Lettering Mural for the new Irish Independent offices.
Location: Dublin, Ireland.
I was approached by the company to do a lettering mural for their newly revamped offices in Dublin city. After a brief conversation about my work, my style of lettering and what I could do for the wall, we wanted to go ahead with creating a lettering mural to cover a corridor that stretched for 33ft.
(I say ‘we’ because it was a team based effort, there was never a them/they).
Initial mockups of what the wall was going to look like were created for management. It was a large project so to get an idea of the final product before work started was needed so it could be given the go-ahead. I was passionate about experimenting with a gradient paint style and presented this idea in the mockup, which was instantly given a thumbs up.
The lettering was to encompass the brands’ values – ‘Challenge’, ‘Fresh’, ‘Passionate’, ‘Connected’.
Each piece was lettered in a single-stroke style, with shading in the letters to add depth. This was created in a long narrow corridor, so getting a picture of the entire artwork laid out is next to impossible. It was made with nearly 40 cans of ‘Montana 94’ spray. Which is a good unit for measuring if you yourself ever want to use spray paint for lettering. The entire canvas was 8.5ft (H) x 33ft (W). Of course this is going to be different in each case, depending on airflow, nozzle, coating, surface texture etc.
We started by spraying the base on the wall, which was made up of 5 different shades of pink. Going from dark on the bottom of the wall to light on the top of the wall. After this was dry, the nozzles were changed to a wider, softer spray in order to blend the colours together and create a detailed gradient, 5-tone, and not 2-tone.
When the colour was set on the wall I began sketching (by hand) the letters using a simple pencil, knowing that the white colour was going to overlay and cover the pencil line. There was a lot of math involved with the wall, having to divide each word between the amount of letters in a word, length of the wall, and the kerning and tracking each word needed to make it readable at such a close distance. People would be walking past it at eye level after all, and at only 2 foot away.
After the words were sketched and measured, the outline of the each word was made up, with 4-inches in width for each letter. From here, there were multiple ways of executing the lettering.
- Use a paint pen and colour by hand.
- Use transparent masking tape and a flat blade to cut out the shape of each letter and spray.
- Cut stencils out of large cardboard and spray onto wall.
Plus various other ways including printing the words on vinyl, using masking fluid to draw around the letters, and pounce patterns. I went with the masking tape approach, although now, looking back, for this particular style at this size and environment (low airflow), it would have been easier to use paint pens for the lettering part of the mural. Lessons learned.
The problem faced with the masking tape approach was if it affected the wall, ie. if it pulled the paint of the wall when you pulled the tape off for the words. To overcome this problem, use a very cheap masking tape found in a discount store, the worse the better. You are only using it to simply stop the spray paint from overflowing outside the lines and making it look fuzzy/furry.
After the words were done and dried on the wall a similar approach as used with the shading of the lettering. Putting masking tape on the upper parts of the letters and gently using a light grey spray to ‘massage’ or spray away from the cause, thus leaving a soft shadowy effect.
Apologies for the quality of the photos, the lighting setup is rather peculiar in the corridor, offering spotlights with older ‘yellow’ bulbs, which turns the pinks orange in these. If you want to know the exact ‘Montana 94’ colours I used for this project, hit me up here – Twitter
Or equally, if you want to hire me or work together on a mural project, get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is each individual words on the wall along with the behind the scenes ‘making of’ –
Behind the scenes shots –