Yours Truly, Albert

 

This exhibit is an exploration of Einstein’s love letters. It takes the previous perception of Einstein as just a scientist and tosses it to the wind. Yours Truly, Albert shines light on a side of him we aren’t familiar with.

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Redefining Einstein

Einstein is largely known for his accomplishments in the field of science and so the term genius tends to be the only word we connect to him. Although Einstein was a man of science, math, and logic, few remember or recognize him as a man of passion, emotion, and love.

In 1903, Einstein married Mileva Maric despite his parents’ objections, and during their time living apart the two constantly wrote letters to one another. While some of these letters were formal and others filled with love, they all show a side of Einstein less known. These letters explore his conflicts with professors, financial struggles, scientific discoveries, the birth of their illegitimate daughter, love, and heartbreak.

“Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me?” —Albert Einstein

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Naming

During the initial exploration for the identity, the name was yet to be solidified, but of the 30+ options the choices were narrowed down to “Love, Albert” and “Yours Truly, Albert.” While “Love, Albert” was compelling and simple, endless searching through Einstein’s letters revealed that he never explicitly wrote out “Love, Albert” but he had countless variations of “Yours Truly” which made it the most accurate and provided the perfect mix of sentiment and formality.

Identity

The exhibit’s objective was to reshape the stereotypical image of Einstein, and so the identity takes a very traditional and ornate approach which juxtaposes the common perception of Einstein which is typically scientific and calculated.

The flourishes from the lockup are continued throughout the entire identity of the exhibit and are reflective of Einstein’s whimsical charm in his letters as well as his natural ability to see unexpected connections in his life. The script and flourishes display a more human and emotional side of Einstein most viewers aren’t familiar with.

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Exhibit Design

In context, the identity comes together to create an experience worth sharing. Exterior posters are used to gain people’s attention and spark their interest to view the exhibit by displaying Einstein in a different perspective, one that’s no longer black and white.

The red photos are used as an identifier, once viewers are interested in the exhibit, simply searching for the red photos informs them that they’re in the right place.

The introduction to the exhibit is a proud display of Einstein and gives the viewer the opportunity to satisfy their curiosity and learn what this exhibit is about. By the time they leave, they will have a new understanding of who Albert Einstein was, and will be telling their friends to visit the Albert Einstein’s love letter exhibit. It’ll be as easy as, “You’ll see the red photos.”

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Narrative Design

As a part of the exhibition, a narrative in the form of a 12 page tabloid was designed not only as promotional material, but for viewers to take and learn more about Einstein. Rather than filling the narrative with stereotypical Einstein content, it features a love poem from one of Einstein’s letters, a poster, a short story about his mispronunciation of the word sandals, background on his love for music, and a list of ways he has signed off his letters.

The narrative truly displays a different side of Einstein most people aren’t familiar with.

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Letters For Two

Product & Packaging Design

While the tabloid focuses on Einstein and functions as a source of information and reading, a letter writing kit for two was developed to be a part of the gift shop. The driving concept for this product is that one would purchase this kit and be able to send it to their loved one. The packaging itself serves as a tiny letter, and inside gives the receiver all they need to write letters in return. This kit is meant to encourage letter writing and gives people the tools to actually do so.

On the outside the sender would address to whom it’s being sent to as an introduction, the front of the package then reads “Write me soon,” and upon opening the front panel reveals “Yours truly, _____,” where the sender can sign their name. Before the package is sent, half of the envelopes and cards are taken out so they can also write letters rather than it all being one way. When these are taken out it leaves an empty spot inside the package for the receiver to then save any letters that they get.

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Conclusion

While the narrative focuses on Einstein, the packaging takes a different approach focusing more on letter writing as it’s a Letter Writing Kit for Two. The driving concept for this product is that one would purchase this book and be able to send it to their loved one. The packaging itself serves as a tiny letter, and inside gives the receiver all they need to write letters in return. This kit is meant to encourage letter writing and gives people the tools to actually do so.

Photos by: Matthew Smith, Someone, and Someone