Hat-Trick’s illuminated letters tell a London story

Hat-Trick Design has unveiled a series of large scale illuminated letters on a hoarding site in London’s Victoria. Each letter evokes a story particular to the area

Hat-Trick Design has unveiled a series of large scale illuminated letters on a hoarding site in London’s Victoria. Each letter evokes a story particular to the area…

“We decided to design a typeface of illuminated letters, with each letter telling a different story for passers by to discover,” says Hat-Trick’s Tim Donaldson of the project for Land Securities.

“For example ‘B’ for Busby bearskin hats, ‘P’ for Pelicans – informed by the famous story of a pelican eating a pigeon whole in St James’ Park (illustrated by Becky Sutherland) – and ‘W’ for Westminster, etc. We then used the typeface to spell out words and sentences so it could be read from further back.

“We wanted to end up with a visually rich and eclectic set of letters to sum up the area,” he continues, “the mix of past, present and future, heritage (royalty, architecture, famous residents), culture, art, green space, wildlife and so on. The style of each individual letter was inspired by the particular story it was telling. We decided the execution could be photographic, illustrative or graphic, depending on what best communicated it, and in a visually engaging way. Each letter became a project in itself.”

To avoid repeating letters the typeface also includes alternative variations. A couple of letters were also based on, or redrawn from found letters, such as a found gothic style ‘W’ for Westminster. The use of purple and silver refers to Land Securities’ colour palette.

Some more examples of the thinking behind the letter choices: the ‘D’ for deckchairs in St James’ Park was informed by the stripes on the fabric; the ‘F’ for the local farmer’s market (famous for it’s fish) uses a ‘fishy’ F combined with a close-up of scales texture; the ‘O’ refers to the Olympics as Victoria will be hosting the beach volleyball events.

Here are a few of the individual letters, plus a complete set of 26 characters.

  • I love it!

  • “Lovely stuff” not my words Michael, the words of Shakin’ Stevens!

    A really well executed project!

  • This is a great and perfect work!!! Congrats!

  • m.mcdowell

    nice type

  • Agung S. Ongko

    If only all hoardings were so lovely!

  • Again, some nice typography :).

  • Love this! Such a nice outcome for something that is usually bland and boring.

  • Brilliant!

  • tm

    Simply beautiful

  • Very nice indeed! Great to see someone brighten up what is usually a boring presentation of what’s to follow. Love the colour as well.

  • Oskar Kjellberg

    A very lovely and Creative result. Here’s another challenge you might want to deal with. Every year Coley Porter Bell runs the Shine Award. It’s a three round competition. And in round three we ask the best ten to design a poster for next year’s competition
    The prize is £3,000 and a 3 month work placement.
    Read more about Shine Award in our blog; http://www.cpb.co.uk/blog/

  • “…informed by the famous story of a pelican eating a pigeon whole in St James’ Park.” News to me, cool illustration in any event…

  • Fresh, fanciful and other adjectives in that vein! Would love to do a hand lettered, calligraphic version.

  • Kudos – Love what you did here. Very engaging, wish more building sites took this creative approach. Gives us designers a good name 😉

    Why purple?

  • It looks particularly attractive with the hoarding boards being a shiny/reflective material.

  • Beautiful work! It’s fun to see the letters on such a large scale. Although the letter T looks quite similar to a letter I from Jessica Hische’s Daily Drop Cap project.

  • This is a breath of fresh air – and the purple is surely a reflection of the regal postcode? Buck Pal isn’t a million miles from Victoria, after all. Maybe not… We’ve added the letter L, known as ‘little ben’ say Hat-Trick, to our typography blog that champions letter Ls! http://lumacreative.co.uk/blog/2010/10/little-ben/

  • What does X stand for??

  • Wow fantastic, what a great idea! So much creativity along a pavement, why replace it with a building?

  • Truly beautiful work. Nice idea tying in past present and future. A shame that the building that replaces it will most probably be another bland glass and steel corporate behemouth wheras the past was rich in diversity. A well commissioned smokescreen by Land Securities.

  • Karyn Wagner

    I live in California and just discovered your work through the Indaba conference in SA. (Online) Your presentation delivered exactly what you had hoped. My brain is tickled. While I am an extremely visual person, I am a writer, not a graphic designer. And yet? My brain is whirling.

    Thank you.

  • I LOVE this piece of art/work, it captures everyone’s eye when they look at it. I just have 1 question, how can I find the names of each letter. From Anonymous