London design agency OMSE has created an augmented reality campaign for cultural venue Printworks London that transforms static typography into immersive three-dimensional animations.

The new creative campaign was developed by OMSE to promote the launch of Printworks’ autumn-winter season of events across a variety of platforms.

Printworks AW19 augmented reality campaign by OMSE

The existing graphic identity is based on the venue’s heritage as western Europe’s largest printing factory and features typography that is distorted to resemble the cylindrical rollers used in traditional printing presses.

OMSE wanted to use augmented reality to add another layer to the viewer’s experience and enable every person’s interaction with the work to be unique.

When the images are viewed in the Printworks AR app using a phone camera the cylindrical shapes appear to rotate. The user can also move around the artwork and experience it in three-dimensional space.

The app enables users to view the immersive animations by holding their phone up to specially printed artworks. It also works with digital images published online, as well as through a series of giant billboards installed across London and several other English cities.

Printworks AW19 augmented reality campaign by OMSE

The moving images reinforce and build upon the original identity and motif of the printing press, bringing the forms to life in a way that is much more memorable. The technology will also be used to reveal extra layers of content such as event details or artist names over the course of the campaign.

“Traditional forms of media don’t provide such a rich experience as they are static or 2D and don’t allow for any interaction,” OMSE director Briton Smith told Dezeen.

“It’s new and something people haven’t seen before which makes it more exciting than another run-of-the-mill poster.”

Augmented reality is a way of creating interactive experiences by layering computer-generated images on top of the real world.

Devices such as smartphones and tablets have enabled AR to become universally accessible, and various businesses have already begun exploring potential uses for the technology.

Furniture brand Opendesk uses AR to help users see how furniture will look in their own homes, while Google has launched a digital library of 3D objects that can be used to populate augmented reality worlds.

Printworks AW19 augmented reality campaign by OMSE

The campaign is an evolution of a project OMSE created for a typography exhibition called Agenda 2020, which was held to mark the release of a new typeface it designed.

The project utilised emerging technologies including AR and variable fonts, which allow many variations of a typeface to be incorporated into a single file.

OMSE is interested in exploring ways of combining traditional media with AR, and this project represents one of the first real-world examples of how the technology can be used to create new and engaging experiences.

“Augmented reality is an emerging technology that many people haven’t experienced before,” Smith added. “We’re aiming to announce this autumn/winter lineup in a new and engaging way and want to continue building the Printworks community as one that values progressive art and culture.”