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 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’.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
We work on a diverse range of jobs here at Acme; anything from a vintage prop cigarette case for a period drama to a crest for an international campaign. Our recent graphic props for the latest Urban Myths episode – aired on Sky Arts – has to be one of our favourites. ‘Urban Myths: Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grandy’ tells the reimagined story behind The Sex Pistols’ infamous appearance on Bill Grundy’s show in 1976.
We recreated a variety of graphics, one being the 3D patterned flats seen in the studio background of the notorious interview. We created the vector graphics that were then used by a CNC router, this created an almost identical replica of the original. In addition to creating signage and logo’s we also recreated posters and newspapers using original archived imagery.