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.
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.
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.
The latest drop of QuickBook Adverts has arrived. Acme was 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 hairdo 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 bear’s fridge we also made graphics for the airport including some bear sized luggage tags.
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 stylized so we were 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 its own right.
We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Netflix’s brand new supernatural thriller The Innocents, which follows the story of teenage lovers Harry (Percelle Ascott) and June (Sorcha Groundsell) who run away from their repressive families to live together, only to find themselves navigating a strange and dangerous new world. Despite the Innocents being a supernatural drama, Acme was tasked with making prop graphics that were relatable in today’s world.
Among the long list of graphics props made for The Innocents were the animated sequences. A notable one shown in episode two is the online poker game, we created everything from characters to the interface and interactive animated elements.
Acme Graphics has designed countless beer graphics over the last 25 years. Prop beer and wine graphics are one of our most popular requests. Why? Because alcohol product placement can be a logistical and legal nightmare. All of this can, of course, be avoided with the use of bespoke drink props.
Prop beer is required by many productions, some of our own designs are so frequently featured that you may be mistaken in believing that they are in fact real. Everyone knows the major brands so it’s important that the fictional label is not going to infringe on any copyright laws yet is still relatable. Having recently introduced metallic cans to our repertoire; our graphic beer props look like they have come straight off the supermarket shelf.
Behind the scenes of every newsagent, set are the countless graphic props. Acme was recently enlisted to recreate a variety of props used in the latest Eve Mattresses commercial. This devious commercial – directed by Madcow’s Greg Bray – tells the story of a couple who dupe an elderly woman out of her lottery winnings, the tagline being; ‘How do they sleep at night?’.
The walls behind the shop owner are lined with over 100 magazines, designed, printed and mounted by Acme. Our extensive library of original Acme designed graphics allows us to easily create an authentic aesthetic for even the most graphically saturated sets.