It’s been in the pipeline for a good while now but we finally managed to get our wall completed in our local boozer in Brixton, The Hand in Hand. After batting potential designs back and forth for a while we finally came up with a winner in the wall of quotes featuring Winston Churchill quotes, an ambigram, a watercolour & stencilled wallpaper background and my favourite quote of the lot ‘Don’t take life too seriously. No one is getting out alive…’
One of the obvious problems with working in a pub (for us at least) is the proximity to beer. We overcame this potential pitfall by starting early and having a breakfast beer to aid in the creative process. Three and a half pints later and we were all done and dusted. Then it was time to get out of there before we got in too deep and spent the entire day in there…
The back of the door into the gents toilet at the White Horse had seen better days and was festooned with an array of hastily scribbled tags and football related slurs so we were asked to sprinkle a little id-iom magic on it and make it all better. Given that a lot of their customers on a weekend have definitely had a few jars we thought we’d give them a discreet reminder of exactly where they were so hopefully when they wake bleary eyed the next day there is no confusion over exactly where they’ve been.
That, plus the pair of eyes at the bottom of the door (which I read somewhere make people believe they’re being watched and so behave better) and the fact that there’s not much space for any extra graffiti will hopefully allow the door to remain relatively unscathed for longer. That’s the theory at least…
As an aside I really should remember that doing somewhat complicated lettering that must be aligned straight and true is easy at the design stage but really rather less so at the actual painting stage. Let that be a lesson to me.
We’ve done a load of work at the White Horse previously (see Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4) but we were asked back to go over a wall that we’ve done previously (that was looking a little grubby due to the addition of some low-grade graffiti), freshen up the gents toilet door, take care of a tall wall beside the bar and also throw in a few little extras scattered around the place. The White Horse is one of our favourite local boozers so working there is always good fun and design-wise we’ve obviously run with the whole White Horse identity but given it a little id-iom twist.
First up, for the wall by the bar we wheatpasted up a variety of White Horse flyers from over the years and then went over them with a little paint and some stencils and then blacked out the rest of the wall leaving a load of coloured horses with flyer backgrounds and one pure white stallion looking serene and ready to race.
White Horse wallpaper
White Horse wallpaper detail
White Horse wallpaper detail
In the gents toilets we had a corridor wall and a toilet door and went with a (kind of) similar theme for both of them. In the corridor we opted to replace our ‘bizarre S&M horse mural‘ with a sexy lady riding a (white) rocking horse with the legend ‘Giddy up horsey!’ beside her. Then for the gents toilet door (which had a load of graffiti on but, i was surprised to learn, was nowhere near as bad as the back of toilet doors for the ladies – in terms of both quantity and offensive content) we have a naked horse lady and the text ‘Whoa there horsey!’ for the gents to leer at whilst taking care of business.
Giddy up horsey!
Whoa there horsey! (It was tricky to get a good shot of this due to the small size of the toilet...)
Whoa there horsey! detail
Other than that we hit another small wall in the toilet, a few tables, the hand dryer and a couple of random other spots. My favourite photograph is probably the one of the little centaur girl that is on the side of the DJ box. All done until next time…
White Horse text table
Little centaur girl
White Horse silhouette table
White Horse silhouette table detail
White Horse text wall
White Horse hand dryer - it just needed some cheering up!
White Horse gents toilet logo
“Featuring some of Brixton’s more notable addresses – such as Billa’s 24hour booze, Happy Shopper and The Sultan – this is an exciting game that will bring long, tedious hours of ‘fun’ for all the family. Brought to you by id-iom and Parker Brothers”
We’ve just finished up our 1m x 1m Brixton Monopoly commission and are pretty pleased with the final result – especially considering how long this one managed to take. After a load of emails back and forth we came up with a finished design which incorporated elements from various international editions of Monopoly, some invented elements and a load of place names from around Brixton which had significance to the client. As they live near to us all the locations (including Billa’s 24hr booze and Pizza Man) are somewhat familiar to me too…
Despite the fact they are known to me many spaces on the board are undoubtedly unfamiliar to just about everyone else. If, however, you do happen to be know all the place names and are particularly eagle-eyed you may even notice that we even arranged the squares so that they are grouped together logically (i.e by location and/or function) and the board follows a circuit from locations at the bottom of Brixton up to the top of Brixton Hill.
By far the biggest problem was how to go about doing the small lettering for the place names so that it was the correct size and font whilst still being clearly legible. Using stencils was out as they would have been problematic and time-consuming to cut and wouldn’t have guaranteed the level of clarity which I felt was necessary. So we then had to experiment in order to come up with something that would work to our satisfaction. After a bit of research and some failed attempts en route we came upon the world of gel medium transfers which, once you’ve got the hang of it, gives a nice clean transfer – albeit with a little residue from the gel medium left on the canvas but I felt this was an adequate compromise given some of the other methods tried…
Once all the lettering was on it was largely downhill from there although it was relatively slow work due to the fact that any mistakes would be highly visible – so I had to be careful to make none. Thankfully it all passed with hardly a hitch although I was conscious that doing the line work last would only lead to higher stress levels until it was all safely completed as one small slip would have probably set me back a fair bit.
