V&A Dundee Plastic Exhibition

We were appointed to design the advertising and marketing campaign for the new V&A Dundee exhibition Plastic: Remaking our world.

Plastic has shaped our lives for decades, from a revolutionary material to a disposable commodity and now a serious environmental issue. The exhibition features products, graphic design, prototypes and new technology from the past, present and future of plastic.

The challenge

Plastic is a complex material and the Vitra exhibition covers a wide range of the positive and negative aspects of the material. It also features thousands of objects from the luxury to plastic waste. We were tasked with distilling all this down into print, graphics, motion and web design elements for the overall campaign. Reflecting the breadth and depth of the exhibition was one of the biggest challenges we faced.

Yellow poster featuring red toot-a-loop radio for the V&A Dundee Plastic: Remaking Our World exhibition.
Blue poster featuring white and red ball chair for the V&A Dundee Plastic: Remaking Our World exhibition.
Yellow poster for V&A Dundee Plastic exhibition on poster stand outside the museum.

Our approach

The lifecycle of plastic involves creating an initial form, which is either broken down and recycled or it breaks down in the environment and causes pollution. We centred our core visual concept around this fragmentation and reforming for the digital design and print assets.

Alongside this concept we were also working with the new V&A Master Brand identity system. As one of the first design studios in the UK to apply these to a campaign it brought its own challenges but in particular the new variable Spiller font offered a lot of flexibility.

Tall thin pink banner with 'plastic' in large rounded letters sitting behind a transparent plastic bottle.
Tall thin dark blue banner with 'plastic' in large rounded letters above rows of plastic pineapple squeezy bottles.
Tall thin orange banner with a child's bucket and spade repaired with materials moulded around the handle.
Tall thin blue banner with 'plastic' in large rounded letters sitting behind a red and white ball chair.
Photo from outside V&A Dundee showing the four different banner designs promoting the Plastic: Remaking our world exhibition.

Colours & assets

How do you sum up a deep and complex exhibition in one image? With great difficulty. So we decided to use a range of photography assets to represent the different aspects of plastic. From the luxury furniture and products to the ubiquitous everyday to future thinking materials.

The exhibition is aimed at a broad audience to help explain the complexities of the material and what we can do to make a difference in the future. We felt it was important to design a colour palette that reflected the bright vibrant colours of plastic we see everyday and bring a sense of fun and exploration to the marketing materials.

Mesmerising motion

In order to capture people's attention instantly on social media we needed to create something visually striking that draws you in. Taking the concept of fragmentation and applying it to the objects in an abstract graphical form we created loops to draw the viewer in, leading on the the particles forming the exhibition title, before introducing the objects.

Project imagery
Project imagery
Project imagery