The Power of Hand Illustration

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ejaf4As paper lovers, we thrill to every project that pushes the boundaries of what can be done with this near-limitless medium. Diecutting, digital printing – and don’t get us started on embossing (swoon). Yet just as nothing beats settling down with a good paper magazine after a week of being glued to various computer screens, a project that displays hand craftsmanship can outshine the most sophisticated machine-based techniques.

Valentine’s Day week, dozens of celebrities received boxes touting the 20-year-old Elton John AIDS Foundation, which were designed by London creative agency Mother. Made to publicize a new campaign called “Love is in the Blood,” each brown-card box was uniquely hand-illustrated by six artists. And each design was tailored to each celebrity – a Detroit cityscape for native Eminem, Ming vases for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, etc.

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Inside, recipients discovered a printed silk scarf by one of two artists, and instructions on how to participate in the campaign. Celebs were urged to prick a finger, take a picture of their blood-tipped digit, and tweet it with the hashtag #loveisinmyblood, along with a link to the EJAF site.

ejaf2“We wanted the project to reflect the central idea of the campaign: that compassion and care will, in the long run, make as big a difference to the treatment of HIV and AIDS as science and research,” a Mother spokesman told Creative Review. “We wanted every part of each pack to reflect that sense of care. That’s why they were all hand drawn and personalized for each recipient. Care and love are evident in every piece.”

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