Design by bingo

Can’t decide on the right cover for that catalogue? Why not let fate lend a hand? How the local bingo hall became a vital part of the design process of Happy Forsman & Bodenfors’ newest project

Can’t decide on the right cover for that catalogue? Why not let fate lend a hand? How the local bingo hall became a vital part of the design process of Happy Forsman & Bodenfors‘ newest project

The Swedish design studio was asked to produce the catalogue for the 2010 Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize, the major Nordic design award. The winners were the Front design group who, explains HF&B art director Andreas Kittel, are renowned for allowing “external factors to direct the design process”.

In this spirit, HF&B decided to allow their own ‘external process’ a say. “We simply went to the bingo hall next door to our office with a specially made form with four columns – for C, M, Y and K,” Kittel explains. “While playing, we noted the order of the bingo caller’s numbers: Four numbers determined the cover’s background colour. The following four numbers settled the colour of the text. In total, we had to collect 800 numbers to create one hundred covers.”

Each cover was made individually (in InDesign). HF&B entered the bingo numbers into the colour panel, turning them into colour values.

“The range of bingo numbers (1-75) is very well suited for the project,” Kittel explains, “because it makes the maximum sum of a four number sequence 294 – the total ink coverage in a printing press should not exceed 300%.”

To add to the fun, the designers even won 600 Kronor (about £50) while they were playing.

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