For Acme, the festive season truly begins with the slew of Christmas adverts. Our work on some of the biggest brand ads started last summer, so it’s safe to say we have been eagerly anticipating their arrival.
The first Acme designed graphic we’ve spotted comes in the form of a logo seen in the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. Set in Victorian London, the advert combines the tale of St Nick with the store’s 150th anniversary, told through eyes of an orphan named Nick. The over-exaggerated prison officer logo was one of many graphics created for Sainsbury’s.
McDonald’s latest integrated campaign seeks to highlight the quality of their ingredients and dispel the notion that fast food is unethically sourced. The two adverts focus on the quality of eggs and beef, we made graphics for both. One of the requests being the hero, beef cut chalkboard artwork. Every detail was thought-through including using the correct cow outline, highlighting certain cuts of meat with tonal variation while creating an authentic chalkboard effect.
This is by no means our first McDonald’s advert; we have created graphics for countless campaigns including hero props for their Christmas advert!
One of our most popular requests this summer has been for costume design, although we can’t reveal all the ins and outs we can tell you that they include costumes for a music group, uniforms for a sci-fi movie and t-shirts for a Netflix series. In the meantime, we thought we would reflect on some of our archive favorites, the first on our list has to be ‘that’ Inbetweeners t-shirt. We receive plenty of unusual requests however this has to be up there, along with the array of slogan t-shirts we designed For Benidorm’s Kenneth, who’s crude slogan t-shirts have become synonymous with his outlandish character.
Last year we designed the logo worn by Zlatan Ibrahimovic throughout Visa’s global marketing campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We created a unique crest, drawing inspiration from traditional royal crests and Zlatan’s self-proclaimed ‘Lion’ nickname.
Creating logo design is a big part of what we do, for the National Geographic’s TV series Mars 2 we designed the Lukrum Industries logo. Creating a Logo for T.V. and Film follows the same process as creating a logo for the real world, only with a faster turn around!
We have been eagerly anticipating channel 4’s latest comedy Year of the Rabbit. This spoof police drama is set in Victorian times and stars Bafta winner Matt Berry as the unlikely East End detective. The Victorian-themed set required period graphics to set the scene and Acme graphics was on hand throughout production and filming, we created everything from matchboxes to signage.
The graphics we designed and made can be seen throughout the six-part series however, it’s episode two that showcases the majority of our hero designs. The episode centers on the case of the mysteries killer who takes the guise of the Brick Man. We received great visuals from one of the writers Andy Riley and used these as the starting point, every aspect of the hero posters was considered from the typography to the colours. As the plot develops, Brickman and subsequently the graphics take on a new sinister transformation. Additionally, we created supporting graphics including the human size Brick Man outline, set signage and vintage style photographs.
Acme was once again asked to create Hero Props for the Emmy-nominated comedy anthology series Urban Myths. Last season we worked on the ‘Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grundy’s episode, based on the infamous Bill Grundy interview on the Today program, this season saw us design and make props for the ‘Paul McCartney’ episode which explores the story behind one of their greatest hits: ‘Yesterday’.
Some of the props were created to support the plot, whilst others were recreated from iconic images which included vintage signs based on a photograph that depicts Jane Asher smoking in the doorway of her room in the early 1960s. Among the signage and magazines, we also designed and made the vintage record sleeves including the hero Bobbie Skiffle record prop. This hero prop was pivotal in illustrating the influence Skiffle music had on the Beatles in the early days of their careers.
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 prop book cover that is heavily featured throughout the episode.
This book cover was inspired by sci-fi book covers of the era. Every aspect of the prop was considered including colour, composition and typography. The colour scheme is in keeping with the vibrant classic sci-fi covers of the 1950s, bearing 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 period vintage newspaper props 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 is becoming more common on-screen, while also being used as 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 sSreens, 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 who’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 location 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 is 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 Tolpuddle Martyrs known for changing the face of worker’s rights. The prop banknotes even have silver foiled details and a hologram effect.
Prop newspapers are often used as storytelling devices and ‘The Queen and I’ was no exception. Our newspapers were used throughout the film, the newspapers used were a combination of bespoke designs and also from our library of artwork.