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.
The Mcdonald’s ‘Great Tastes of America’ menu is back and with the arrival of a new menu comes a new advert. This quirky advert set in a library and naturally featuring a basketball player used Acme Graphics to recreate vintage books.
We came up with book covers that are aged at the artwork stage – these are printed and wrapped around existing books. It is a cheap way to cover a large area of book shelving for a tricky location shoot.
Acme Graphics can make a range of book covers contemporary or vintage looking. We can even gold foil emboss the covers in vintage or modern style. We have a library of prop book cover designs that be printed as hardback or paperback covers.
We were challenged by the request to design, print and make a large Medieval style religious book for Todd Margaret series 3.
The dimensions had to be 15 inches high, 12 inches wide and 4 inches deep, far larger than any production print book to wrap around.
We bought a few large atlases and guillotined down the pages to a uniform size and bound them together. Printing our design onto parchment paper, with a blue leather cover and gold vinyl produced surprising results:
Gold spray paint on the page edges finished off the effect with a thin dividing ribbon.
Latest off the work bench are three period Victorian Books, we made these vintage graphic props by printing onto calico style material, then wrapping it around existing books, with the added touch of some gold cut vinyl lettering to look like gold foil embossing.
Acme Graphics have created many contemporary, period and vintage prop books over the years, and our bookbinding skills have improved considerably, along the way.