In September 2022 the College began significant restoration work to the Chapel’s roof, replacing the lead roofing and installing solar panels (invisible from the ground). The work required the installation of a hoarding – forty metres long, three metres high – to house machinery and equipment, along a section of King’s Parade, a hugely popular partially pedestrianised street in the centre of the city.
The College wanted to commission ‘an engaging and visually stimulating design for the hoarding’, to be in place for the duration of the work, between a year and eighteen months. They wanted the hoarding to showcase the various initiatives and activities they’d been carrying out to reduce the College’s environmental impact. The brief was for something attractive, informative and visually engaging, making bold use of colour and imagery.
I went hunting for an illustrator to work on the project, and found the perfect person in Owen Davey – a hugely talented illustrator who has worked on a lot of illustrated books, including the glorious Curiositree: Natural World. Because you can get really close to the hoarding, it was important that it looked just as good close up as it did from across the street – which suited Owen’s vector based artwork perfectly, since it can scale to any size and remain sharp.
I worked with Jonty Carr at King’s to put together a specific illustration brief, and created a full layout for the hoarding.
It needed to be read from either end, with clear divisions between each of nine sections. It was also really important to avoid running text across divisions between each 1.5 metre printed panel, and we needed to provide areas of solid colour at a couple of places along the length of the hoarding, to leave room during installation for small changes in ground height. We also needed to see how a low stone wall in front of the hoarding would affect things depending on where you viewed it from.