Celebrating Mary Quant, the queen of miniskirts, with the V&A Dundee

9 Aug 2022

3 min read

A client with world-leading design credentials

The V&A is the world’s largest and most prominent museum of art and design. Since its foundation, it has constantly evolved and developed its public interpretation of art, becoming a reference point for many designers. It houses over 5000 years of human creativity with a permanent collection of nearly 3 million objects, books, and archives.

Our unique chance to explore Mary Quant’s legacy

We had the huge honour of working with the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, to promote their exhibition about Mary Quant, the famous fashion designer whose flamboyant creations were particularly influential during the '60s and '70s. Mary Quant’s inspirational work is permanently hosted in the V&A in London and is not usually shown anywhere else. This was the first time it left the capital, and we were delighted to be involved with such a high-profile retrospective.

Capturing the spirit of the '60s

Our creative collaboration started immediately after winning the pitch in November 2019. We lost no time developing the look and feel of '60s and '70s London into a creative concept which captured the spirit of Mary’s iconic designs.

Colours and patterns to define an era

From the wider V&A brand palette, we curated a mini-campaign palette for the exhibit. We opted for colours that were aesthetically pleasing and fitting, but also accessible and suitable across all media. Based on these needs, we picked dark yellow, light yellow, salmon pink and bright red as opposed to dark tones. We also chose black and white geometric patterns to add some additional contrast. This combination worked incredibly well together, especially because it immediately communicated the mood of the era. Of course, we had to ensure this palette was used consistently across all materials, including print work, digital animations, banners, and merchandise, as well as online and offline promotions on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and in transport hubs (e.g., train stations).

An iconic design that’s still as fresh as a daisy

The condensed sans-serif logotype, alongside the daisy, one of the iconic symbols of Mary Quant's work, added the perfect final touch to the project and enhanced the retro vibe.

A fashion disaster! Covid puts a spanner in the works...

Sadly, the exhibition was impacted by the first wave of Covid, and it ran for a very limited time in the end. Originally scheduled for April 2020, it didn’t open until much later in the year with visitor restrictions. Not only did this mean the exhibition didn’t get the full coverage it deserved, it meant more work for us. As our remit covered all the promotional materials, we had to change the date on every single item of marketing collateral in production.

Final thoughts

Working on the Mary Quant exhibition was a real privilege for our design team. Showcasing such a famous fashion icon made it a vibrant and culturally significant project that was fun to bring to life. Unfortunately, the downside was that it happened during Covid, which inevitably impacted the outcome. Nonetheless, we are sure that anyone who managed to visit the exhibition had a great time and enjoyed a colourful distraction to uplift their mood after such hard times!

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