Sorted! is a dedicated play space for under 8s at the Postal Museum in Farringdon, London.
Taking inspiration from the world of mail and post, Sorted! features an interactive sorting office, weighing machines, vintage post vans and uniforms to try on.
The space encourages the Postal Museum’s youngest visitors to engage with the stories in the collection and let their imagination’s run wild. In an immersive mini-town with 2D and 3D streets, buildings and vehicles, children can weigh parcels and stamp letters in the post office and use pulleys and slides to move mail. Children can take on a number of postal themed roles in the gallery, playing in the post office, sorting letters or becoming postmen and women and driving the post van or using postal sacks to deliver letters through letterboxes.
Inside the gallery there is an area dedicated to the under 3s, allowing them a safe space to crawl and explore as they please. For those who want a chance to sit and explore the world of post through literature, Sorted! also features a reading corner with stories about delivering mail from classics like The Jolly Postman to current favourites.
The design aspiration for Sorted! was to provide an exciting backdrop for self directed role play for the youngest visitors to the new Postal Museum. An illustration led graphic scheme was devised to create a backdrop for imaginative play based around the experience of the collection.
Illustrated wall panels line the walls of the gallery and give the space the appearance of a popup picture book with a busy London cityscape backdrop inhabited by characters – a graphic backdrop that leads the look and feel of the space and also supports interactives that simulate using and working for the postal system.
A section of the illustrated wall is a large magnetic panel with loose moveable postal vehicles and characters. The scene becomes more colourful as it develops across the space, developing into a more 3-d surface with a high street of houses with posting shapes. The Postal Museum’s archive collection of GPO commissioned posters from the 30s and 40s was an inspirational starting point for developing illustrative look and feel.