A serious bit of work

At around 2,000 square metres, with 180,000 letters and a £2.6m budget, Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet is graphic design on the grandest scale

COMEDY CARPET – WHY NOT ASSOCIATES / GORDON YOUNG

Created by the artist Gordon Young and design studio Why Not Associates and unveiled late last year, the Comedy Carpet is a vast typographical artwork that occupies a plot between Blackpool Tower and the sea.

The artwork is a celebration of Blackpool’s rich and unique comedy heritage and is made up of approximately 180,000 letters carved from Indian granite set in specially formulated bright white concrete. Just shy of 2,000 square metres, the work features monologues, gags, punchlines and catchphrases uttered by the hundreds of comedians from Britain and beyond who have performed in Blackpool over the years.

Young andAndy Altmann of Why Not, with invaluable input from local historian Barry Band, compiled a list of comedians who have performed in Blackpool, researching each performer, reading dozens of biographies and histories, collating jokes, sketches and catchphrases which they could commemorate in the artwork.

The design of the Comedy Carpet takes cues from the vernacular of historic comedy programmes and posters housed at an archive at the town’s Winter Gardens and found on eBay and in specialist shops.

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NAO (National Audit Office)