5 February 2012

Philly Handstyle Goes All City in London

Here is the story of how a dude from Philly got his handwriting all over the London Underground, and legally too.

Miracles & Charms is in its final month at the Wellcome Collection. This is a good time to expose what went on behind-the-scenes to produce the visual identity for this successful pair of exhibits. High-profile exhibits like these are usually branded by external design agencies, but this time around everything was done in-house by my homies and me.

The Wellcome Collection describes the exhibits on their website:

"Wellcome Collection's autumn exhibition programme explores the extraordinary in the everyday with two shows: Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings, the first major display of Mexican votive paintings outside Mexico; and Felicity Powell: Charmed Life, an exhibition of unseen London amulets from Henry Wellcome's collection, selected and arranged by the artist Felicity Powell. Drawing lines between faith, mortality and healing, Miracles & Charms offers a poignant insight into the tribulations of daily life and human responses to chance and suffering."

Here's an example of one of the cool Mexican paintings:

It all started with a tiny thumbnail sketch in Maz's notebook of the title "Miracles & Charms". I took this concept and sketched out the lettering for both exhibits. The handwritten style matched the Mexican paintings well, so we went for it.

From the sketches, I made clean vector files. The "Miracles & Charms" file was sent off to be cut out of solid copper by a water jet. At this point, I was getting pretty excited.  Maz and I made a miracle-like painting and decided to float the copper piece over it on a sheet of glass.

David and Malcolm setting up the photo shoot:

Maz lines up the golden deliciousness:

Once David took the money-maker shot, Malcolm, Maz and I applied it to all the advertising and exhibit graphics, and Martha whipped up a video trailer. Here are some of the outputs:

Thank you to the big whigs at the Wellcome Collection for having faith in us little guys and committing to our creative vision, and thank you to King Kadism for astounding me as a youth with his perfected handstyles, exploding out of the darkness of Philadelphia's subway tunnels.