Christie’s, founded in 1766, is a British auction house located on King Street, in London’s St James’s, specialising in extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. It has conducted some of the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries, providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful.
Christie’s wanted to create popular demand for their Audrey Hepburn exhibition, that unrivalled any previous auction.
The first objective was to create a series of eye-catching window vinyls to advertise the sale. The vinyls were to be applied to both the King Street and Old Brompton Road (South Kensington) gallery windows, a total of ten windows.
The second objective was to create an interior for the exhibition, that would convey glamour, allow visitors to share a glimpse into Audrey’s personal life, and encourage all who visited to fall in love with the items on sale.
In July 2017, Park worked in collaboration with Christie’s to create a series of stunning, eye-catching window displays to promote the sale. In September 2017, this culminated in a backdrop for the exhibition which caught and conveyed the glamour and personality of Audrey.
STAGE ONE: King Street and Old Brompton Road windows
The requirement was to produce full sized window vinyls for four windows at Christie’s King Street auction rooms and all six windows at their Old Brompton Road premises. Christie’s were keen to bring glamour to the windows, to match the glamour of the star herself.
Only 5 working days were available from brief to installation.
Park had to ensure that the materials used would withstand the sun, rain and wind for a period of three months.
Christie’s wanted to add a richness to the black and white images by integrating a metallic. We explained that large format presses are not able to print a metallic but, as an alternative, we proposed that the images be printed in a four colour black on a PMS 877 silver coloured vinyl. The use of four colour would add richness to the black whilst the silver vinyl would create the effect of a black and silver duotone.
When we reviewed the proofs of the monochrome images, we were concerned that the images were looking dark, and that the coverage was not allowing the silver to shine through.
Our retouching team opened up the images, with the aim to allow the richness and glamour of the silver to show through, without detracting from the detail and qualities of the original image. Sample squares were produced as proofs for each image.
As an offering which we believe is unique to the industry, Park colour calibrates across all our printing formats, ensuring good colour match to our Epsons, whether printing litho, Indigo or large format.
One of the images was ‘4 colour’ to be printed on a white vinyl; we ran an Epson as a colour guide and then a sample square which closely matched the Epson.
Christie’s chose their preferred version for each of the duotone images. We were asked to retouch out some blemishes in one of the duotone images and to add brightness to the skin tone of the 4 colour image.
The revised proofs were passed for press on Wednesday, printed on Thursday and installed in Kings Street on Friday 14 July 2017 and in South Kensington on 19 July 2017.
A knock-out display that delighted Christie’s and passers-by and drew very positive media and social media coverage.
Queues to enter the exhibition/viewing, stretched over 500 yards, a level of interest in a viewing that Christie’s had never experienced before:
*Window displays which captured and conveyed the glamour of Audrey Hepburn
*A very close colour match to the 4 colour image
*Rich and bright, colour consistent duotone images
*All retouching, proofing, printing and installation achieved within a tight five day deadline
STAGE TWO: The exhibition
With the exhibition stretching over five galleries at their King Street location, Christie’s sought bespoke solutions for each room, while maintaining the themes of intimacy and glamour. Park was asked to continue the theme used by the four colour black and silver window vinyls (used for pre-sale advertising).
There were five elements to the display:
- Completely wrap the wall of the New Gallery (over 77 metres) recreating the theme of Audrey’s bedroom
- Hang a wide 5 metre canvas of Audrey from ceiling to floor in the Great Room
- Provide a life-size portrait of Audrey at the end of an arcade walkway
- Provide a number of large wall-mounted head and shoulder portraits of Audrey for four of the rooms
- Provide signage and wayfinding throughout
For the room wrap we proposed an off-white textured canvas, over which we printed line drawings of Audrey’s bedroom.
The use of line drawings allowed the natural colour and texture of the canvas to show through, so achieving a natural and intimate feel to the room. Despite its 77 metres in length, the room was wrapped using only 5 pieces of canvas to minimise seams. Due to the accuracy of our colour management, colour consistency was maintained between each panel.
We proposed that the same canvas was used in each of the other rooms to ensure consistency of look and feel, including the largest graphic in the Great Room.
The 5 metre portrait of Audrey, glimpsed through heavy drapes was hung from the ceiling, starting half a metre below ceiling height.
By reproducing the head and shoulder portraits of Audrey in 4 colour black on silver, creating the impression of a black and silver duo-tone, we conveyed glamour and continued the visual theme of the window vinyls used to advertise the sale.
The same 4 colour black on silver was used for signage and wayfinding throughout.
Our team of installers attended the site prior to production to verify measurements and ensure that the proposed solutions would work on-site. The same team then handled the installation to ensure
*Hundreds of people queued to see the exhibition, with queues stretching 500m around the block in order to gain entry
*Our graphics created a beautiful, intimate but luxurious setting, reflective of the qualities and personality of Audrey
*Accurate colour reproduction throughout the five galleries
*Clear and coherent signage assisting with wayfinding through the galleries
*The exhibition attracted very positive social press and social media coverage
This project has been shorlisted in the Print, Design and Marketing Awards 2018.
And shortlisted in the Digital Printer Awards 2018.
To discuss your large format requirements with Park,
please contact Alison Branch on: