You want serendipity? I’ll give you serendipity. Although you may need a little background before it seems all that serendipitous. I’ve always loved records and have collected them on and off since I was about 16. I’ve also always been a womble and will pick up interesting things in my travels and take them home (usually to paint on). So what was I meant to do when I rounded a corner near my house and came across an armful of abandoned 12″ records lying by a bin. It was like seeing a load of forsaken kittens lying in the street. I had no choice but to scoop them up and head on my way feeling ever so slightly smug about the whole thing. While I was having a quick check through them (which revealed that they were largely mid 90’s dance) I thought I’d perhaps re-design the covers and then put them back out on the street.
So here’s the first of my redesigns. It was initially this:
But is now the marvel you see at the top. I’ve taken it quite literally and used a stencil of my own mum. Ha! That will hopefully fox someone when it gets back out on the street…
If you want to know which record I’m on about you can find out here:
“Featuring some of Brixton’s more notable addresses – such as Billa’s 24hour booze, Happy Shopper and The Sultan – this is an exciting game that will bring long, tedious hours of ‘fun’ for all the family. Brought to you by id-iom and Parker Brothers”
We’ve just finished up our 1m x 1m Brixton Monopoly commission and are pretty pleased with the final result – especially considering how long this one managed to take. After a load of emails back and forth we came up with a finished design which incorporated elements from various international editions of Monopoly, some invented elements and a load of place names from around Brixton which had significance to the client. As they live near to us all the locations (including Billa’s 24hr booze and Pizza Man) are somewhat familiar to me too…
Despite the fact they are known to me many spaces on the board are undoubtedly unfamiliar to just about everyone else. If, however, you do happen to be know all the place names and are particularly eagle-eyed you may even notice that we even arranged the squares so that they are grouped together logically (i.e by location and/or function) and the board follows a circuit from locations at the bottom of Brixton up to the top of Brixton Hill.
By far the biggest problem was how to go about doing the small lettering for the place names so that it was the correct size and font whilst still being clearly legible. Using stencils was out as they would have been problematic and time-consuming to cut and wouldn’t have guaranteed the level of clarity which I felt was necessary. So we then had to experiment in order to come up with something that would work to our satisfaction. After a bit of research and some failed attempts en route we came upon the world of gel medium transfers which, once you’ve got the hang of it, gives a nice clean transfer – albeit with a little residue from the gel medium left on the canvas but I felt this was an adequate compromise given some of the other methods tried…
Once all the lettering was on it was largely downhill from there although it was relatively slow work due to the fact that any mistakes would be highly visible – so I had to be careful to make none. Thankfully it all passed with hardly a hitch although I was conscious that doing the line work last would only lead to higher stress levels until it was all safely completed as one small slip would have probably set me back a fair bit.
Below are a few in progress shots for those that like that kind of thing.
Title: Monopoly (Brixton edition)
Media: Spraypaint, stencils, paint pen, gel medium and varnish