The City of New York is possibly the LAST client you’d think you could do good work for. Victore Productions was chosen by Biber Architects to add the visual flavor to the redesign of 22 waiting room hubs of the New York City Department of Probation. The NYC Department of Probation (DOP) supervises people who have been convicted of a crime (from turnstile jumpers and graffiti infractions to serious crimes) and sentenced to probation at locations throughout the City. Previously these waiting rooms don't exactly encourage reform — they were some of the more depressing worn-out, emotionally debilitating places imaginable. Our mission was to create an environment with the power to be a portal of change. It meant re-thinking everything from furniture and messaging to tone and identity and make them look like the City cares about helping.
Besides the thin patina of graphic design we were asked for (typography and color) my real inspiration was to rethink the typical motivational posters ("Hang in There Kitty!”) and create a series of “Faux / Real” posters. These were ‘faux’ because they were obvious parodies, but real in that I wanted to effect real thought and change. The posters’ tone of voice, coolness factor and authenticity pushed them into genuine think pieces. We also reformatted the miscellany of posted notices ("No eating, talking, sleeping, cell phones, weapons, fighting") with wall-sized graphics. The new message of these spaces was, “You matter.” One of our posters says it best, “Improve Yourself, Change the World.” The result is more salon than waiting room, more information-rich than sensory deprived. It is a place where work can get done and change can happen