Two enterprising graphic design undergraduates from Kingston University, Alex Brown and Ben West initiated the project.
According to Brown, the third-year students wrote to around 200 studios, designers and illustrators asking for rejected work.
Submissions then followed from the likes of consultancy Music and also Sagmeister Inc, which sent in a design for an exhibition invite made of ham. Yes, ham.
According to Brown, Sagmeister sent him a hand-cut pork-based invitation to his The Happy Show exhibition – which later became a sort-of laser-cut gammon invite. So providing it doesn’t go off, the piece that Thanks But No Thanks display is a less a reject and more a prototype.
‘It’s understandable that some people didn’t want to contribute – Bob Gill wrote back to say he didn’t have any rejected work. We’re still thinking about putting that letter into the exhibition though.’
NB Studio donated a set of Russian dolls painted with cats on the front, which it used as part of a branding campaign for Russian bank Pyjom. The work wasn’t rejected but NB Studio no longer had use for it.
We even liked the invite for this show, which arrived scrunched up in a little box, as if to appear discarded, just like the rejected work, and those poor hounds.
All of the works will be exhibited on the campaign site http://thanksbut.com/ and at the Beach Gallery, 20 Cheshire Street, E2 from 1-6 May. On the final day an auction will be held.