Brierfield, Lancashire (Long and Narrow)The owner approached me because he wanted the plain main wall behind the car wash ‘to make people’s heads turn as they walked or drove by’, as he put it. As he had not put up any signs as yet, he also wanted the wall to identify the name of the business and a short description about what the business does, whilst at the same time being colourful and creative. After a short discussion, I suggested to him a simple, bold and abstract design to cover the entire length of the wall. The wall was long, so I suggested a large ‘graffiti like’ design for the word ‘Splash!’, riding on a wave of water and a cartoon-like bi-plane pulling a long banner with a motto for the business, flying over a choppy sea with curvy waves to depict the water. He liked the design on paper, but the motto which was to go inside the ‘banner’ was a separate issue(!)
‘Washes In A Dash ‘n’ Valets In a Flash’
‘Some people are naturally creative, others who are not should stick to their day job!’ I replied to the owner in a light-hearted manner when he suggested a possible idea for the motto. He suggested: ‘You’ve Tried The Rest, Now Try The Best!’. ‘Hmm, not very original is it Mr. Owner?’, I replied. You see, the motto was important because it would reflect the business and also my creativity. After a lengthy discussion, I suggested ‘Washes In A Dash ‘n’ Valets In A Flash’ which was original, fresh and suggested to his customers that their vehicles would be valeted without any waiting around. He liked it, just. Phew, that was a close one!
Nelson, Lancashire (Long and High)After completing the Brierfield wall, I was on a bit of a high as everyone liked the design. Their second car wash wall was different because it wasn’t on a main road, although it was still in a busy area where people would see it daily. It was about the same length as Brierfield (approx 45ft) but it was TWICE the height. A new fresh design was needed whilst still keeping the same motto. My thinking-cap was well and truly ‘on’. Again, I suggested a bold and abstract design but this time it had to have some functionality as well. The wall itself could be seen from the main road, but it was across a busy car park and the entrance to the wall was obscured by a building in the foreground.
I suggested a huge yellow arrow that would stretch from edge-to-edge and point towards the car wash entrance. Again, a ‘graffiti-like’ design for the word ‘Splash!’ would run across the middle of the arrow, but the design and lettering was twice the size of the Brierfield design. The motto would be split to run half along the top of the arrow, and the other half along the bottom edge of the arrow.
The Big Yellow ArrowThe arrow was the fundamental feature of the design, and it had to be marked out in such a way that it was straight and fitted the wall’s edges perfectly. I had to use a ‘chalk-line’ tool to mark the straight edges out.
Also, to make sure the arrow ‘point’ was smack-bang in the middle of the wall, I had to measure the wall’s height and put the point in the middle of the height. From this point, I could angle the arrow head so it aligned correctly within itself, and also within the wall. After marking the arrow out, I had to view it from a distance to see it wasn’t cock-eyed(!) Of course, it wasn’t and was as straight as a die.
Paint and Materials
You see, all walls ‘breathe’. They let air circulate in and around them as most materials used such as cement and plaster ARE porous, to an extent. Just slapping a load of gloss or emulsion paint would have resulted in the paint cracking after a while. The solution was to choose the right paints for the job. I selected ‘Johnstone’s Exterior Weather-Shield Emulsion’ for the larger areas of colour because this paint was designed to resist the wear and tear caused by the weather, whilst also allowing the walls to let in air.
All in all both jobs took about a month to complete, with one full week of rain. So I would say three weeks in total. The amont of extra advertising and promotion the business recieved as a result of me ‘pimping’ their walls was phenomenol. So next time you’re in Nelson or Brierfield, you know EXACTLY where to take your dirty little ‘passion wagon’!
Your Comments and Feedback
Have you seen these two walls on your travels? What do you think? Maybe you’re a regular and get your car valeted from Splash. I’d love all your feedback and responses to this project. If you’re from Nelson, Burnley, Colne or the surrounding areas, or even if you’re half way across the world, your comments are much appreciated.