Ministry of Sound

  • Brand identity
  • Brand communications
  • Art direction
  • Social content

We worked with Ministry of Sound on their London club and international tours artwork from 2005-2014. At the heart of our work were the quarterly campaigns for their flagship club night, the legendary ‘Saturday Sessions’. Over the past few years we explored many themes and formats in our never-ending quest to create iconic representations of the nightclub.

Nights to Remember
In 2013, Ministry of Sound took the London club promotion truly underground for the first time in their history. The tube poster campaign mirrors the energy of the club through six seminal moments – offering a glimpse at what goes on behind those famous doors. We wanted to show the club in a genuine light, using photographs of real people, on a real night out at Ministry of Sound.

We worked with street photographer Paul Bence, who spent every Friday and Saturday at the club for three months, documenting the electricity of the nights and the passion of the people. The result is the untold story of the club-goer – from intimate moments between couples, to the club going wild at three in the morning – all shot as discreetly as possible to capture a point in time.

Our ongoing challenge with the Saturday Sessions project has been to create something with a sense of value and permanence. From the start it’s been important to us that the flyers, posters and associated executions (press ads, online campaigns and merchandise) are iconic, interesting and fresh – we wanted to to get back to that sense of collectibility we felt when first collecting flyers and posters in the ’90s.

Desert Island Disco
Starting with the premise that the club’s legendary sound system was created as a mutant strain on a lost tropical island (you’ve seen King Kong, right?) this series tracks the progress of the giant bass-bins as they break free and start their epic journey to the Elephant & Castle, SE1.

Working with the talented Jethro Haynes, the stunning set was sketched, built and photographed over a period of days. It was also featured as the cover image of Design Week, fronting an article about the sophistication of current club flyers.

Dance Moves
This campaign is all about recreating classic dance moves – from the ’80s to the present day. We brought them to life by reinterpreting them with found objects, working with long-time Studio Output collaborator Richard Paul.

Alongside this static artwork we filmed people performing their own versions of the moves, which are used alongside the main artwork in accompanying YouTube ‘flyer’ films for each event – showing the literal and abstract version of the move together.

Knit Club
As any idiot can tell you, there’s no better way to get hot in the city than raving in your winter woolies. That’s why our summer 2011 Saturday Sessions campaign featured this hand-knitted scene, with famous Elephant & Castle landmarks (and a few robots) warming their cockles around the infamous Ministry of Sound decks.

This series is about visualising different types of soundwaves. Music is the heart and soul of the club, and waveforms are the backbone of every type of sound that makes it.

We chose two of the most influential synthesizers in the history of house music, the Roland TB-303 and Juno-106. These were the starting point for physically-realised waveforms to flow out of and over the hand-made environment. Each scene reflects a different type of waveform – square and triangular – and they were photographed by the fantastic Kate Jackling.

‘MoS Remix’ is a Granimator™ pack we produced to accompany our Winter 2010 Saturday Sessions campaign. The app, made by UsTwo, allows users to ‘remix’ the printed artwork. These are accompanied by loops, bleeps and samples from the club’s resident DJs Michael Woods, Joe & Will Ask? and The Cosmonauts.

18th Birthday
To celebrate the occasion of Ministry of Sound’s arrival into adulthood, we selected transgressive quotes from famous 18-rated films to create a brash, tongue-in-cheek campaign. Simple, solid black typography and an abundance of fluoro inks gave the artwork real punch wherever it was seen (and that was most of London!)

Clubbing in Space
Working with Will Sweeney, we created three fantastical spaces based on elements from the club – the speakers, the giant mirror balls and the mixing desk. Exploded and cut away, these environments were populated by a motley bunch of futuristic tribal ravers, floating through the ether.

Familiar commands from the dancefloor form the basis of this series. ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Drop the Bass’ and ‘Get Higher’ transcribe the experience of a great night out onto the flyers, posters and print ads. These quotes are disguised within complex, colourful collages, with Ministry’s very own clubbers taking centre stage.

Short Circuit
A long, long time ago (in 2006!) Short Circuit became the first in a long line of projects where we really pushed the Saturday Sessions brand. Looking back over the work to date, it’s still one of our firm favourites. Representing different influences on the music policy, we assembled a collection of strange electronic equipment, added some ambiguous messages and, finally, etched the logo into copper plate. Mission accomplished.