We were excited to be approached by London North Eastern Railway (LNER) to produce a full-coverage graphic for the 100ft façade for the LNER Community Stadium in York. LNER carry a proud reputation for connecting the North to the South via the railways with York being one of its principal destinations. They wanted to commemorate their reputation, and their links with York, with a community mural for the city – and we were the best people for the job!
The main objective of the project was to produce a durable printed solution with great visuals that would leave a long-term impression on the fans of York FC and visitors to the stadium. The project also focused on boosting LNER’s brand awareness at a more local and community-minded level. The designs, created by the University of York, were inspired by the local area, and aimed to create a sense of pride in those from the area.
The façade was particularly tricky to navigate, due to its sloping from various angles. Because of the façade’s complexity, we knew that to get the best-quality outcome we needed to be generous with time. Each element of the project, from how to retrieve the most accurate measurements to the choice of the most appropriate materials for the graphic panels, needed to be comprehensively assessed and considered. This way, we could limit and control any potential for errors (both short and long-term), whilst ensuring each stage was carried out to the best quality.
Getting the Measurements
To help determine the façade’s measurements, we explored a 3D scan of the building to provide details of the slope and the angles. We knew our joints would need to coincide with the façade’s panel joints, and measuring these by hand would not only be a mammoth task but also increase the risk of human error! We produced test panels against the façade’s measurements obtained by the scan to determine the accuracy of this scan. The measurements we generated were of highly accurate tolerance meaning we could progress to the next stage of the project.
Choosing the Materials
Next, we were able to take the scan and overlay the artwork. Not before choosing the best material for the job – the façade’s panels have a light texture, making it difficult for certain types of vinyl to stick to. After, we decided that the architectural vinyl of choice would be the Metamark High Tac Vinyl as it offered the longest-wearing durability we needed.
Printing on HP Latex 800 W with matching laminate, we produced panels of the highest quality. With hundreds of panels making up the façade, our team worked really hard to accurately label each panel of the architectural vinyl. This ensured a smooth installation. For absolute accuracy, we placed panels piece by piece, section by section, meaning the installation took place over the course of a week. And the result was worth it! The LNER Community Stadium now has an incredibly striking façade made up of modern illustrations, seeping in the brightest colours.
From start to finish, the entire project took 100 hours, and we think it was well worth it. The graphics are incredibly vibrant, catching the eye of both fans and visitors alike. Our installation of the panels was carried out to absolute perfection, breathing life into the rail operator’s role in connecting the North and the South. The once dull façade is now covered with beautiful illustrations created by the University of York of the city's most iconic tourist attractions.