Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Jelly Helm Studio working on two giant fan murals for the Portland Timbers. You’ve probably seen the official billboards and branding around town, and soon there will be a billboard featuring four fans chosen through popular vote by the general public.
When the namesake of the studio first told me about the project I had about 3,817 internal conniption fits thinking about the size of file it would generate, and then got down to it. Which meant placing photos of 1,200 soccer fans into two 10×15 foot and 7×21 foot murals.
To get into the right mindset, I wore my Timbers-themed outfit, held my own miniature photo shoot and did my best impersonation of a sports fan.
After spending a fair bit of time with the fan photos, the giant grid of Timbers support began to grow on me. I’m not a sports nut, but seeing the range of soccer enthusiasts, from grizzled grandpas to sweet little girls, showed off one of the better sides of sporting culture – solidarity. Here are a few of my favorites…
My browser window isn’t fifteen feet wide, and I doubt yours is either, but imagine 1200 four-inch-square photos and the result is quite impressive. Below is a snippet to give you an idea, or check out the real thing at the Timbers (errr, Jeld-Wen) Stadium.
This project was not without technical difficulties, and there were a few times I wondered if my computer and the Adobe Suite would pull through.
But all’s well that ends well, and while the final PDF weighed in at 394MB and the total packaged files were 1.2GB, there were fewer logistical road bumps than I expected. Most of all, I enjoyed my time with Jelly, Mark and Aaron while getting to know what is quickly becoming a Portland institution: the Timbers.
PS. If you happen to like iPhone apps where you can show your sporting allegiance to Portland by axing fish to death, download the Timbers Axe game for free.