Making the FEAR typography for P&G / Leo Burnett, Chicago

I was tasked by Leo Burnett of Chicago to create the word FEAR from athlete’s chalk to accompany their forthcoming Olympics campaign. The premise was simple enough but constructing the type turned out to be a little trickier.


The type was to be quite small and, in addition, when you scale this kind of imagery down it tends to look like smoke instead of dust so I had to create two batches of ground up chalk dust, one very fine for the smoky texture and the other very coarse to give it some gravity. I shot in black and white against a black velvet background and began throwing the coarse dust around and enlisted the help of an assistant for the finer stuff. I fashioned some make-do chalkboard erasers from woodblocks and felt to allow me to capture that moment of expulsion.

 I took around 200 photographs and began comping the type together as seen below. With only a couple of rounds of amends from the client this all went through pretty smoothly and I’m happy with the finished piece; it definitely captures what I was going for.  C


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