19 May 2024, 22:12
By Furniture News May 04, 2023

Graffiti Design – signed up for success in Gateshead

Fresh from delivering the eye-catching signgage that features throughout Barker and Stonehouse’s new flagship store in Gateshead, Bruce Pestell, MD of Sussex-based signmaker Graffiti Design, reflects on the project’s goals and challenges … 

How long have you worked with Barker and Stonehouse, and what notable projects have you delivered for the retailer?

We’ve been working with Barker and Stonehouse for two years. After seeing an editorial feature on Graffiti Design, Barker and Stonehouse contacted our projects team, and I was delighted to receive their call. At the time I lived in Hove, very close to a Barker and Stonehouse showroom. I’m also a huge interior design fan, so I was familiar with the brand. 

Storytelling and brand communication are very important to Barker and Stonehouse, and I like to think we were just the company they had been looking for. 

We’ve been developing sustainable internal signage with them, to tell the story of their products, ever since. We enjoyed working particularly closely with them to develop the signage concept for their Drew Pritchard Collection, which included hand-finished timber signage with an authentic, aged look, to be installed across every showroom. 

What did you contribute to the new Gateshead flagship store?

Graffiti Design produced the internal signage, which identifies certain areas – such as The Nook, Snug As A Rug, and the amazing in-house bistro, Chadwick and Co. 

Was the brief any different this time around?

We had a variety of signage specifications to develop, producing drawings and visuals to communicate clearly what the finished product would look like. We worked closely with their designers to produce the required look, which was different from that of their previous stores.

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?

It all had to be done in a relatively short timeframe. The signage for The Nook was particularly interesting to make, as it was perforated, and encased faux neon.

What part of it are you most proud of?

That’s a tricky one. We are proud of the great variety of signage products that have been brought together for this project. However, we’re proudest of the fantastic relationship we have with this amazing company, and their team are a pleasure to work with. These relationships are what matter most to us, and we’re very proud of this one. 

Are you working with any other retailers in the furniture sector? 

We’ve just been involved with the launch of the first brick-and-mortar store for Rowen Homes in the Metrocentre in Gateshead. It was an honour to help such an exciting company open their first physical store. 

We’ve also produced all the signage for the new Loaf shack in Edinburgh, and are currently working on Loaf’s newest shack in Leeds, which is set to open later this year. 

Although not in the furniture sector, we have produced the signage for the retailers in the newly repurposed Battersea Power station, along with the internal signage for the destination’s concourses, etc.

What sets you apart from your competitors, and why should furniture retailers considering an overhaul come to you?

We produce 90% of everything we sell in house at our production facility in East Sussex. This allows control over the sustainability of the products we’re working on, and enables us to develop unique ideas swiftly with our in-house design team, producing samples if required, then making the signage in a timely fashion. 

We love being an extended part of our clients’ teams. Being a family business means we take great pride in our work, and, most importantly, in the relationships we have with our customers. We pride ourselves on understanding each industry we work with, and the experience we’ve had with various furniture retailers has given us great insight into this sector. We’ve attended the January Furniture Show to increase our knowledge of the industry – we definitely believe we’re the signage company that’s best placed to help retailers develop innovative signage that will increase their ROI.

Finally, do you have any golden rules for delivering good retail signage?

Having been established since 1976, we can draw on our years of industry experience and gently advise our clients on how best to communicate their brand or product range. My advice would be to keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to go big!

See more of the new Gateshead store in May's issue of Furniture News.

Pictured: The signage for Chadwick and Co, Barker and Stonehouse’s new in-house bistro

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