Nine new huge wall murals reveal club’s past with a nod to an eco-aware future
Bradford City AFC has upgraded the interior of its stadium with the installation of nine giant sized wall murals depicting past players and key moments in the club’s history.
The murals measuring between 3 to 11m in width and 2.5 to 3m in length were printed on Gecko Greyback PVC-free Kavalan from CMYUK. They were designed and printed by Leading Edge Signage and Graphics based in Liversedge, West Yorkshire. The digital print house worked directly with the football club to update the client-facing areas of the Utilita Energy Stadium that included corridors, conference and hospitality suites.
“We like to lead by example, and we know that the onus now is everyone being kinder to the planet. When it came to picking the material for the job, we not only wanted to put our beliefs forward but modernise the stadium by using an eco-friendly product,” says Matthew Evans, Managing Director at Leading Edge.
A blend of old and new
Bradford City AFC wanted to pay homage to the club’s past but in a contemporary way. It wanted to use a selection of photographic images from its archives – many of which were small, grainy and poor quality, and supersize them for large wall graphics.
While the only black and white original photograph depicting an historical shot of the ground reproduced well when enlarged, Leading Edge graphic designers had to devise a clever strategy to handle the rest of the coloured photos dating back to the ‘80s and ‘90s.
“We just couldn’t blow them up and retain any quality. So we applied a stylised treatment to the images. They were enlarged and any obvious blemishes were covered up, then run through a series of filters that were blended together. This worked really well capturing the Club’s history but in a modern way. The style is a blend of geometric backgrounds with a painted style – bringing together the old and the new,” says Mathew.
Initially, Leading Edge Signage and Graphics produced eight murals but the club liked them so much, it requested another. In all, 180sq.m of PVC-free Kavalan was used. PVC-free Kavalan is up to 50% lighter than traditional PVC. It comes in 3.2m and 5m wide rolls, allowing murals to be installed as single piece wallcoverings, making installation far quicker and easier.
Forward thinking with eco materials
Like many digital print providers, Leading Edge Signage and Graphics is very conscious of the fact that the signage industry has historically been heavily biased in the use of plastics and metals.
“We believe,” says Matthew, “that everyone can do better to help the environment. So, we’re constantly on the lookout for new materials that can offer the same results, but with a more eco-conscious approach.”
The company began evaluating PVC-free Kavalan back in 2020 pacing itself with job rollouts with the material once the company had satisfied itself in respect of the longevity of the material. The brief and scope of the Bradford City AFC seemed perfect for a larger scale application.
Leading Edge has nothing but praise for this PVC-free banner material. “The quality was fantastic, our prints remained vibrant and crisp with the Kavalan Gecko, and the available roll-widths made it a breeze to install full wall displays as a single-piece wallpaper,” says Matthew.
Offering viable eco-solutions is fast becoming an integral part of Leading Edge’s business rationale.
Says Matthew, “As we grow and learn, so do our clients. Through the past year we’ve seen increasing numbers of our big customers ask us to help them finder greener solutions for their existing signage. Whether it is more eco-friendly wall coverings, sustainably engineered fibreboards for window displays, or plastic sheeting with recycled foam cores, we’re constantly finding new solutions.
“The world is changing and learning, and staying at the forefront of the eco-wave can only benefit everyone in the long term. Thinking green will always be important to us here at Leading Edge.”
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