WNBS History

The project was established in 2005 as a result of an experiment in invisible design. I have never believed that people were sheep with no imagination that needed everything to be drawn nicely so that they could imagine the contents. I believed that the imagined images were much stronger than the reality. When we only hear a scream and see a pool of blood leaking underneath the door, the greatest murder happens in our heads, says Hitchcock.

I decided to make a T-shirt experiment. The rule was just one word, black on white, in Helvetica - the most boring of typefaces (which is just why I love it), and all caps. I asked my colleagues at the agency to express with one word what they wanted to be and soon after few tees were done. When the printed T-shirts were delivered we faced the first surprise. They seemed a bit weird, as if unfinished. Based on my wish to dismiss the form and boost the contents, some of the most boring T-shirts that we'd ever seen were made. Ideas were expressed that at least the writings could be in colour or a line would be drawn here and there, or at least two words would be used... I insisted on using one word, and that one black on white or white on black. And there's something else, the rule about choosing the word said that it had to express something you wanted to become, not something you were already. "It's a wannabe!" was the excuse for wearing spicy words. And the wearing experience came as the second surprise. A black word on a white shirt was creating little miracles in communication. There was practically no one at the party that would fail to notice me and my word that read BASTARD. The same writing designed in contemporary acrobatic typefaces in multiple colours or decorated with a silver line would go unnoticed. Too much trimmings would change the word into a weak decoration. But like this, white on black, in Helvetica caps, it was screaming off my chest thus earning me several nice chats to girls I hadn't known previously. For the following two years the project was in the phase of incubation and testing. In autumn 2007 it began for real.

Igor Arih

3rd January '09