Justin Ahrens is one of those people who embodies the old Army maxim, “We do more before 9 am than most people do all day.” When he’s not tackling projects for his design firm Rule29, he’s working out how to raise more money for the charity he created with Wonderkind Studios’ Brian MacDonald: Wheels4Water. With the use of a simple water-drop motif, this year’s poster expresses the initiative’s goal: to raise enough money through organized long-distance bike rides to help 1,000 Ugandans obtain safe access to water for life.
“We wanted to emphasize the bicycle as the central focus of how we were going to bring water to Kaliro, Uganda,” Justin explains. “Crafting the bicycle entirely out of carefully placed drops, I think, is the design highlight of this piece.”
What makes this design so effective is the way the print focuses exclusively on three main elements: the logo, the African continent they aim to serve, and the bicycle.
Admittedly this minimalist approach could’ve underwhelmed if not for Justin’s decision to add some oomph to it in the form of the embossed Wheels4Water logo and the use of a couple of varnishes and spot UV.
“We felt the multiple PMS and varnish effects gave the poster dimension and a highlight to the various water drops in the design,” Justin asserts. “The registered embossed logo brings a nice tactile feel as well.”
That said, crafting this print wasn’t without its headaches.
“I learned that it’s not easy – it’s painstaking, in fact – to make a poster out of a 1,000 drops of water,” Justin admits. “But in light of that fact, I think that designing this poster was fun and interesting in the way we realized this goal.”
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