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How to celebrate 30 years in business? For Overdrive, it needed to be something that expressed our attitude, that is beauty, function, humour and elbow grease. As a design studio, we've always had expertise in illustration, though we don't always have the luxury of expressing that skill. We've used the spark plug as our symbol for much of our thirty years – it's an object that resonates for us for its power to spark the proverbial engine. The spark plug also speaks to the nature of ubiquitous technology that is rapidly changing today. So we knew the project would involve spark plugs, illustration and needed to be gorgeous.
For Overdrive Design, our decision was to create a series of 30 illustrations by 30 different illustrators depicting 30 different spark plugs and including a collection or collections of 30 items. In the 1990s we acquired a cache of stunning vintage spark plugs. Back then we commissioned Rob Allen to photograph them; fast forward to 2017 and we used these photos as the reference for our poster project. The 18" x 40" posters are reproduced in limited editions of 30 on our stash of 30-year-old 160lb Canson Illustration paper.
Although the expectation is 30 plugs and 30 posters, we've only made it to five – which have been very well received. Our intention is to make the posters available to select clients and for sale through our website. This outcome will likely need our 31st anniversary to see fruition.