Dr. Foolsgold's Apothecary
This 2016 installation was borne out of a project completed by Hannah Rich, Jonny Keay, Katie Hitchin, and Ian Snelling. A cross-course collaboration, this body of work united design students with different skill sets. This group brought to life the imaginary apothecary of a faceless fraud named Dr. Foolsgold.
⟢ The Objective ⟣
This chemist's shop set-piece marketed home-remedy treatments based on old wives' tales, myths, and superstitions. Set in the late nineteen-twenties, the tailor-made packaging used trendy Art Deco designs to pull modernising customers back into the old world of medicine. The installation used humour and satire to comment on the dangers of fear-based marketing, and how it preys on customers who have blind faith.
The project asked: how far are industry fraudsters willing to go to make money? And, should we take products at face value?
⟢ Packaging Design ⟣
Visitors to the 'Integrated Creativity Exhibition', which was held at The Design Centre in Sunderland during May 2016, were encouraged to interact with this make-believe apothecary and handle the products. Every item was presented to tell innocent half-truths from afar but, in small print, the labels revealed sham ingredients. Dr. Foolsgold's pimple-cream was made using dentifrice (toothpaste), and the anti-aging balm was really just petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
⟢ Hannah's Role ⟣
Hannah took on a leading role in this project. She gained interior decorating skills while out hunting for old furniture and accessories. She then created stylised illustrations for the beauty products. Her Art Deco-inspired drawings were accompanied by a well-researched colour palette for the jazz age, as well as appropriate font styles. Hannah's 'The Blind Leading The Blind' poster inspired this project's message.