By honoring what is true to the aesthetic of film, we are able to balance SSHMP’s desire for large, hi-res images with their, at times, lo-fi archive materials. Span’s work was in direct collaboration with SSHMP’s team and their cultural advisors.
The South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP) is a film and cultural preservation project within the University of Chicago that is supported by Arts + Public Life and UChicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture. Through the five actions of collecting, preserving, digitizing, researching, and presenting, SSHMP advances the stories, culture, and legacy of Chicago’s South Side residents, in effect preserving history. These qualities position SSHMP as a work of social, spatial, and racial justice.
Span designed the SSHMP’s visual identity and website to embrace characteristics that are integral to the medium of film — stacking, sequence, film-grain, dust, scratches, and blurs. By honoring what is true to the aesthetic of film, we are able to balance SSHMP’s desire for large, hi-res images with their, at times, lo-fi archive materials. The customized ‘I’ of the SSHMP logotype and custom brand typeface is inspired directly from the film leaders and perfs. The inky, rounded, sans serif typeface offers a retro feel in how it relates to sign-painted letterforms familiar to the streetscape of Chicago’s South Side.
Span’s work was in direct collaboration with SSHMP’s team and their cultural advisors. Founder and MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Stewart laid the foundation for our work, Archivist Justin D. Williams led the project, and artist Amanda Williams gave us her signature color(ed) theory palette. Together we co-created an important cultural tool and asset for the film-making disciplines, the South Side community, our city, and far beyond.