The Mercury Project
Graphic Design Niklas Fagerholm
Client: Mid Sweden University – International Master Packaging Design and Communication.
Photo: SGU Swedish Geology Department

In the bay outside Sundsvall Sweden 23 000 barrels containing 9000kg of Mercury cast in concrete were dumped in the water during the 1960s. The barrels were dumped on international water in accordiance with Swedish and international law at the time. Nobody did anything wrong.
The problem is well known by Swedish and international governments, press,  and the public.
2006 the Swedish Geology Department (SGU) located and positioned 3500 of these barells. SGU also documented the status of the barrells, and found that they are in bad shape.

Iron Barrels are not designed for eternity, especially if stored in seawater.

Merucry is highly toxic and causes nerve damage which among other things leads to learning difficulties.
The use of Mercury is totally  forbidden in Sweden. Mercury waste is to be collected and stored for eternity at special facilities. This packaging design problem became the base of the communication to advertise the start of the International Masters Programme in Packaging Design and Communication at Mid Sweden University.

1. An exhibition on Campus Sundsvall In collaboration with the research project ”Live Paper” we printed the material on a new sound proof paper.
2. Posters
3. Letters to the Alumni
Five letters were sent out to former students from our candidate programme containing information about the barells, about Mercury in general and the new Masters Programme. One of the letters also contained a ticket which no one had asked for. This was a competition. The fifth and last letter was to let one former student know that he'd won the competition and the excellent book ”What is a Designer” by Norman Potter
4. Brochure

SGU kindly gave me permission to use the footage.
50 x 70 cm Poster.
50 x 70cm Poster showing the status of the barells.
Four 50 x 70 cm poster containing of 23 000 dots. The 3 500 green dots are barrells we know exactly where they are.
The 19 500 black dots are barrels that are still unaccounted for.
50 x 70 cm Poster made of mobile photos from Swedish Television text service.
Announcing that the barrels are going to be raised.
45 cm x 300 cm poster for the exhibition printed on sound proof paper.
Official correspondence between the County Governor and the Swedish Minister of Environement.

113 cm x 300 cm poster for the exhibition, printed on sound proof paper. 23 000 dots in accurate scale from a real barrel.
The green dots are the 3 500 barrels we know the exact position of.
The pictures in the background are sonar photos of barrels
resting on the bottom of the ocean outside Sundsvall.
The text is short information about Mercury and that it causes nerve damage.

Especially if mixed with water.

First letter to the alumni.
Second letter to the alumni.
Second letter to the alumni.
Second letter to the alumni.
Third letter to the alumni.
Third letter to the alumni.
Third letter to the alumni.
Third letter to the alumni.
Fourth letter to the alumni.
Fourth letter to the alumni.
Fourth letter to the alumni.
Ticket attached to the fourth letter to the alumni.
Brochure. The black text is about the education and the blue about the Mercury Barrels.
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