"Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, takes place in an imagined, Eastern European-ish land, called Zubrowka. That posed a design challenge: even a fictional world, if it’s to be convincing, needs things like money and government documents. To bring this fake world to life Anderson brought on graphic designer Annie Atkins, who formerly worked as an art director for ad firm McCann Erickson’s Reykjavik, Iceland, office, but is relatively new to graphic design for films. Atkins designed more or less every artifact in the movie bearing type or lettering—newspapers, police reports, passports, you name it. And she did it all by hand.
To create those, Atkins worked off of reference items that Anderson and production designer Adam Stockhausen collected during months of location scouting. At times, she was doing 20 sketches of a single artifact a day.
Consider the metal sign marking the hotel’s entrance. Atkins says she adapted the look from a metal sign from 1930 Anderson found while scouting in Cairo. Her hand-drawn version was done, “somewhat unevenly, with rather jaunty serifs,” she says. Her work even extends to objects that won’t ever make a screen appearance, like a small notebook that Ralph Fiennes’s character, Gustave H, carries with him. Fiennes told Atkins that he thought it was more appropriate to have line pages, versus blank ones—so Atkins created them.”
via Fast Company