Blockbuster: Stripe SF

Curator: MacFadden & Thorpe
date: November 8, 2012
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Brand & Identity Design, Environmental Design
Blockbuster split-fountain identity, which uses custom-drawn typography.

Today’s entry brings exhibit materials designed by Jon Sueda/Stripe SF for a show at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City. The show, entitled “Blockbuster: Cinema for Exhibitions,” was curated by Jens Hoffmann and “investigates how a number of significant contemporary artists working with film and video have been affected by, and redeploy in their own practices, cinematic strategies found in the work of major 20th-century filmmakers.”

For a couple of years we shared a studio with Jon and Martin Venezky, with whom we also teach at the California College of Arts. We admire their work and saw this arrangement as a perfect opportunity to steal ideas in an efficient fashion. One of the last projects Jon had in development before he moved to a home studio (likely for a more secure environment) was the graphic identity for Blockbuster.

Since 2007 Jon has been the sole designer for the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, where he has worked closely with Wattis Director Jens Hoffmann. Jon and Jens have established a close and trusting working relationship, and as a result the works produced for the Wattis share a smart, simple voice, and an assertive typographic quality that is deeply integrated with the exhibit themes.

As Jens’ star rose, international opportunities beckoned, and Jon was brought along as a trusted partner. For this show, Jon took inspiration from Mexican street posters, incorporating bold cinematic graphics and the sort of split fountain printing frequently used on those works. He created a typeface with triangular serifs meant to evoke a touch of Mayan detailing. Large-scale graphics were used on wall signage and on a lighted sign, and split fountain posters printed as a takeaway for visitors. The materials were printed in Spanish and English, and in the exhibition catalog the split fountain palette was used to differentiate the two languages.

Exhibition invite

Gallery supergraphic

Split-fountain takeaway posters

Blockbuster sign in the gallery

Exhibition catalog with Spanish and English text differentiated by color

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