Category Archives: book covers

Graphic Props for Urban Myths: Paul McCartney

Acme were 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’ episode, based on the infamous Bill Grundy interview on the Today programme, this season saw us design and make props for the ‘Paul McCartney’ episode which explores the story behind one of their greatest hits: ‘Yesterday’.

Vintage Beatles magazines created by Acme.
Vintage Beatles magazines created by Acme.

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.

Skiffle record cover.
Skiffle record cover.

Timewasters Hero Prop

Timewasters are back for a second season, this time around, the South London jazz band have time-traveled back to the 1950s. Acme were tasked with creating two hero props, the first showcased in Episode 4. This episode centres around Horace’s private diary that is found and published. We designed the prop book cover that is heavily featured throughout the episode.

Time Bender 2

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.

Time Bender 1

Acme Design Vintage Hero Props

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.

Some examples of our vintage prop makes and designs
A collection of some of our vintage graphics.

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 periodvintage newspaper props even though the papers would have been white originally.

Acme Graphics ‘Stackin’ Books’ for McDonalds

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.

A close up with Acme designed books.
Acme Graphics can make a range of books covers contemporary or vintage looking.
Before the set came the studio. Acme Graphics create graphic props for a variety of book related requests.

 

Celebrate World Book Day by looking at Acme Graphics prop books

Acme Graphics can make a range of books covers contemporary or vintage looking. We can even gold foil emboss the covers in vintage or modern style. We have a library of prop bookcover designs  that be printed as hardback or paperback covers.

Acme Graphics designed book covers in our library of cleared book designs
Acme Graphics designed book covers in our library of cleared book designs

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Large period prop book

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:

Period book Front cover
Front cover
Period book inside pages
Inside pages

Gold spray paint on the page edges finished off the effect with a thin dividing ribbon.

Prop Book Binding Bonanza

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.

period victorian books
vintage prop books for visit england

Acme Graphics have created many contemporary, period and vintage prop books over the years, and our bookbinding skills have improved considerably, along the way.

 

New KFC commercial ‘wedding’ featuring our period book cover

Nick Foley-Oates  asked us to create a period Sci-Fi novel cover for the new KFC commercial. We had to illustrate the cover in a convincing 1950 style, to look convincingly old and worn in close up.

1950s style SCI-Fi book covers for KFC commercial
1950s style SCI-Fi book covers for KFC commercial

The agency were very specific about the look of the book cover, and handily provided lots of reference material that helped nail the illustration style.

We have designed many prop book covers over the years, but not all of them were as much fun.