emerystudio was tasked with designing temporary street decorations for the City of Melbourne's 2006/2007 holiday season. City officials dedicated a wall in a central city location for the installation of a nativity scene.
emerystudio steered the design solution away from the traditional crèche approach and instead designed a type-based solution founded on the "nativity text" from the Bible.
The team interpreted the scripture as a decorative monumental inscription expressed in a naïve calligraphic style. The lettering was digitized and cut from sheet metal, fixed to a stainless steel frame, and backlit from below to create a compelling nighttime presence and a successful public attraction. The 36-by-18-ft. installation will be used for the 2007/2008 holiday season and beyond.
"We have all seen nativity scenes displayed to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. The jury commends the designers for presenting the story as text instead of images. This creates a simple statement with amazing power. The unusual and handsome screen of words weaves the story in cut-metal, handwritten letterforms—a significant tour de force. During the day one can appreciate the textural effect, but at night the backlit words take on a dramatic, almost animated presence."
Garry Emery (principal in charge), Mark Janetzki