Last week, dozens of celebrities received hand-illustrated boxes containing information about Love Is In My Blood, a new campaign by agency Mother to raise awareness for the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)…
Love Is In My Blood is the first of a number of projects that Mother is working on for EJAF to help mark the charity’s 20th anniversary. Designed as a social media campaign, the idea was that on Valentines day last week, all the celebrities that were sent a box of information would prick their fingers and tweet a photo of themselves with a drop of blood on their finger along with the hashtag #loveisinmyblood and a link to the EJAF website to show their support.
Hand-embellished box by James Joyce, designed to be sent to Elton John
While Mother has estimated that the campaign has already reached some 76 million people through tweets and retweets since it launched last Thursday, we wanted to show you some of the lovingly hand-illustrated boxes that helped persuade their famous recipients to get involved with the campaign in the first place.
A Detroit cityscape with backward E signs adorns the box Joyce designed to send to Eminem
Mother briefed artists Adam Hayes, Damien Poulain, James Joyce, Melvin Galapon, Ryan Todd and Tane Williams to draw directly onto brown card boxes in away that referenced the intended recipient, the idea being that such an approach highlights the compassion that lies at the heart of the Love Is In My Blood campaign.
Each box contained instructions on what to do along with a printed silk scarf, either one by Brazilian street artist Mateus Bailon (as shown in the box above) or by South African artist Michael Taylor (his design, shown below).
“The brief was open but I opted for a limited colour palette of red and black,” says James Joyce of the seven boxes he created for the campaign. “Red for obvious reasons but also because those two colours work well with the natural board of the boxes and would unify the boxes as a whole.”
Ai Wei Wei’s box by James Joyce
“In terms of the visual ideas for the boxes, I chose to illustrate things that strongly relate to each artist,” Joyce continues, “a cityscape of Eminem’s hometown, Detroit, for example, glasses for Elton John, and Ming vases for Ai Wei Wei. It was important that the boxes had a fun feel to them.”
Box by James Joyce, can you guess who for?
“I sketched out some ideas on paper first and then drew the images directly onto the box with marker pens,” says Joyce. It was quite a free-form process in some cases, for instance just making up Eminem’s cityscape as I drew it loosely based on Detroit. Others were more rigid and pattern-like. With Elton John’s I had to do a bit of research into his eccentric specs as I wanted them to be authentic not just made up.”
Above and below: Another two of the boxes designed and hand-illustrated by James Joyce
Joyce signed all of the seven boxes he created for the campaign to give each one the feeling of a bespoke artwork in its own right. Fellow contributor to the project, Damien Poulain chose to initial all of his boxes, some of which are shown below:
Damien Poulain’s box for Stephen Fry
Damien Poulain’s box for Grace Jones
Above and below: two more boxes by Poulain
“We wanted the project to reflect the central idea of the campaign: that compassion and care will in the long run make as big a difference to the treatment of HIV and aids and science and research,” a spokesperson for Mother told us. “We wanted every part of the part of each pack to reflect that sense of care. That’s why they were all hand drawn and personalised for each recipient. Care and love are evident in every piece. They are functional but works of art in themselves”
Find out more about the campaign at ejaf.com.
CR in Print
The February issue of CR magazine features a major interview with graphic designer Ken Garland. Plus, we delve into the Heineken advertising archive, profile digital art and generative design studio Field, talk to APFEL and Linder about their collaboration on a major exhibition in Paris for the punk artist, and debate the merits of stock images versus commissioned photography. Plus, a major new book on women in graphic design, the University of California logo row and what it means for design, Paul Belford on a classic Chivas Regal ad and Jeremy Leslie on the latest trends in app design for magazines and more. Buy your copy here.
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878, or buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.