Matt Shelley, Design Director at Deep an independent London-based brand, design and digital agency, shares insight into the process of creating a printed homage to a generation of second world war Army veterans
Deep was commissioned to deliver a completely new design and branding concept for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of Chelsea Pensioners. The Chelsea Pensioners are ambassadors for the positive possibilities of old age. The Royal Hospital Chelsea provides a home for the ex-army veterans, but also a great sense of community, purpose and pride. Donations contribute to accommodating the 300 army veterans and enabling the charity, ceremonial and community outreach activities they take part in.
We’ve been working with the Royal Hospital for around 18 months now. We wanted to bring public understanding of the Chelsea Hospital up to date and raise awareness of the continued contribution Chelsea Pensioners make to society, but also dig deeper into the individuals and champion their personal stories.
As part of this we developed a new concept for a brochure which was distributed at Chelsea Flower Show to raise awareness of the hospital and support with fundraising. From WW2 Enigma Code breakers to D-Day veterans, the brochure shares the experiences of four of the Chelsea Pensioners living at Chelsea Hospital alongside striking photography portraits. Inspired by the iconic Chelsea Pensioner red uniform, the brochure design uses vertical accents to mimic their medal ribbons, while bold block colour printing replicates the rigid design of military ID cards and stamps.
The brochure was an opportunity to connect more emotionally and persuasively with the audience, to tell the stories behind the uniforms and create a personal connection between the reader and the Pensioners. Our choice of printed materials played a huge role in achieving this. We chose Arjowiggins Graphic’s 100% recycled CyclusOffset paper because we wanted the magazine to be tactile and to create a more personal experience for the reader. Printed by DG3 Leycol, CyclusOffset paper has a really unique texture and feel, whilst delivering high quality colour printing which reproduced really well, especially the bold red and blacks and the foiled font on the cover.