Re:Loaded, Weapons of Mass Seduction
Royal Armouries, Leeds
2023The Royal Armouries is the UK’s national collection of arms and armour with pieces dating back to the 15th century.
It’s a mecca for middle-aged blokes who love guns but the client was looking to widen their visitor profile beyond this demographic.
With a collection of highly decorated guns to work from, we developed an atmosphere that referenced nightclubs, bar culture and luxury retail.
A nocturnal feel was created with minimalist showcases, spot lighting, neon and blue wash lighting over minimalist shop window displays, providing a backdrop through four retail zones: Gifting, Status, Desire and Disarm. The Disarm zone is a particular highlight, focussing on the art of Bran Symondson, and ex-forces reservist and photographer who documented life in conflict zones through reworked AK-47s.
Each ‘zone’ had a different theme but a consistent treatment of colourised halftone blown-up imagery used with clean vector graphics.
To avoid cluttering up showcases with labels, we decided to create a gallery booklet to accompany the pieces. Designed using the client's incredible hi-res imagery, it allowed visitors to get a closer look at the incredible (and often tiny) details engraved on the weapons. Layout was kept simple, and type size large to allow reading in this low light environment.
Some behind the scenes images showing testing of the wallpaper resolution and neon signs in the space. The Disarm zone wallpaper is a split (mountain and sky) halftone render of Afghanistan. Icon artwork for the neon signs needed to be tweaked to enable production, to allow for curve radius and LED strip length.