Last December I was contacted by Sectorlight to help them create a series of six illustrated hoardings for Braeburn Estates Limited Partnership, the company overseeing the branding of the Shell Centre redevelopment on London's Southbank. Themes for the illustrations were to be based on the attractiveness on the finished redevelopment and the environmentally conscious approach to the process as a whole. Inspiration for the illustrations was drawn from the works of Magritte, Dali and Warhol.
The resulting concepts for the images had already been approved so my job was to effectively realise them and technically produce artworks that could be enlarged to approximately 3 metres (9.8 ft) high by 4.5 metres (14 ft) wide. The illustrations are to be in place for around three years.
The hoardings have all now been installed and you can see them as soon as you leave Waterloo Station running along the length of York Road. A couple have been repeated on Belvedere Road and Chicheley Street. The iconic London Eye provides a picturesque backdrop.
Here's a little background info on the production of the illustrations.
CAFÉS, DELIS & SHOPS
Originally the plan was have white hoardings. This was later changed to a gold coloured background because of concerns around how long the hoardings would remain a true white, especially as they are situated next to a busy main road.
On the face of it the 'clouds and coffee' illustration was one of the most straightforward to create but opinions differed on what exactly what constitutes the perfect coffee. Accordingly I made the following variations for the client to decide what they thought best. I hoped they would choose number five with the face swirling in the coffee as that fitted well with the surrealist theme in the other illustrations, but in the end they opted for the fourth option.
TARGETTING 15% OF CONSTRUCTION JOBS
Below is a comparative print out for reference purposes when working. Black and white artwork print, left, with enlargement on the right.
ViIEWS OVER WESTMINSTER
The crop below shows the actual artwork size I was working to - around 15 inches high at 350dpi. So, not huge but big enough to accommodate the amount of detail some of the images required, like this one of Big Ben.
TARGETTING ZERO WASTE
One of my stylistic traits, even pre-digitally, is to add an element of graininess. This proved problematic when test prints were run off. The printed size was around 700% of artwork size so what appeared to be a delicate stipple on screen came across as hugh chunky blocks when run out. The samples below are around 200%. After a little trial and error the third version worked out fine.
In some ways this is the odd one out. Although there is the Daliesque 'flap' and crutch the client wanted to include a type of photographic representation of how the development would appear when finished. A sort of 'peek behind the scenes'. It was agreed towork from a photograph andto simplify and abstract it so it fell somewhere between a photo and illustration. Here is a closer look at one section.
The finished artworks were all very well received by the client and the installation took place around the Shell Centre on March 2nd 2016.