The goal was to create a collection of posters for small places that have survived the lockdown and continue to work, so that they could let their customers know that they are open and remind them to be careful. The images had to suit different kinds of small businesses, like restaurants, coffee shops, beauty salons. 

“Open”. Illustration by Julia Evstratova.

For this project we have chosen illustrators Julia Evstratova and Alex Blosyak.

«I liked the idea of the project. As for me, small business is what makes you feel like you are at home, when you know the owners, or the barista in the coffee shop across the road knows what you usually drink. When I returned to Saint Petersburg after the lockdown, it hurt to see how many familiar places were closed. I think this gesture of support and gratitude towards those who have saved their businesses is really important”, says Julia.

Looking for the ideas

The client didn’t restrict us, so we spent some time looking for associations. The only obligatory condition was to use brand colours, yellow, black and red.

“Knights and superheros often wear masks. So I have chosen Zorro and replaced his sword with a sanitiser and gloves. This is a metaphor, a visual and linguistic game. The character is busy with casual, non-heroic staff. That’s how I wanted to show how valuable is everything that employees of small businesses do”, says Julia.   

“We care about your health. Please wear a mask and gloves”. Illustration by Julia Evstratova

Gentle vs Brutal

Since the posters have to suit different businesses and Julia’s images are quite gentle, Sasha had to create a more brutal illustration for typically masculine businesses like barbershops, tire services and workshops.

His first approach was an athlete in a mask with a huge hammer on his shoulder. During the negotiation with our client the illustration has gradually transformed into the image of two hands wearing gloves in corporate colours that hold a mask with a signature “Take care of yourself”. 

“Take care”. Illustration by Alex Blosyak

And the brutal vibe has moved to a poster with different tools saying “Open”. 

“Open”. Illustration by Alex Blosyak

“These unique posters help to remind your clients about safety measures and to draw attention to your shop, cafe or salon”, says Mastercard.

They can be freely downloaded from the Mastercard’s website.