Mouthwash is something I started alongside my friends Alex Tan, and Mackenzie Freemire. Together we offer a variety of services including—but not limited to—design, development, direction, strategy, and production.
For this particular project we worked with Ben Mingo who’s a visual designer at Random Studio in Amsterdam, and Aristide Benoist a freelance developer out of Malaga, Spain.
In celebration of Waka Waka’s 10th year anniversary, we wanted to build a timeless showcase of his work to date. The project spanned print and digital mediums, including a series of posters, shirts, print catalog, website, interview, and portraits of Shin himself, as well as his functional objects in Collections NO1, NO2.
Myself (production & direction) and Ben (design & direction) led the overall project. There were a lot of moving parts between photography, design and production so we had to be pretty collaborative between the two of us to make sure everything worked synergistically.
We started off with the posters and t-shirts and then everything else kind of was built off that. It’s a process we’ve done in the past that has worked quite well. For the website we brought on Bianca Smith to write the copy and Aristide Benoist for development.
The overall concept was to make something timeless and accessible for people. It was important that we create a space for people to experience his work, that was a big reason we created things in different mediums.
We pulled a lot of references from the early 20th century and mid-century, which you can start to see in the way the photos were captured and processed.
We wanted to let the graphic design step back and act in a supporting role to the photography. We did however want to allow for subtle moments of design embellishment by using Whyte to create a bit of interest.
We explored a few leading typefaces for the project, and in the end Whyte inktrap felt like a nice compliment to Shin’s work. The ink traps, that are really leveraged in the typeface, had a real architectural dimension to it that echoed some of the physical elements in the furniture. We tried to use the typeface very intentionally because it does take a lot of attention when used, so the balance between type as image, and image was key.
The concept behind the website was to serve as a digital time stamp and showcase his work to date. Within the site, the interview provides an intimate look into the artist and what has inspired his work. Often times people only get to see what’s on the surface level, so providing more in-depth access to the artist was important.
We really tried to push what a traditional ‘digital experience’ could be to showcase the collection. As much as possible, we took cues from editorial graphic design to dictate design decisions.