Flat Man Typographic Poster

Photo of printed poster

Digital version

Close up

A third year typography university assignment. We were to choose an unsung hero and design a typographic poster about them. I chose my earthquake hit home city Christchurch's masked superhero Flat Man. Flat Man is Christchurch's real life super hero who hides his identity behind a costume and delivers parcels to needy households under the cover of night. My challenge was to express this zooming from place to place at night typographically. I did this through the exploration of lighting and shadow, then developing this further by spreading the letters out over the poster, linking them, and using italics for further movement and speed. It also has a slight appearance of a map. I made sure to treat the body copy similarly by placing each paragraph in a different space, using italics, and sloping each text box. This poster was designed in 2012.

Body copy:

"Canterbury's unsung hero.

By day, Flat Man is an everyday student at Canterbury University. By night he wears a costume that he designed, consisting of a facemask, leotard and cape in the Canterbury colours of red and black. Inspired by the Student Volunteer Army, this superhero sneakily delivers parcels to struggling families, earthquake victims, and poor students. He started the cause using only his own money, but since then has organised sponsors and set up a Facebook page and website where people can donate.

Flat Man is working with the Red Cross and is also fundraising to get $10,000 to create winter packs for long-suffering Canterbury residents. As his cause has grown, he has more recently enlisted Quake Kid and his own mum – Flat Mum, to help him with his deliveries. Their motto is “be a bruv, share the luv.” 

Flat Man keeps his identity hidden from everyone except for his mother. He successfully raises people’s spirits with kind acts such as handing out giant lolly pops to strangers and attending public events. He knows the stories of all the homes he delivers to and makes his parcels personal to each. The masked hero is an inspiration and symbol of hope for Cantabrians. He received a Christchurch Earthquake Award for his actions, and takes no personal credit as he keeps his true identity totally hidden."