Apparition Media Are Bringing Back Old School Sign Writing With A Twist

This year has seen as seismic shift in the evolution of rebel marketing group Apparition Media (Apparition) who specialise in a unique form of marketing, hand–painted murals, which wed the thriving Australian street-art culture to advertisers wanting to connect with the public inimitably.

Anna (Annie) Field
Posted by Anna (Annie) Field

Co-founders Tyson Hunter, Tristan Minter and Hamish McBride are revitalising the sign-writing discipline of old, thrusting the obsolete craft into relevance by moving it into the digital space.

From painting murals for free in 2014, the business has exploded in 18 months with over 100 murals painted, another 15 sites added to an ever-expanding portfolio and 15 employees added to their payroll. The business has experienced 400 per cent growth in the last 12 months and Apparition are on track to turn over two million dollars this financial year.

Apparition Media Show Reel from Apparition Media on Vimeo.

Apparition murals aren’t average – the artistic team are often seen hanging over the sides of buildings, 15-stories high, painting 200sqm pieces of art. For each design completed, video content and photography detailing the creation is shared online. Images of Apparition works have reached the front page of Reddit, receiving 1.2 million views.

The team have created murals for the likes 2oolander (Zoolander 2), the game, Halo 5 and the footwear brands, Nike and Vans. Roadshow, Samsung, Disney and Marvel have most recently been added to Apparition’s expanding roster of global clients.

Inspired to start the business in 2014 after seeing a worn billboard advertisement for The Dark Knight movie on an old milk bar in Melbourne’s Preston, and thinking how much better it would look if it were hand painted, the trio got to work creating free murals for brands they wanted to work with in the hope they’d get noticed.

“One day we got a phone call from Universal McCann – they had won the Coca-Cola Amatil account and asked us to present,” said Hunter.

“I flew up, presented and, when I walked out, called Tristan and Hamish and said I had a really good feeling about it. Sure enough, we won it and have never looked back – we’ve seen a steady stream of international clients come knocking on our door ever since.”

An initial lack of specific industry knowledge was not the challenge for Apparition Media, it was finding clients to take a risk with them and while the business is rapidly expanding those who have been there since the start remain consistent, from their original staff all the way to their first clients.

“Dulux has sponsored us from the off and Bank of Melbourne was one of our first big clients. They have both shown us exceptional levels of ongoing support throughout our trajectory,” said Minter.

“We still work with them today, seek their advice and collaborate on projects. We foster great relationships with all our clients in fact, and this will always remain part of our business model.”