The award for Best Picture goes to…

Posted in News on 2 May 2018 By David Hunt, Creative Director

Yesterday marked the start of a working partnership with Edinburgh College to mentor Graphic Design students with a film-related brief.

Our first project was a so-called ‘Guerrilla day’ – a surprise briefing at 0915 to be completed by 1430 the same day. Great preparation for the unexpected curve balls that designers regularly have to cope with, which require quick thinking and a big flex of your creative muscles.

The challenge for the students centred around two key events for our Edinburgh studio: its 15th birthday and our partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018.

Their task was to redesign a poster for one of the last 15 films recognised as ‘Best Picture’ at the Oscars with a focus on celebrating – rather than promoting – these much-loved movies.

You can see a list here:


The fascinating thing about creativity is that there are no wrong answers – or maybe it’s better to say that there can certainly be more than one right answer. As a case in point, we were shown three posters for Slumdog Millionaire that were all completely different but all great in their own way. So, we were delighted to see a really diverse selection of ideas and executions at a standard that was impressive, given the very tight timescale.

We really like the duality of the violin and whip for 12 Years a Slave, the powerful minimalism used in the poster for The Shape of Water, not to mention the playful F-bomb dropped into a witty take on The King’s Speech.

And the winner is…

But we had to pick a winner – they made us – so, with a little help from democracy, we selected Connor’s version of The Departed. We felt that the simple style and bold use of an icon from a key scene would click with fans of the movie – and we’d be pleased to have it on our studio wall.

But in the end, everyone’s a winner

A terrible cliche, I know, but here it makes sense – stay with me.

For me and my team, this is a great opportunity to “give youth a chance” – one of Emperor’s pledges that reflects how we behave and form a platform to build on in the future – be inspired and enjoy ourselves along the way. We hope that our students gain some valuable insights and advice from working with hardened pros like us that, in turn, benefits the whole industry through an influx of new blood that is better prepared for life after graduation.

Needless to say, we’re excited about the next project with Edinburgh College. It’s not often the sequel is better than the original, but in this case, we reckon it’ll just get better and better.



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