We were commissioned by Tony Buckley of SEE3, the Portas Pilot in Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill, to come up with ideas to help regenerate Kirkdale.
Kirkdale is rather long with two distinct shopping areas split by a large stretch of residential housing. Many people coming out of Sydenham Station don’t know it has two parts. It is blessed by some amazing architecture, although sadly it has fallen into decline over the years and suffers from low footfall. We spoke to local traders and shared our ideas. We were told the area didn’t feel ‘proud of itself’, or ‘people don’t know this is still Kirkdale’.
A few years ago the traders in Kirkdale, led by a local estate agent, had rebranded the area ‘Kirkdale Village’ but this proved unpopular in some quarters and historically Kirkdale was never a village. We believe that branding should be based on truth. The first step was to work on the name to solve the issue of the two shopping areas of Kirkdale. We researched the history of the area, again working with local historian Steve Grindlay (as we did on the mural on the Greyhound Pub in the other part of Kirkdale). ‘Kirkdale High Street’ was the chosen name as it harks back to it’s original name (Kirkdale was Sydenham’s original high street).
The branding was based on the writing on the elegant High Street Buildings:
We designed ‘ghost sign’ style typographic murals for the side roads, lovingly hand painted by Peter O’Connor on the most visible strategic points in Kirkdale. The murals use a combination of ingredients already existing in Kirkdale.
The border of one of the signs is based on the tiles in the thresholds of the High Street buildings:
Here is the signwriter Peter doing what he does best.
The finished results below have received lots of very positive comments on local forums.
The branding also works on posters:
Finally we have some laser cut stencils (thanks to Cut Laser Cut) for some seasonal reverse graffiti.
Yes, they are our shoes!
It’s been a lovely project to work on. It’s always nice working with independent businesses and small traders and Tony and his team have been very supportive. We had lots of other ideas and designed new street signs and water cut directional paving slabs which, unfortunately, we weren’t able to impliment due to council policy. Many thanks to the Kirkdale traders, Tony Buckley and SEE3, Stuart from the Sydenham Town website, Peter O’Connor for his wisdom and craft and all those who have said kind words about the project.
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