Long-running club night, Alfresco Disco, hosted another secret-location party recently and I had the pleasure of devising a creative way of artworking the words 'MAXIMUM JOY' to serve as visuals for the night.
These promoters know how to put on a good party, but they also know the value in getting something new and unique to them, particularly when it comes to the look and vibe of a night. A tight budget and time-scale on this particular event meant some thrifty thinking on how to effectively portray the MAXIMUM JOY words in a quick, yet effective fashion.
The venue, being on the top floor of the Arnolfini / Bush House building, boasts incredible panoramic views of Bristol's harbour and waterfront and it seemed advantageous to make use of the windows surrounding the loft space, but without blocking the evening Summer sunlight.
I focused on constructing a design that used a single shape that could then form a patterned grid, out of which the words could be revealed by removing shapes to create negative space - important space to be able to look through. By sourcing large sheets of coloured acetate, it was a simple matter of cutting out 400 of these identical shapes to then use on the windows.
Before installation, I'd already mapped out each window exactly to work out which shape went where, to save time on the single day we had to set up. I used spray mount to fix the acetate onto the glass, to ensure an easy post-event-cleanup.
The same colours and shapes I carried over to decorate the front of the DJ booth, along with a single infamous Alfresco stag logo.
And to further celebrate this slogan and to pull the focus towards the music, as the night crept in, I adapted the window design to a static visual projected behind the DJ booth that faded between four colour-ways and the stag logo.
Look out for more Alfresco Disco action. This one sold-out in under 24 hours.
lead and final photo credit: Kane Rich
Opening from April are two pop-up shops in Quaker's Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol. And yes, for those who know all about shopping independently, these are familiar faces: Paper Scissors Stone and Made in Britain return.
But, with a new hexagonal look on their joint flyer.
The design process, in this instance, began with a discussion with Bryony Morgan, the mind behind Made in Bristol, as to what the role of this flyer should be. We talked about how people respond to adverts, a flyer's longevity and whether it could have multi-purpose roles.
Previous joint flyers had advertised one shop on each side, which - while providing a dedicated space for more information about what each shop had to offer - the viewer would only ever see one side, when casually glancing at it, and may never realise the double-sided and double-advantage of going to the same area for both shops.
We also wanted to avoid a sell-by date on the flyer - i.e. including a date for a launch or specifying a time period the shops were open for. By removing any mention of a date, then all the printed flyers could be used to advertise the shops, the website and be placed in various locations or given out to customers, without them being veiwed as defunct promotional media.
Finally we wanted to create something that could be seen as a piece of artwork in its own right, maybe even something that a viewer would pin up somewhere. Conceptually, we wanted to hint at a working creative community. The interlocking nature and strength of a beehive honeycomb structure seemed to convey this idea.
Drawing on a colour palette, provided by fellow designer Dan Hayman, and working with hexagonal shapes, inspired by honeycombs, we developed a pattern that could be tweaked to create an eye-catching flyer front that doesn't give too much away.
Carrying over the hexagon shapes and colours to the back of the flyer, provided a link to the front. Information was kept to an absolute minimum, with the onus on the viewer to play detective and find out more.
The flyer is printed on matt stock card, softening the colours, lending a slight screen-printed aesthetic to the artwork and the white space - on the reverse - allowing and easy-to-take-notes surface.
The hexagon shapes and colours will also be used in the window displays and interiors of both shops, lending coherence to the whole brand.
I'll be knocking back a launch-night tipple on 2nd April - more details here - while checking out the world of handmade gifts and artwork from talented Bristol (and beyond) people. Come join.
Paper Scissors Stone Vol 3 is just round the corner (opening on Aug 1st, from 5pm) and I thought this would be a good moment to mention my hand (pardon the pun) in the design and illustration work behind Bristol's best pop-up shop. I've long had a fascination with drawing hands, so it was with pleasure that I developed the three images making up the illustrated logo for Paper Scissors Stone. I'll also be stocking some of my illustrated products in Vol 3, alongside the carefully curated selection of locally made work - organised by Made in Bristol.
Earlier this month I did a spot of design work for Bristol's first Chocolate Festival. One aspect of this design was to come up with a simple illustration of an Easter bunny, that could also be turned into a cut-out toy. This was a great challenge and it was fun seeing the various ways the bunny was used across media and in local press coverage.