Set the scene

A banner is a sure-fire way to attract attention. What’s more, advances in technology mean the message can be bolder and more topical than ever, says Hannah Booth

Re-election campaign by Unreal

Ken Livingstone is seeking re-election as London Mayor on 10 June with a series of imposing visual banners alongside policies on housing and transport. Designed by Unreal (DW 6 May), the 2m-high billboards will be a backdrop for Livingstone whenever he speaks in public.

The most important factor was immediate visual impact, says Unreal head of design Brian Eagle. ‘We had to remove much of the detail used in the smaller-scale work such as leaflets and posters to make them stand out,’ he says. Eagle simplified illustrator David Bray’s line drawings and digitally printed the work on firm plastic vinyl. The vinyl had to be easy to roll up and transport when Livingstone is on the road.

‘Screen-printing may have a better quality finish and we could have specified Pantone colours rather than just CMYK, but we had to turn the work around in under two days. Digital printing is much faster,’ says Eagle.

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