Mucho’s cinematic campaign for Homeroom captures the defiance of Oakland High School’s pupils
As part of Peter Nicks’ highly-acclaimed, Sundance Award-winning documentary Homeroom, design studio Mucho have created the cinematic posters and marketing campaign for the feature; a documentary that follows the seniors of Oakland High School in spring of 2020. The global design studio – found in Barcelona, Melbourne, New York, Paris and San Francisco – saw the significance of the opportunity they’d been given, promoting the thought-provoking – and undeniably necessary – film that comments not only on the overly-policed school in Homeroom, but acts as microcosm towards the wider crisis of systematic racial issues that the United States faces.
With Homeroom highlighting the school seniors who faced up to the injustices inflicted upon them, there was no greater typeface to represent such an act as VOCAL’s Martin – a digitisation of the hand-painting placard lettering found at Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic ‘I Am A Man’ strike at Memphis Sanitation in 1968. With the typeface already carrying so much significance alongside the powerful accompanying photography, as well as the message of the film itself, Mucho decided to allow the design to breathe and somewhat speak for itself. “Generally speaking film posters are notoriously busy so it was a conscious decision to have plenty of clear space on these posters,” Senior Designer at Mucho Lyam Bewry explains, “it allows the focus to be on the students as well as the subtlety of the clenched fist gesture.”
Making the negative space a feature and character in its own right, we are both drawn to the emptiness itself – and its metaphorical significance towards the silence given to these issues and the cultural stifling of racial conversation – as well as to the imagery and type it is highlighting. “Within the film, students carry so much self-expression day-to-day in school,” Bewry notes, since Oakland High School doesn’t mandate any form of school uniforms, concluding, “so we wanted some of this and their body language to shine through in the portraits.” The end result is a simple but powerful campaign that perfectly balances catching people’s attention, and then keeping it.