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Responses by Bruce Willen, principal, Post Typography

Background: Beyond Video is a new, non-profit video rental store aiming to create a new model for video rental in the age of streaming. The collective behind Beyond Video has spent the past four years amassing a well-curated collection of over 10,000 essential, rare and popular DVDs and BluRay discs. In addition to providing access to an extraordinary movie library, Beyond Video aims to build a community of film enthusiasts and expand Baltimore’s film horizons. Beyond Video’s patrons are a mix of neighborhood residents looking for movies to watch with their families, and die-hard cinephiles searching for rare Criterion Collection releases.

Reasoning: Our design takes inspiration from the familiar icons of VCR and DVD controls as well as the counterculture origins of the video store. The identity remixes these familiar symbols—play, pause, stop, skip and record—into playful patterns and psychedelic-punk graphics. A minimalist, black and white palette is an assertive departure from slick digital streaming services and the look of past video stores.

Challenges: Finding the right balance of DIY, punk spirit and a well designed, bold branding that would appeal to a wide audience. We wanted to do justice, both to the store’s counterculture roots and its 21st-century, subscription-based business model. The black and white color palette also makes the identity easy for the volunteer staff to implement on a small budget.

Favorite details: The wild facade design is the most visible application of the brand identity. To help draw attention to Beyond Video’s storefront—a humble rowhouse in central Baltimore—we worked with Baltimore sign painters Greg Gannon and Carol Paist to apply mesmerizing black and white rings across the entire facade. The design has already made the store a local landmark, capturing the attention of passersby as well as the attention of the internet and making Beyond Video a sensation on film Twitter.

Visual influences: Independent video stores—much like indie record stores—were ubiquitous cultural outposts, even in some of smallest towns in America. In the ’80s and ’90s, when it was more difficult to access alternative culture, many video stores created a community and lifeline for people seeking to discover new points of view and weird culture. We were inspired by the film and music underground of the video store era—its weirdness and countercultural messages.

Specific demands: The low-budget, DIY nature of the project was definitely a constraint, but it helped inform our black and white color palette.

posttypography.com

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