Hellzapoppin'!: The Art of Flying Nun

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Art Direction
Brand Identity

Project Overview

Marking the fortieth anniversary of Aotearoa’s legendary Flying Nun Records, Hellzapoppin’! brings together original artwork and design, film, record covers, posters and photography from some of New Zealand’s favourite bands. A labour of love, the book was designed in collaboration with Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū to catalogue their 2021 exhibition of the same name.

For the overall design, we wanted to achieve the considered feel of a gallery publication with the energy of Flying Nun’s famous DIY aesthetic. We chose the largest scale we could practically produce — big enough that we could include 12” record covers at actual size, set type close (a nod to pre-computer design) and played around with the scale and placement of images to give a dynamic fanzine-like feel, true to the lo-fi nature and era of the work on show. The main thing was to honour the art without the design overshadowing it.

Bathgate Design were awarded the Gold Pin for publication and book design and coveted Purple Pin for graphics at the 2022 Best Awards; Australasia’s largest annual showcase of excellence in design.

The judges commented: “All the judges were so excited about this amazing piece of work. It captured the essence and the homespun attitude of Flying Nun, which is such an important part of New Zealand’s identity. Such an outstanding piece of work!”



To help fund the project, we created a limited edition pre-sale of the publication, featuring a metallic ink cover and poster wrap with original artwork by Ronnie Van Hout. These were screen printed by hand in Ōtautahi Christchurch by local artists Tjalling de Vries and Scott Jackson, using a mixture of fluro inks and different Colorplan papers — meaning no two were alike.

Every limited edition artwork came numbered and stamped with our hand-illustrated Quasi-inspired Ronnie Van Hout seal of approval.
The Hellzapoppin’! brand was also applied to signage and outdoor advertising, highly visible in the gallery and exhibition spaces as well as a nationwide poster campaign, helping the gallery exceed its projected visitor numbers.