Towards the end of 2020 we were honoured to receive the opportunity to work with the ICC ( International Cricket Council) on the Awards of the Decade. It is an edition of their annual awards programme which celebrates stand-out performers and moments from the last ten years.
Our goal was to conceptualise, design and bring to life 10 artworks that captured thespirit of the game and the winners through a fresh, energetic and vibrant lens.
To create such artworks that would toast the remarkable performances of the winners, we went searching for the perfect artist/collaborator. After reviewing 22 artists we carefully curated Pratap Chalke for this undertaking. He is a fan of the game with a bank of styles and artistic expressions supported by his dedicated work ethic and ability to absorb art direction - the perfect combination of elements we were looking for.
We carried out research into the world of cricket but also into the winners because we wanted the illustrations to reflect their prowess and mastery of the game too.
We started by exploring a series of mark making exercises tapping into our love and energy for the game– the swoosh of a bat, that crisp sound of the ball meeting wood, the rumble when wickets fall, the holding of breath and unpredictable twist of the ball, the drama that comes with the pace and excitement of a game played by athletes at the peak of their game and to top it all off, a global playing field.
Before jumping into designing, it was important to understand the Awards. They are made up of two main awards and 8 subcategories:
For the first time these Awards were also going to include the fans’ voices in selecting the winners. Also, since Covid-19 did not allow the winners to receive their awards at the event, these awards would be sent to their respective locations.
Three primary questions informed our design strategy:
To give the winners a unique representation, we used our initial research into their performances. Early art direction discussions revealed we wanted an exciting and bright perspective which hadn’t been used elsewhere or before in Cricket. This led to us deciding on a high energy art aesthetic. Taking on our art direction, Pratap created a portrait of each winner that brought together their remarkable performance, dynamism as players and love of the game. These artworks were then brought to life on our gallery grade wrapped canvases which lent them a certain verve.
For the two main awards we wanted to provide something a little special for the players of the decade. At Kulture Shop, we’re always looking for new ways to represent art. This led us to choosing the bat as a canvas. With Pratap, we created twointricatelyhand painted bats and custom designed the cases as well as the packaging.
The artworks were brought to life on our museum grade canvases which were wrapped around a wooden frame at 16x16 in. They looked timeless and fit in with almost any kind of decor. The size of the artworks was also carefully considered as we wanted to make it easy for the players to hold for further photography.
Thus, each player received a premium, original, gallery wrapped canvas artwork of themselves with custom packaging. However, since the players were from various countries and belonged to a separate board we also provided 20 limited edition art prints to each cricket board.
CANVAS SIZE - 16” X 16” X 1”
CANVAS MATERIAL - HP GALLERY GRADE CANVAS STRETCHED ON WOODEN FRAME
LIMITED EDITON - KULTURE SHOP CERTIFICATE
PACKAGING - CUSTOM
Originality and authenticity are of utmost importance to us. We further highlighted the limited edition nature of the bats, canvas and 20 art prints with limited edition certificates.
To round off the experience of receiving the award we turned our eye on packaging. Exclusivity and sustainability were the two points that we wanted to emphasise. Therefore, we custom created sustainable packaging. We dialled up our packaging illustration process by hand painting elements from each artwork to wrap around the box creating an interlinked series.
All art and its elements created in this project were proudly made in India and shipped to each player’s home country.
“This project came together in a short period of time, and Kulture Shop were fantastic to work with to turn our vision into reality. It was a genuine pleasure to work with the team to create something truly memorable.” —Finn Bradshaw, Head Of Digital at International Cricket Council
Stay tuned for the unboxing on social media and follow ICC for further updates.