As a creative, young and energetic signage company we were delighted to be approached to work for one of the city’s leading night life destinations, The Arcadian on Hurst Street.
The Arcadian has taken advantage of Birmingham’s significant regeneration plans and called in creative design consultancy Studio Able, who HNS Signs have worked with before to spruce up the leisure destination.
The area’s transformation consisted of new ‘anamorphic’ hand-painted signage, new way-finding signage throughout the car park along with communal seating and soft lighting in the central piazza to follow.
As creative signage experts, we were asked to produce large scale, hand-painted signage, anamorphic hand painted signage all intrinsic to the architecture to bring the site to life.
To get the graphic right took a lot of planning. HNS Signs project managed the whole operation, bringing the projectionists, council, decorators, videographers, scaffolders and of course our skilled team together to ensure that timings were well managed.
Mike Featherstone of PSP brought van mounted projectors to site at dusk and began to project and correct the image till it appeared to be floating. O’Grady Scaffolding then began to build up the scaffolding so that the HNS team could begin outlining the projection. It was a long night as no-one went home till 2am!
We did it all again the following night for the second image.
Day 3 consisted of sign painting the previous nights projection. As this was considerably smaller, we were able to do this fairly quickly. Once again, we had to apply translucent red vinyl to the windows to keep the image flowing.
Once this was done, we were able to move onto Cathay Street and begin sign painting the teal circle. We used a pre-cut cardboard circle as a template and then applied three coats of paint before using laser cut stencil to spray-paint the lettering and info graphics. Normally these signage requirements would be sign painted, but as the detail was fine and the brickwork course, it was better to spray-paint it and use fine brushes to sharpen up the edges.
The second phase saw the start of the car park works.
As this project was unique, we needed to adapt our skills accordingly throughout the project and workaround a number of challenges.
Prior to the project beginning in September, countless site surveys needed to take place at different parts of the day as thousands of cars and visitors frequented the venue each day.
Each site visit was carefully constructed to ensure the HNS team could understand the visual brief and required outcome, but mostly to provide a robust, long term.
Starting in late November in extremely cold temperatures with five further site visits and additional liaison with suppliers including the projection company to work out positioning and view point for the additional projection. Large projections were outlined and completed at night and smaller projections in the day, again requiring two teams to complete the project working different shifts.
Requiring additional skills, HNS accessed external training including traffic management and usage and application of specialist floor paint due to the nature of the project.
This phase required a mixture of signage media including traditional signwriting, sign making, digital print for maps, floor paint signs and masonry paint.
In Summary, this project required;
- 12 columns signpainting,
- 9 – 20m x 8m directional signs
- 7 – directional staircase signs painted onto plaster and brick
- 4 – bulkheads, sanded back, painted and signwritten
- 5 – stair entrance signs averaging 8x20m
- 7 miscellaneous sign paintings
- 9 x digital prints
- 2 x cantilever illuminated signs
- 3 x double sided entrance signs
The project , the first of its kind for HNS Signs required a number of techniques including cardboard stencils, masonry painting, artwork projection, sharpie outlining, freehand drawing around angles, windows and doors, pre-site preparation of projections, traditional signpainting skills, evening work, and individual bespoke one-off ways of working to provide the final result.
The finished results
This project required;
155 litres of paint
12 cans of spray paint
4 litres of sign writing paint
3 layers of clothing per person
20 sleepless nights (as it had to be done after 8pm)
747 man hours on site
106 man hours prepping
20 decorators’ brushes
18 sable brushes
200 hours design time (external design agency)
75m of paper traces
45m vinyl stencils
27 rolls of masking tape
This project has been short-listed for a Global Award. Have a look at what the Judging panel and FESPA have to say about this project on our Blog page
What the client said
: “We have worked with HNS Signs on a couple of projects now and their attention to detail and creativity is really commendable. It was a natural choice to ask HNS Signs to be part of The Arcadian redevelopment, as I’m not sure who else would’ve been able to complete the project on time, on budget and on brief!”