Graphic design for a campaign that breathes diversity and natural body hair into classic Renaissance paintings

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Overview

Estrid is a Swedish-based shaving subscription that delivers a high-quality, beautifully designed and inclusive range of shaving products made to last. Their fun and graphic marketing have led them to grow a steady consumer base, and they keep growing! With a solid creative team that generates big ideas, their PR company, the Romans, reached out to Shoreditch Design to help realise the artwork for their latest campaign idea.

They envisioned reimagining classical Renaissance paintings with their diverse body ambassadors and showcasing where each chooses to grow body hair. This was a rich opportunity to help address unrealistic beauty ideals set out by traditional painters, who notoriously painted bodies to make them look more "perfect" with grossly exaggerated muscles on men and distorting the curves on feminine subjects in an anatomically impossible way.

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“This campaign’s objectives are so close to my heart - it’s so wonderful to see a company help dismantle the social pressures around shaving and body ideals. To be a part of using their platform to empower body diverse POC, LGBTQ+ and people who are in severe need of more representation in the media is something I am so happy I got to be a part of. It was such an exciting challenge to work with them to make the vision come to life.”
Natalie Fitch
|
Designer at Shoreditch
5-Stars

Our design thinking

The brief handed over to us set out nine traditional paintings by a variety of acclaimed painters in the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo and Botticelli. The client then paired their ambassadors with a painting, and with guidance from us, the models shot their own content. In the ever-changing advertising landscape, "influencer" at-home shot content is becoming more common.

This presents its own set of challenges regarding getting the lighting consistent and working with varying qualities of light and image. This project required a bit of experimentation and work to get it right. We worked to balance enough manipulation of the photo so that the model sank into the painting while trying to keep their natural features, such as stretch marks, skin colouring, and body hair, as untouched as possible. Ultimately, we opted to apply painterly effects to areas of fabric and edges of the photographs. Some paintings required more background manipulation to ensure that the model looked like it belonged in that setting as much as the original subject.

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Finished product

In the end, we reached a style that our team and the client were thrilled with. The final set of nine images was carefully crafted to seamlessly place the model into the painting.

Estrid used these images to build an online exhibition (see below) and also hosted an IRL exhibition and celebration of the campaign's launch in Berlin! They complimented the paintings with a gorgeous serif font and glyphs. We are excited to see how Estrid has used the artwork from the campaign as posters around Stockholm, the celebration in Berlin, and globally shared on social media.

The campaign was a large success - and got featured in numerous online publications, including an article by Glamour claiming it was done by AI (spoiler alert - it wasn't).

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