by Jamie Parker, Designer
We’re having some flashbacks at Little. Nine years ago, we helped our long-time friends and clients at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) build a traveling exhibit on the year 1968—a tumultuous, watershed year in the history of our nation. Now, after touring the country, the 1968 Project is coming home for its second and final run at the Minnesota History Center.
So, on the 50th anniversary of the exhibit’s namesake, we got to reminiscing about one of our favorite projects.
1968 was a heckuva year. Tragic assassinations. A nation divided by war. Free love. Violent protests. MNHS wanted to tell this story—from major events that shaped our history to real-life, everyday experiences. To do so, they would need some help. They needed stories, artifacts and, perhaps most importantly, funds.
That’s where we stepped in.
We put together a fundraising kit for them to solicit support. It all started with a book that gave an overview of the year—a chronological journey through the unrelenting tumult. But we wanted to elevate the story. We wanted to create a sensory experience. The solution was clear: music.
We would deliver the books inside albums from the year 1968 because the events of 1968 are inseparable from the soundtrack of the day. Great art comes from struggle. To get a sense of the tragedy of 1968, look at the beauty that came out of it. Seriously, look at the albums released that year. But it’s more than just the music, it’s the vinyl itself. The feel of it, the smell of it. It’s something that transports you.
With our concept in place, the real fun began with the production. We loved the idea, but… does anyone have 300 albums from the year 1968 lying around? Fortunately we were able to entice a few vinylphile friends into helping the search. After scouring Cheapos, Landfill and Aardvark (RIP), we had our delivery system. (Special shout out to Glen Campbell for releasing five albums in 1968.)
Fun and willing clients. Rich content. Creative problem solving. Screenprinting. Friends. Vinyl. Of course this is one of our favorite projects.
For more details about The 1968 Exhibit, head to mnhs.org.