This project for the National Media Museum’s Celebration of 1960s Spaghetti Western Films includes full branding for the exhibit (name, logos, signage, public posters, etc.), full creation of the exhibit space, and creation of collateral items for the museum gift shop.
My goal was to capture the rich, over-saturated, hand-painted style of the 1960s film posters. I created the exhibit title “10,000 Bullets” and a bullet logo to indicate the action and violence of these films. The logo typography echoes the hand-painted or papercraft lettering of the original film posters.
This set of three posters is intended to be a narrative, with the main poster showing the characters in a tense moment which erupts into a gun fight; while the single posters are meant to shock and be placed in various locations around the city, like a running gunfight.
My exhibit design continues the hand-painted, over-saturated look of the posters. I also wanted to create a fully immersive exhibit, so the space is created to give museum visitors the impression that they have just stepped into the square of an Old West town, lined with shop fronts.
Visitors enter on either side of the jail, which is a wall with bars that they can stand behind for a photo op of themselves in an Old West jail. The exits are at the back corners through a stockade gate or under the water tower. A ‘boardwalk’ fronts the buildings, lifting them higher and providing a 30cm ledge between the front of the boardwalk and the front of the buildings where the museum can feature information, small props, and photographs from the films.
All my love to my dad and brother who made this photo shoot possible, and OBVIOUSLY missed their true calling as gunslingers! This was an fun afternoon that probably lasted a bit longer than it needed to, since my dad and I made it our day’s goal to make my brother break character and laugh as often as possible. Thanks too to my husband, who you can just see a bit as he holds my father’s hat up so I could use the magic of Photoshop to make it look like my brother had just fired the shot to blow the had off of my father’s head. If you look closely at the poster, you can even see the little scorched ‘bullet hole’!
I created the town with many hours of digital editing and painting photographs I took of a local tourist attraction which looks (roughly) like a frontier town. Great bones to start with, but I needed to remove not only the original building signs/business names, but all modern elements like newspaper machines, credit card signs, beverage refrigerators, electric lights, and all the typical signage found in a tourist area. It was quite a challenge to get the shadows looking reasonable.
For the gift shop, I created designs for an enameled tin coffee cup sporting the branding for the exhibit and a sentiment I’m sure coffee addicts (such as myself) around the world share. I also created a sturdy burlap reusable tote with the exhibit branding.
The final images are a before and after comparison of the original candy shop and the Old West saloon it became, and the before and after photos of how I created the water tower from a rooftop water tank and a scaffold/tower holding a pterodactyl. I have to admit, I was sorely disappointed to not include the pterodactyl in the final painted town. Gunslingers and dinosaurs, anyone?