Thursday, 21 October 2010

Poster doubletake: Hampton Court Poster part 2

"Welcome to the world of the magnificent Tudors" the not right poster beckons. At first it appears as though the design agency may have left the intern on his own in the office one Friday afternoon and he has subsequently pushed the crazy colours button in Photoshop and sent it to the printers. The red bricks (Wikipedia calls them pink) of Hampton Court Palace are overwrought and shout at you. The Central Casting Henry VIII is ruddy-faced and welcomes you to his gaff with a menacing look in his eye. As your eye is drawn into the centre of the picture (through the Palace's wonderful arches) you notice a young man, coyly smirking, in a doublet and hose who reminds me of the tennis player Andy Murray (it must be the south west London link). And further in the distance is a woman of unknown identity (in posh Tudor garb) who is being looked at by a group of cut-out tourists. Yes, literally cut-out with scissors and stuck on! The visual incongruities that first repelled me now create an air of mystery that make me want to walk into the poster. What initially appeared to be a design faux pas is perhaps a small work of genius. The appeal to explore Hampton Court Palace's rich history is captured not with standard issue beauty shots but with an off-beat visual over-saturation of colour and curious characters.

"Welcome to the world of the magnificently intriguing tourist poster!"

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