Below are a few in progress shots for those that like that kind of thing.
Title: Monopoly (Brixton edition)
Media: Spraypaint, stencils, paint pen, gel medium and varnish
Size: 1m x 1m deep edge canvas
Apparently chess has been around in it’s current form since the 16th century (and even then is based on an earlier Indian game called Chaturanga) and is a classic game of strategy and guile. I learned to play many years ago although it has been a long while since i’ve put my knowledge into practice. So if anyone fancies a game just let me know.
Anyway we were faced with a big empty table and had to come up with a snappy design to put on it. Some thinking/drinking time later we came up with the idea of a games table – and what better way to while away some time in the pub than an oversized chess board. In order to give it the id-iom twist we decided to design our own chess pieces for use on the board and after a quick bit of tinkering we had some half-decent pieces constructed which wouldn’t get easily lost or broken in the pub.
So, let’s play a game! How many of our customised chess pieces can you identify? There will probably be a prize for the winner if i can find something we can send out. For larger shots please see our White Horse flickr set.
- Invader Cow – id-iom (idiotyouth.wordpress.com)
- id-iom bananeira (thisisidiom.wordpress.com)
One of our favourite local boozers, The White Horse, on Brixton Hill has recently suffered a spate of pick-pockets so we were drafted in to come up with some original signs for the purpose of informing people to keep their eyes on their belongings. I think the general idea was that some original signs, rather than the generic ‘Look out for pick-pocket’ signs, may hopefully get people to pay attention and look after their things a bit better. It’s a shame as it’s a friendly place but can get pretty busy on the weekends. I suppose it is London though after all so you’ve always got to keep one eye on the game…
For anyone wondering what a ‘tea leaf’ is – it’s cockney rhyming slang for ‘thief’. We printed them on textured ‘canvas’ paper for that extra classy look. Now we’ve just got to hope they don’t get robbed themselves…
Title: White Horse pick pocket signs
Media: 6 x framed digital prints on canvas paper
We were asked down our local pub – The White Horse – in Brixton to do some more work for them. This time we had to work in the foyer and outside. We had a little less leeway than other times (see here for Round 3, here for Round 2, here for Round 1) as he wanted something in the foyer that said something along the lines of ‘keep it down when outside’ on one side and ‘Volume can be high on the weekend’ on the other side. We set to work and came up with a visual to go with the text which was a large arrow pointing to a volume control. This was set to ‘1’ on the ‘keep it down when outside’ one and ‘turned all the way up to 11‘ on the ‘volume can be high on the weekend one’. Then we had to come up with a little something to cover some of the blocks on the outside so decided to keep it simple with our modified White Horse logo and a white merry-go-round horse. From there it was a simple job of adding the opening hours outside the door. At leas we managed to keep this visit a little less drunken than our previous trip though…
I was in one of our local hostelrys – the White Horse (on Brixton Hill) – yesterday evening to see about a little bit of new work that the manager wants us to do for him (see here, here and here for previous escapades at the White Horse) when he remarked that the piece we had done in the small corridor leading to the gents toilets (see below) had been mentioned in a review by Time Out. After a little bit of internet research i found the article and I particularly like the fact that it is described as a ‘bizarre S&M horse mural’ (you can read the full review here). Now you don’t get praise like that every day…
After the success of our first trip to the White Horse pub we were contacted to see if we wanted to work on the tables again (as we didn’t varnish them first time round as we wanted to see how they weathered) and also to take care of a wall leading into the gents toilet. As it was the gents toilet we didn’t think a little nudity would go amiss! So, like last time – we did some design, cut some stencils and grabbed disco-bag before heading down to take care of business:
MAKING A START WITH OUR WHITE HORSE WALLPAPER DESIGN
GETTING THE NAKED LADIES UP
NAKED HORSE HEAD LADY AND PARTNER FINALLY FINISHED
After we got the gents done the tables were cleaned off a little then we set to work on them. This time they got a couple of coats of varnish in the hope they’ll survive a bit better…
STARING AT THE SUN – PRETTY WORN LOOKING AT THIS STAGE
STARING AT THE SUN – SPIFFY NEW SUNBURST BACKGROUND DONE
STARING AT THE SUN – FINAL
ROUND TABLE – SCRUFFY LOOKING HORSE
ROUND TABLE – SOME MULTI-COLOURED DRIPS (DON’T YOU JUST LOVE KRINK!)
ROUND TABLE – NEW HORSEY
IS YOUR TABLE WORN AND TIRED LOOKING?
DON’T FRET, id-iom CAN HELP!
HEY PRESTO! ONE NEW TABLE…
See here for pictures from Round 1 at the White Horse (and more/bigger pictures from Round 2)…