Pentagram Designer Harry Pearce Used His Own Blood to Create This Poster

Idea Commemorates 75th Anniversary of Bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Published On
Mar 18, 2015

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Pentagram designer/partner Harry Pearce went through some pains to create this poster promoting an upcoming exhibition at the Art Gallery of Maryland, "Questioning the Bomb." He used his own blood to form its mushroom cloud image with the help of longtime collaborator/photographer Richard Foster.

The exhibit is meant to mark the 70 years since the 1945 bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"I felt compelled to use my own blood dropped into water, coupled with the line, 'It's all our blood' in answer to the exhibition's title 'Questioning the bomb'," he wrote on the Pentagram site. "The title comes from my belief that what we do to others we are really doing to ourselves, and Damocles' Sword still hangs firmly over all our heads."

Mr. Pearce was inspired to use real blood while experimenting for another project that involved ink drops in water -- "when I turned the picture upside down, I saw the mushroom cloud," he said.

Photographer Richard Foster experimented with water temperature, ink, drop heights -- and finally, Mr. Pearce's blood. "The image here was the last frame for the final day," Mr. Pearce wrote.

See Mr. Pearce's post for behind-the-scenes shots. For another blood-infused idea, check out this award-winning Adidas campaign, Bonded by Blood, which featured the real blood of the All Blacks rugby team.

The technique used here also reminds us of that used in the more lighthearted Sherwin-Williams ad out of McKinney and directed by Psyop.


Mar 18, 2015
Art Gallery of Maryland
Art Gallery of Maryland
Harry Pearce
Harry Pearce
Richard Foster
Additional Photography:
Christian Carlsson

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