visual language on typography avoided the cliche portrayal of the 90ies. We played with typography, colours, surfaces and patterns, working on a project like this is a dream for many designers. The design turned the room into an event stage, a natural part of the story. Often the design of rooms is created so that the person ruins the beauty of the composition, in this exhibition the visitor is welcomed and important guest, lost in between the words, an essential component of the entirety.

Over 180 perfomances, presidents visiting, nostalgia spreading

The exhibition became grandiose. There were over 180 performances held, with over 4500 participants. Important politicians, culture and public people form the 90ies shared their memories and thoughts from the era at private events. One of them was Siim Kallas, who was the president of the Estonian Bank in the beginning of 90ties (1991-1995), later also the prime minister of Estonia. The exhibition touched a lot of emotions, inspiring people to share personal nostalgic memories on social media. 

Arnold Rüütel, the former Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (1990-1992) and also former President of Estonia (2001-2006) reading the old news about he’s presidency-predecessor Lennart Meri.

“Yes, and looking in the mirror later, once again we could be proud of being part of something bigger.”

Internal Velvet fan


  • Kristian Kirsfeldt Creative Director
  • Siim Tikk Designer
  • Kaarel Vahtramäe Designer
  • Kadri Ann Mikiver Project Lead


  • Estonian History Museum The Client


  • ADC*Estonia Exhibition Design (Bronze)