The Project

Warwick District Council invited the public to provide suggestions of what they associate with Royal Leamington Spa, for an exciting visual display to mark the Commonwealth Games.

The information provided helped shape the development of the eye-catching piece of public art, installed in the pedestrian underpass at Leamington Spa Station.


The Brief

Warwick District Council asked Graphic Arts Group to supply and install a permanent graphic display of super-sized Colour Palettes to welcome visitors at Leamington train station. After hundreds of swatches inspired by the town were collected from the local community, the colour palettes were installed into the rail station underpass refurbishment, ready for its high-profile public opening prior to the Commonwealth Games.

The design was created by Stacey Barnfield, a Birmingham-based artist, designer and former newspaper editor with a fascination for the heritage and history of the Midlands. More of Stacey’s work can be seen through the Draw My City artworks project, which encourages people to think of lesser-known places that might not always win architecture awards but are no less important to the people who worked, danced or dined there. Calling on his production journalism skills, Stacey has been commissioned to produce publications in various formats that celebrate architecture and design.

The colours were selected from over 300 suggestions from members of the public during the month-long call-out. The content that features is a combination of the most popular responses and responses chosen by the artist to make an interesting piece of work.

Royal Leamington Spa’s Colour Palettes were created as part of Warwick District Council’s CultureFest, which will showcase and celebrate the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area. The palettes also needed to coincide with this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and were to be seen by 1,000s of visitors to the town for the games.


The Result

We worked with multiple stakeholders from concept (including planning permission) to completion to create these giant displays spanning over 60m width ready for the launch in time for the Commonwealth Games.

The displays used high-quality, long life materials throughout. Large wall mounted panels and anti-graffiti vinyl were selected as a final solution as it provided not only a safe and clean surface on which to install artwork, but it could be re-used in the future for new pieces of work in the space.

Following the original design, we worked with the client and personnel to improve the solution, removing the title from the palette design to create an eye-catching header in the centre of the rail station underpass, so that as you enter the underpass you know instantly what the artworks are all about. Furthermore, a QR code at the underpass entrance takes people to a web page to explain what each of the swatches refers to, a great resource for people not familiar with Leamington’s history.

Graphic Arts Group were delighted that by working with Warwick District Council on The Royal Leamington Colour Palette, we were able to contribute further to helping the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games come to life.

This was an exciting time for Graphic Arts Group, as we were also commissioned to provide temporary promotional signage for the Commonwealth Games for Coventry City Council!

You can learn more about our Common Wealth Games 2022 signage solution for Coventry City Council here.

“Thanks again on behalf of Warwick District Council to you and your team. Your support and flexibility in preparing the job is massively appreciated and the final installation looks every bit as good as we had hoped.” – Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Project Manager

Personnel involved: Collaboration between Graphic Arts Group, ‘The Colour Palette’ founder Stacey Barnfield, Warwick District Council Project and Development Manager, Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Project Manager.

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