Few makers can escape the magic of pyrotechnics. Thanks to the poster series Affiches Artifices from 2021 by the French design duo Pinaffo—Pluvinage we can enjoy the spectacle all year round without disturbing the local bird population.
Each of the ten 50cm × 70cm posters is a small paper-printed firework display combining multiple pyrotechnic powders. The design team practically programmed the visual and acoustic effects on paper. The result depends on the length and path of the gunpowder.
The designers were faced with the challenge of not only conjuring up an aesthetically pleasing graphic on paper, but also of designing an exciting explosion path at the same time. We succeeded, because the result is fascinating both graphically and in terms of the burning process.
In this project, Pinaffo and Pluvinage are driven by a fascination that every maker should know: the ingenuity of chemically triggered chain reactions. Since “pyrotechnic ink” as such does not exist, the design team spent most of their time mixing their own chemicals and conducting printing experiments with them. It took hundreds of failed attempts to get them on the right track.
Five consistent design elements now run through all posters: a yellow, red and blue slow flame, a sparkling flash reminiscent of fountains, and a rushing flame. Some of the printed elements glitter which looks spectacular even at the moment of explosion.
Pinaffo—Pluvinage is an independent design and creative studio founded by Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage, who already wowed us with their work Papier Machine. You can see more of her projects on her website.