Timewasters are back for a second season, this time around the South London jazz band have time-traveled back to the 1950s. Acme was tasked with creating two hero props, the first showcased in Episode 4. This episode centers around Horace’s private diary that is found and published. We designed the book cover that is heavily featured throughout the episode.
This book cover was inspired by sci-fi book covers of the time. Every aspect of the prop was considered including colour, composition and typography. The colours scheme is in keeping with the vibrant classic sci-fi covers of the 1950s, keeping in mind the presence of the atomic age, atoms feature in the background of our design.
Graphic props are a great way of adding historical context to a production. Vintage Graphic props are one of our favorite requests; we have designed all kinds including newspapers, posters, signage, and labels. We have worked on some great projects including the ‘League of Gentlemen’ and most recently Channel 4’s ‘Year of the Rabbit’. The devil is in the detail and historical props are no exception, we take great care to reference authentic sources and techniques.
Period props are often a balancing act between authenticity and the expectations of the audience. There are a number of different ways we age our props, both physically and digitally. For example, often we use aged, slightly discoloured paper for our newspapers even though the papers would have been white originally.
In the past 20 years, the world has adopted digital and mobile devices for most of it’s ‘non-voice’ communications, and that has been reflected in film and television storytelling. Interactive Screen Graphics is a relatively new area for art departments to commission, but something Acme has been creating for most of the digital revolution era.
The use of bespoke designed interfaces and applications are becoming more common on screen, while also being used a crucial storytelling mechanism to quickly and affordably communicate essential plot points and information to the audience.
Motivated by storytelling, Acme’s approach assists and drives the narrative, action and character from the concept stage to implementation, we can provide technical and original screen graphics for producing and playing-back high-quality imagery onto computer, video and devices.
We provide such graphics as, Text Message Applications, User Interfaces (UI), HUD Display, Websites, Map Applications, Computer Software, Operating Systems to play on devices such as Smartphones, Computer Screen, UI, HUD Display, Multi-Screen Control Rooms.
We are used to a variety of weird and wonderful requests here at Acme, the latest being for Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi’s ‘mockumentary’ style advert promotes the ASX model and takes place in the ‘Overworked Human Sanctuary’. Whilst showcasing the capabilities of the ASX the focus is on the rehabilitation of Colin the overworked Accountant.
We created parodies of all the signage you would expect to see in an animal sanctuary such as feeding schedules, warning signs and logos. The signs were printed on vinyl with a waterproof laminate, the effect of wear and tear like many of our props were created graphically, giving the Art Director greater control over the final finish.
One of our many Christmas projects last year included Sky One’s Christmas comedy ‘The Queen and I’. Based on Sue Townsend’s 1992 novel, ‘The Queen and I’ it tells the fictional story of the royal family who are dismantled and forced to live a normal life after the Republican Party win the general election. This was a great project to work on, highlights included creating graphics for a new currency and political party.
The monarchy’s fall means the circulation of a new currency is devoid of the Queen. In her place, the new currency aptly features Walter ‘Wat’ Tyler, leader of the 1381 Peasants Revolt in England and the The Tolpuddle Martyrs known for changing the face of workers rights. The prop bank notes even have silver foiled details and a hologram effect.
Prop newspapers are often used as story telling devices and ‘The Queen and I’ was no exception. Our newspapers where used throughout the film, the newspapers used were a combination of bespoke designs and also from our library of artwork.
The latest drop of QuickBook Adverts has arrived. Acme were tasked with creating a number of different props for a diverse range of workplace related sets. This series of adverts required over 500 individual prints, including a graphically saturated tattoo shop. The need for neon art visuals has proved a popular request this year, this visual was inspired by Tracey Emin’s works of art.
The Dog Parlour required original, copyright free Artwork that had a very specific colour palette. The Pop Art inspired prints used for QuickBooks are part of our own diverse library of artwork which is available for hire.
The annual flurry of Christmas adverts always signifies the start of the festive season. For Acme, Christmas always arrives early, usually around mid summer and this year was no exception. We have been busy making graphic props for several different Christmas commercials including Boots, Heathrow, Next and Burberry.
This sentimental advert tells the story of a mother-daughter relationship through the eyes of the daughter. For Boots we made a number of graphic props, including the Hero magazine that features the glamorous hair do that the mother tries and fails to replicate.
One of America’s biggest brands TJX – the company that owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, came to London to film their series of Christmas commercials. The commercials use a first person point of view and focus on different Christmas lists. Unusually, the floor provides the backdrop; we were commissioned to design the bespoke tiles featured throughout the series.
The well-known Heathrow bears are back. As well as creating graphics fit for a bears fridge we also made graphics for the airport including some bear sized luggage tags.
On Saturday our latest crop of graphic props were showcased on ‘Inside No.9’s’ live Halloween special. The award winning series famed for it’s dark humour, produced a unique episode full of surprising twists and thrills.
The episode begins with Pemberton’s character returning home to Flat No.9. A number of Acme props and graphics were used in this sequence including all of the food packaging. Bread packaging is often a prop that art directors are wary of using; however we have mastered the art of creating a realistic prop that would not look out of place at your local supermarket.
Along with all the food packaging we made a number of signs; everything from the brushed aluminium signage, to the large vinyl lettering.
The change in weather has provided us with the perfect excuse to sit back, stay inside and watch all of the recent TV series that we have worked on. One of our latest TV series The Innocents centres around around two love stuck teenagers Harry and June, so – unsurprisingly – popular social media apps are pivotal within the plot. We don’t want to give too much away, however episode fours cliffhanger ending features the use of a phone and computer sequence designed by Acme Graphics.
Shared View is a bespoke, interactive animated sequence inspired by YouTube designed in house by our team of graphic designers. We created all the fundamentals from scratch, everything from the logo to the avatars. The animated sequence is based on the detailed action from the script and timed so that it is easy for the actors to use, communicating via the ‘youtube’ style social media app on smart phone and desktop computer platforms and more.
Often the graphic props we create are made to seamlessly blend in with the aesthetic of the set, so it’s always a treat to work on a prominently featured hero prop that has a full screen shot. Our latest hero prop to air was for the latest round of PayPal ads.
We were asked to create a vintage feeling French poster; drawing inspiration from classic Art Nouveau Posters. Typefaces in this movement are typically stylised so we where keen to reproduce this highly decorative style within our own design. The result being a poster that is familiar to the era yet unique in it’s own right.