Merit Award

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.

Jury Comments: 

"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."

Design Firm: 



City of Melbourne

Location City: 

Melbourne, Australia

Project Area: 

36 by 18 ft.

Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 


Design Team: 

Garry Emery (principal in charge), Mark Janetzki




DCG Design

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