NHS Southampton

Sails and Seabirds Signage


There is no greater gift than the gift of life, personification of the best in humanity. We collaborated with Hospital Art Studio and NHS Southampton to create a touching tribute to organ donors and their families.

Along with the Tree of Yorkshire Birds, this was our proudest moment. To be able to represent these amazing donors in such a beautiful piece of art, was truly breath-taking.

Sailing into a New Life

Sails and Seabirds is a huge graphic that stretched across the length of the building. It’s 80-meters square of digitally printed vinyl in x20 drops that covered the bulkhead with a sail pattern. It featured the raised lettering of a short poem and the wording Gift of Life, surrounded by glistening aluminium birds and wide format printed sails as the backdrop. The artwork filled the entire atrium with bright pastel colours.

The symbolism in this job was clear too see, the sails represent how organ donation can put the wind back in someone’s sails and push them on, getting stronger and stronger. The soaring birds are a symbol of the heights and freedom that receiving a gift like this can give you. Along with the evocative poem included in the piece, it makes for a poignant message.

Creative Design

Shimmering Seabirds

We made 98 birds, which all have a bespoke cutting shape and digitally printed design to the face from brushed light blue, ocean coloured aluminium to reflect in different patterns and create light effects on surrounding walls. They were all produced from 3mm brushed ACM- each bird had its own unique reference number printed to the reverse, so the install team knew where on the final design it was to be placed. We installed them with hidden spacers to make them stand out with a shadowed backdrop. It was important to us that the birds looked as if they were flying, so we used no external support and each sculpture was mounted individually.

Our very own David Shackleton and Edward Hillam took care of this project, they managed it completely from the start, including liaising with Hospital Art Studio who design the stunning artwork. We also providing samples and designs to the client when needed.

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Thanks to all at Imageco for their brilliant attention to detail and meticulous planning at all stages of production. This was abundantly clear as everything was carefully packed and clearly labelled with installation plans and notes for us. Headed by John Simpson of Onsite Print Installations, our 5-person team took 4 days to travel and complete the installation - the process was smooth and stress-free with Imageco's excellent work! Tony van de Bospoort, Partner at Hospital Art Studio

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