Scher’s school project

A pair of huge typographic murals by Pentagram’s Paula Scher form the centrepiece of two new schools in Queens, New York

Photo: Ian Roberts

A pair of huge typographic murals by Pentagram‘s Paula Scher form the centrepiece of two new schools in Queens, New York

Photo: Ian Roberts

Scher has been working for some time on a series of large-scale map paintings and prints. Under the auspices of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art programme, which funds artists to create permanent public artworks in municipal buildings and spaces, Scher was commissioned to create the murals for the two schools of the Queens Metropolitan Campus in the city’s Forest Hills area.

Photo: Ian Roberts

Each mural covers approximately 2,430 square feet. The first, shown here, is a map of the New York metropolitan region.

Scher’s original painting (top) and the artist standing with it in the studio of Michael Imlay. Photos: Ian Roberts

Scher originally painted the map at an eight feet by six feet scale in three pieces. To enlarge the image for the mural, Scher worked with Michael Imlay, a painter based in Brooklyn.

Scher and Imlay with one of the boards that are pieced together to form the mural. Photo: Ian Roberts

At his studio, Imlay and his team projected the painting onto a series of panels and repainted the enlarged image. The finished mural consists of over 100 of these panels, some in odd sizes to fit into the atrium’s corners and around its windows and other fixtures.

Projecting the original image to be copied onto boards

Some of the finished boards for the mural. Photos: Ian Roberts

An exploded view of how the boards fit into the space


  • OCD

    What about epilepsy? I personally like it, but wouldn’t that make some people dizzy?

  • barnaby hall

    Lovely. Your painting made me feel all funny. In a positive sort of way!
    Hope all’s well in NYC

  • No need for drugs for sure. a good promotion for a drug free America. You want stimulation? Stand in this space.

  • Not sure…really….a taste of déjà vu > Keit haring PopArt Shop ?!



  • I keep on thinking of Matlow’s Refreshers. Yum! Must pop to the newsagent to stock up.

  • Man Man

    Yeah nothing can be good unless its not a cause for epileptic seizures. Nice observation @OCD If we’re so concerned about the epileptic or humanity for that matter, maybe it best we stopped driving entirely first.

  • rebecca greenhalgh

    saw abit about this piece when Scher spoke at the 4designers conference for students in New York earlier this year… its great to see it coming together it looks brilliant

  • Reminds me of refresher bar wrappers, it’s great! Wish my school had this!

  • chris

    Love it.

  • Its excellent, but definitely would make me feel dizzy. It makes me dizzy just looking at it here. It looks like it may have taken some time to create. I love the way so many bright colours are being used these days. I’m sure the primary colour family are most happy about this.

  • Lou


  • Dan Gorham

    Amazing! I wish my collage had the balls to do something like this, other than dull white walls. Right up my street.

  • manifigue …original

  • Jasmine Farahat

    I think it is really wonderful that some schools are willing to pour some funds into the creative hemisphere of art. In my old High School I was extremely upset when the school decided to paint white over old art wall murals. The education system can be a bit stifling sometimes. Having so much stimulation and color and expression dripping from the walls, I believe, can be that modicum of freedom that refreshes the students’ spirits.

  • Lots and lots of credit to Michael Imlay’s team. There was definitely not enough information in the original painting to turn this into a complete, 3D, interlocking piece of work. But it seems as though he pulled it off! Congrats!