We centred the publicity of the ‘Being Human’ exhibition around a single, memorable image. The launch of the new permanent display required an extensive marketing campaign well ahead of the gallery’s opening so we art-directed a signature photograph of one of the exhibits, Yinka Shonibare’s ‘Refugee Astronaut III’. With his spherical helmet and moonboots, his spacesuit of printed Nigerian cotton and his jetpack containing his last earthly possessions, this life-size space traveller cuts an iconic impression. At once hopeful and apprehensive, he encapsulates the display’s tone and themes as well as the qualities we wanted to communicate with our design for the exhibition itself.
Working with photographer Angela Moore we shot the ‘Refugee Astronaut’ in a series of compositions for an image bank to be used by the institution in various formats and applications. We eschewed the conventional white background associated with picturing art for a backdrop of cyan. Having designed the main title of the exhibition to be specific to its material outputs in the gallery space, for the marketing campaign we formalised the continuous rounded stroke into two justified lines and redrew it to be optimised for both large- and small-scale formats as well as for typographic animations.