Little Stars Nursery School wall mural,
The Little Stars nursery is a newly opened nursery school on a old army barracks in the village of Waterbeach just outside of Cambridge.The old army barrack houses are in the process of being renovated and sold to the general public, by doing this it will create a whole new community around the school. This means there is a huge number of parents moving in that are wanting their children to join the nursery school which gives scope for the nursery school to grow and become a great centre point for this new community. The wall mural is a ideal solution to help the nursery school to get noticed and achieve becoming bigger and this centre point. To get noticed the wall mural needs to be more than something that just looks good, it has to communicate and enhance the schools presents and purpose. To do this we need to show them what Little Stars! The Children, teachers and helpers. What and who they are. This all happened by me taking on a art director role and comprised a plan to allow the children of the school to generate the content for the wall mural themselves. This was done by trying the Wall Mural into a project that consisted of four different phases.
Phase 1: First we needed a visual writing tool in the form of a font. To create this I tasked the children with drawing me letters onto a 11x11cm pieces of paper, I then scanned each piece into the computer and turned them into a font.
Phase 2: Text for the mural doesn’t come from already existing material, it comes from the children of the nursery school. I spent a couple of days at the nursery and joined in with the children, asking them questions and listening to the things they say, this gave me a selection of quotes to use for the finished wall mural.
Phase 3: Now with the all the content and design tools collected, I designed a grid roughly to scale with the mural wall and created a typographic layout of the quotes and using the Little Star’s children’s font.
Phase 4: The final phase is creating and putting up the mural. tools, methods and materials! I went through a number of ideas like wall wraps and laster cut vinyl stickers but none came within the budget so the chosen solution is to laser cut stencils and then using paint stencil the design onto the wall. This would keep the wall mural just under the budget.
The Material and Method: To get the best result and keep the mural within a realistic budget the best solution would be to paint the wall with a base coat of standard household white wall paint. Then create wall stencils of the mural design and stencil them onto the wall using a standard household paint again but in the chosen design colours. To finish off the mural I would use a varnish sealant to help prolong the walls murals life.
The Design: using a grid to typographically layout the children’s quotes and using the Little Stars font which is made from digital versions of their hand drawn letters. The overall finished design is pleasing to the eye while maintaining a fun aspect to it but it is also important to remember that while I organised the information and set out the end result the primary creates of this design was the children of the Little Stars nursery school.
The project is still waiting on final funding for the go ahead.
A interesting thought that came from this project was the idea of the type design discipline being used in a responsive and socially-pro-active manner.