Liverpool ONE: Anamorphic typography

Point of view is everything. We’ve been convincing busy shoppers to stop and take a closer look within Liverpool’s busiest retail destination.

08.05.14 | News

By Martin Skelly

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ONE Community describes Liverpool ONE’s approach to community engagement and environmental responsibility. 

Liverpool ONE’s ONE Community team briefed us to create a lively piece of communication centered around the organisation’s community engagement and environmental responsibility credentials.

One Community

The initial challenge we identified in the brief was drawing people into the space, a corridor leading to the underground car park that had little footfall. As part of the brief, we needed to encourage people into the space, whether they had parked their car there, or not. To get maximum exposure, we needed to animate the space and draw people in from the adjacent Wall Street, a main route through Liverpool ONE.

Long version

We racked our brains in a creative session where anamorphic treatments came up again and again. Anamorphic typography is all about point of view. You can see something that isn’t immediately obvious if you look from the right angle. We saw parallels between this and the behind the scenes work that the ONE Community team is involved in to make Liverpool ONE a success.

We combined a striking anamorphic wall graphic on one wall of the corridor with posters presenting the facts and figures on the wall opposite. The graphic works by drawing people in from the busy street outside, once they enter the space they can discover more.

Words alone

The traditional way to produce an anamorphic graphic would be to project it and then to paint it directly on the wall. This wasn’t a possibility in our case for two reasons. The size of the graphic was approximately 10m x 2m, which made projecting it a bit awkward considering the width of the space, and also the graphic had to be temporary so painting wasn’t an option.

The alternative was to print it on aluminum Dibond panels – a layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of thin aluminum sheets. We had to come up with a new workflow for achieving large-scale pixel perfect anamorphic artwork that would encourage people to enter the corridor.

First we created a 3D model of the corridor in 3DS Max, and added a camera at the height that we wanted the graphic to line up from. We output the artwork as a flat, front on jpg. From here we projected the flat image on the wall at an angle from the camera. This projection was then captured by another camera set side on to the large format artwork. This cameras view was then rendered out as a flat png.

This was then pulled back into illustrator to create a vector outline of the shape, and to apply colour for printing. This vector could be scaled up, output onto the di-bond panels and then profile cut on a CNC router to create the skewed blocks behind the type. 

Head down to Liverpool ONE and take a closer look. 

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