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Hingston Studio create exhibition branding for the V&A’s summer show

Hingston Studio have created the exhibition branding for Alice, Curiouser & Curiouser at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages.

According to Hingston Studio, the summer show examines the transcendence of Alice’s character in fashion, film, theatre, music, literature and art over the course of the last century and a half. The V&A came to the design house with a multi-layered story that it wanted to tell. Therefore, the graphic design team said they needed to employ a bold typographic approach for the promotional campaign for the exhibition. “[This acted]… as a playful framework to host a mix of messaging,” a statement issued by Hingston Studio read. “It will evolve and be embellished over the duration of the show,” the statement added.

With bold typographic choices and a soft tonal colour palette, the exhibition branding of the campaign has been playful from the first day. The title of the show is ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’, so straplines such as ‘Step Into Wonderland!’ or ‘Don’t be Late!’ have been used throughout the visual marketing. These have all served as reminders of Lewis Carroll’s writing, of course, in both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as well as Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The challenge for Tom Hingston’s team was to come up with an original take on what could already be described as an overexposed creative subject. “Alice is a cultural icon,” Tom Hingston said referring to the creative process his team had gone through. “Her identity has transcended time and it is one that’s been interpreted many times over the years,” he said. “It was important [for us]… to define our own distinctive and contemporary visual identity for the V&A exhibition.” Hingston went on to add that the show’s campaign also needed to have a multi-generational appeal and not simply speak to fans of one particular iteration of the character.

Hingston himself worked closely with the V&A’s marketing team on the concept of the exhibition branding. Collaborative work in the art direction and design meant that an entirely new visual language was developed for the exhibition. The ‘summer’ show is now set to run until the end of the year so visitors still have plenty of time to enjoy his work.

About the author – Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr is a journalist working in the arts and cultural sectors. With a background in marketing, Manuel is drawn to arts organizations which are prepared to try inventive ways to reach new audiences.

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