The Journey from Michelin Tires to the Michelin Star
Exhibit Branding and Design
As part of a fictitious conceptual exhibit; Romance de la Route chronicles the journey of Michelin Tires, and how their name became synonyms with the world's best food. An unlikely journey, the tire company focused their brand towards the use of tires, creating the romantic notion of travel, and encouraging people to explore the road ahead. The exhibit reflects this, symbolizing the ribbon road leading them through the fog and clouds on the path of discovery.
Romance de la Route tells the story of Michelin Tires and their infamous guide. The ribbon road invites you to join them as we traverse their journey going over their accomplishments as their legacy is intertwined. The type is split into solids and semitransparent volumetric triangles representing their search into uncharted territory and their ingenuity in piecing their own narrative. Additionally, the volumetric triangles are designed to resemble 3-dimensional cartography, in reference to the highly detailed and accurate maps for which the guide was known for, and the symbolic aspirations of climbing a mountain.
The concept behind the wall layout was to be an abstract representation of the legacy Michelin Tire left behind, and the journey that you, the viewer, are about to embark on. In the original design, this was seen through overly complicated geometry meant to be representational of the mountainous topography of rural Europe. While the concept stayed the same the design changed greatly in order for the type treatment to stand out. Still using a ribbonlike road, the exhibit title design, draws the viewer in, inviting them to explorer the intertwined journey of Michelin tire’s innovative guide In the world's best restaurants.
Using ambient lighting, the title backdrops on a shrouded mountain. Bleak sun-washed colors draw you in inviting you to explore deeper. Closely resembling a sunrise, the first wall is representative of one’s comfort zone. In the in-between moments of night and dawn we know the sun is coming. We have faith that even though the path ahead is dark, in a few minuets the sun rises and the day stretches on. Later we know that the sun will once again sink below the earth and evening will blanket the world, but beyond that we are prodding into the unknown. This set the stage for the alluring mystery around the exhibit, the first wall giving the viewer the space for their own imagination to pull them forward and explore exhibit beyond.
The path end leads the viewer through to the next composition, ambling around typography not as straight forward efficient, yet uninteresting highway, but as a winding road. It takes its time to lead you to your destination, after all, we already know the legacy, it’s the journey that makes it that gives it worth.
The refined final poster is lit in soft hues pushing forward the romantic notion of travel that Michelin strived to produce. Lit and soft pink hues it resembles the end of the day and the brooch into the unknown. Just as the Exhibit title is representative of Daybreak and the faith that the sun will rise on your journey, the poster is sunset and the journey into the unknown. Here are broken typography follows the map partially shrouded by overlapping clouds. this is the entrance to the unknown in the invitation for you to discover it.
Where night is uncharted and unfamiliar, Sunset is the brief period where you know what is going to happen. Like in the title treatment triangles are used, pulling inspiration from the exhibition, symbolic of the companies ingenuity and piecing together this character from an abstract concept. These elements are seen on both the inside and the outside of the booklet but are more subdued on the inside as to not interfere with the “postcard posters,” which are the highlight of the program.
Inside the triangle are used to create dynamic movement for the type as well as to direct your eye across the page, flipping from one to the next. Elements are layered on top of each other to allow the viewer to uncover information with each fold along with souvenir postcards of the infamous character.
While the exhibit and the poster follow a very similar design scheme, the “Birth of the Bibendum” pulls elements from both. However, the content, while related, It's not with the exhibit covers, the pamphlet takes a different design approach to break away from the exhibit. the birth of the Bibendum Pulls the most from the exhibit’s concept of the journey into the unknown. It pulls the vibrant hues of orange mixed with deep purple Mixed together to be indicative of a sunset. The bright orange is used to highlight the passion of this character who has been with them since the beginning. The orange is also used as a reminder of the ribbon road as indicators for stops, rather than the use of a literal timeline. The purple is pulled directly from the burred photo background used to show creativity and curiosity. As a dark purple, it is representative of twilight, where we are pushing our limits of what we can clearly see.