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Camden High School Telephone Booth Kiosk Project - Issue #8

Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Dear Person, Who Opens My Newsletter,
Thank you for opening it! I am deeply grateful. As you may know, I am working on a graphic novel called LUNA LILY, but I need to work on other projects that help pay the bills and keep the lights on at the studio. One such project was to restore an old 1955 Bell and Howell telephone booth and turn it into an interactive kiosk for the newly built Camden High School in Camden, New Jersey. The kiosk enables students, faculty, and staff to record their stories to create a living history. I worked with Brad Larson whose company, STORY HABITAT, builds kiosks for museums, libraries, and learning institutions.

Stored Away and Forgotten
The project started with photos of the booth sitting in an old warehouse outside Camden, New Jersey. It looked in pretty tough shape, but I didn’t worry. I wasn’t the one who was going to restore it at this point. My job was to design the plans to restore the booth and let contractors do the work.
The old booth was stored in a warehouse for decades and was in pretty rough shape.
The old booth was stored in a warehouse for decades and was in pretty rough shape.
I got a few measurements and mocked up some design ideas, and sent them along. The biggest graphic challenge was to create graphics for the doors. I knew I wanted to create the illusion of a functioning phone booth. I found an image of a 1956 phone and used that. I recreated the bench using photo references and the original bench seat from the booth.
             Refurbish Designs                  Interactive Screen Designs         Outside Door Graphics
Refurbish Designs Interactive Screen Designs Outside Door Graphics
The Main screen that everyone would see needed the Camden High School logo. As a designer, I took the old logo and changed the font to fit the style of the exhibit. I upgraded the Camden cougar without hurting the integrity of the original image.
       Original Camden High Logo                                          Updated Logo
Original Camden High Logo Updated Logo
Stepping Up to the Plate
As I worked on the graphic design side, I had the idea that I’d like to help refurbish the booth as well. I knew a friend, Dave Tuttle, who has a workshop and thought I’d ask him if he’d be interested in helping me fix up the booth. I talked to Brad and he presented the idea to the Camden group, and they approved since the contractors would have to add fixing up the booth to their already tight schedule. So the restoration began with a long ride with Brad in a nine-foot van to Camden from Massachusetts.
                 Original 1950's Sign                        Recreated Sign for the sides of the booth
Original 1950's Sign Recreated Sign for the sides of the booth
Dave and I worked in the shop cleaning the booth. We placed a new wall very close to the doors to mount the monitor. Dave had the great idea of keeping the backing and trim from the back wall and moving it up to the new front wall. We did, and it looked perfect. Then locks, hinges, mounts, matching paint, decals for the sides (see public telephone signs above) needed to be figured out. A project we thought wouldn’t be difficult turned out to be a real challenge at every turn. We ended up rebuilding the whole booth except for the front and the doors. We finally finished the booth and loaded it up, to be transported back to Camden from the workshop. Once Brad installed the computer and installed the software it was ready to use!
          Doors Closed                         Doors Open                                   Final Booth at Camden High
Doors Closed Doors Open Final Booth at Camden High
Thank you for checking out this creative interactive project. To learn more about STORY HABITAT please check out the link below, and below that is my studio site. If you know someone who would like my newsletter, please pass it along. Thank you for your support! See you again soon!
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Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault @https://twitter.com/bob_thibeault

Author/Illustrator/Book Design/Covers/Logos - Clients include Scholastic, ABC, Houghton Mifflin, Verizon, Stephen Colbert

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