JRA completes Fifth Third Museum in home town of Cincinnati

Experience designer JRA has worked on visitor attractions around the world. But recently it completed a project in its own backyard. The Fifth Third Museum in Cincinnati explores Fifth Third Bank’s close connections to the city.

The new permanent exhibition is located in the bank’s headquarters on Fountain Square. With a narrative of ‘A City and a Signature’, the museum illustrates how Fifth Third has impacted the people and places of Cincinnati since it was founded in 1858.

Visitors will learn about key moments in the history of both the bank and city. A focal point of the exhibition is a dynamic, illuminated graphic display that features the signatures of Fifth Third’s presidents alongside those of well-known Cincinnatians who had relationships with the bank.

More than 100 Fifth Third stories are showcased on an interactive media wall. In addition, a rotating selection of artefacts highlights milestones in the bank’s history. These include the creation of JEANIE, the first online shared network of ATMs in the United States.

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Banking and communities

“We’re proud to share our rich heritage in the museum,” says Fifth Third Bank’s chairman, president and CEO, Greg Carmichael. “The stories of our founding and our growth through the decades hold a common theme: we have always existed to serve our customers and our communities. Whether we’re introducing new technology or partnering with a community organization, it all comes back to helping improve people’s lives.”

JRA’s senior project director Mike Meyer says the museum is “not only bold in its appearance but also welcoming and informative to every visitor. The design of its key components were informed by the bank’s story, collections and brand identity.”

Nearly 20 vendors contributed to the project, including JRA’s local design partner The Brand Experience. In addition to masterplanning and co-design, JRA provided executive media production, graphic design, art direction and project management. Meanwhile many bank employees invested thousands of hours to help bring the museum to life.

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Brand expertise

JRA is no stranger to creating brand experiences. Its credits include the American Airlines CR Smith Museum, Toyota Experience Center, Kodak Experience Center, World of Coca-Cola, Crayola Experience, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Jamestown’s National Comedy Center. The Cincinnati firm also designed the Mascot Hall of Fame, which opened recently in Whiting, Indiana.

The Fifth Third Museum is open to the public from Tuesdays to Fridays, between 10am and 4pm.