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The Waterloo Project

The Waterloo Project

“The past gave Waterloo it’s character.

The Future has infinite potential.

Great choices are made in the now.”  

– Chocolate Ltd.

The Concept

Working with Identity Signs, we were asked to help bring the designers (Chocolate Ltd) idea to life. They had been given a unique space under Waterloo Station to transform into a marketing suite for a new retail development which is currently under construction.

The idea was to combine the old with the new. Old building with new technology. Traditional signwriting with modern digital print. In short, create an experience which reflects the Past, Present and the Future and is seamlessly joined through one timeline. The continuous timeline was made through digital print and sign-painting. Both had to match up perfectly. Identity Signs took care of the digital print leaving us to mark out the timeline across the floors, walls and ceilings. This joined the three rooms and corridors.

The Challenges

  • The first challenge that we had to contend with was the condition of the bricks.
    Having been neglected for many years, much of the brick crumbled at touch. We had to find ways of still marking out the design and painting the brick in spite of this.

    Where the bricks were badly broken, we had to adapt the design so that the timeline went onto the floor instead. This was done so that the text would be legible. In many areas, the brick was in such a condition that we were unable to use our trusted paper traces and instead had to free hand draw the design. Where the brick had to be coloured but had no text, we simply had to dab the brush onto it. We got through a lot of brushes!!!

  • The second problem was damp!
    On several walls it took two days for the colour bands to dry. This creates complications when you have a lot of text to paint on top. Most of the walls were so damp that we could not tape our paper traces to the walls. Nothing would stick to them! We had to cut out the lettering from the trace to create a stencil and have one or two people hold it in position, whilst another used a soft nib pen to mark it out.
  • Flaking paint was another problem.
    As soon as we touched the old paint with new it blistered and fell off. The client wanted the distressed look, but this was taking it to extremes! We ended up flagging down a taxi and going on a pursuit of a decorators store so that we could buy anti-peel treatment.  This didn’t help as much as you’d think!
  • Other challenges including the sheer height!
    We had to use a scaffold tower where possible and high ladders else where. Where we had to sign-paint onto the ceiling, it all had to be done free-hand as we had no scaled artwork for this as the designer was unable to get dimensions.


This project was our most challenging to date. But we love it and are very proud of it.

Here’s a few stats for you:

Quoted it 21st June

Received final artwork 26th June

Started on site 27th June

Finished 2nd July.

Time:  12 hours of prep work in our offices (creating paper traces, packing our site kit etc) 154 hours on site

Paints used

  • 10l of  pink, red, green and yellow paint
  • 5l of white and black paint
  • 5l of anti-peel treatment

Get a quote today!
Call us today on 0121 271 0250 or email us at sales@hnssigns.co.uk

We’re here to help.

If you have any questions or would like a free no-obligation quote, please contact us. Our team of professionals look forward to hearing from you.

Unit 3 Kings Norton Trading Estate
Stockmans Close
West Midlands
B38 9TS 

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HNS Signs Ltd, Unit 3 Kings Norton Trading Estate, Stockmans Cl, Birmingham B38 9TS

Call us today on 0121 271 0250
Email us at [email protected]

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