The Project

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust is the main hospital covering Coventry and Rugby. With a large A&E department, it is one of the biggest teaching hospitals in the UK.

The hospital partnered with Art in Site, an award-winning design agency with a strong track record in design for healthcare, having already worked with 14 NHS Trusts and hospitals.

We worked together to refurbish and refresh the Children’s Emergency Department.


The Brief

Having not been updated since 2006, the Children’s Emergency Department was in need of modernisation.

Once the UHCW were happy with the design work provided by Art in Site, Graphic Signs was contracted for the production and installation of signage.

As this project was designed for a children’s hospital setting, it was important to consider that the space needed to be calming for the children and their carers. Users enter the space with urgency, so it’s vital that signage communicates messaging clearly and in an accessible manner to help patients get the care they need as quickly as possible. The brief required to the use of simple questions and imagery in the design to help provide a sense of comfort to children in this care setting.

Inclusivity was key to this project’s success. A thorough consultation was run by the hospital to ensure the designs were fit for purpose. Hospital management, nurses and patients were some of the groups that were consulted to discuss the designs and how to improve the space to fit their needs.

This collective effort ensured that the signs cater to the diverse needs of the community and provide the most comfortable experience possible.

As an essential part of the hospital, the project delivery was required to take place over a three-week period. We met this comfortably, working together with the UHCW and Art in Site to manage time effectively and hit deadlines.

Upon receipt of the artwork and dimension requirements, Graphic Signs attended the hospital for site measurements to ensure a smooth installation and prevent any last-minute surprises. We also took part in pre-install meetings to maintain clear communication between all parties, keep the project on schedule and have a rounded, ongoing understanding of what was happening throughout. The installation of signage was completed in only four days, causing a minimal amount of disruption to the Children’s Emergency Department.

As an NHS hospital, it’s essential that the graphics last particularly well, to reduce upkeep costs and ensure that the budget can be directed towards essential patient care. With this in mind, we created these wall and glass graphics using strong, durable materials. We also ensured they were fire-rated and anti-scratch to keep them looking great and fulfilling their purpose for longer.


The Result

Delightful, eye-catching graphics transformed the atmosphere of the Children’s Emergency Department, creating a sense of friendliness and calm. With simple cartoon graphics and calming colours, the signage depicts characters in the hospital to help set expectations for the patients and put them at ease. The signage has been placed in key areas around the space, with large, simple writing to provide clear and direct communication to children and carers.

We also produced beautiful printed ceiling tiles to help distract patients and provide activities for them during treatment. By offering activities and visual stimuli, we aimed to create a more comforting and child-friendly environment within the healthcare setting.

As well as appealing graphics for children to look at, signage was placed in consulting rooms, listing their journey of the patient’s procedure and providing key information to frequently asked questions. This is especially helpful for parents and carers, in what is often an incredibly difficult and stressful situation.

Providing key information and helping them to understand what to expect reduces worry and panic. It also helps the flow of patient turnover by helping patients move on to the next stage of their journey at the hospital. This can reduce waiting times as staff spend less time answering questions, and instead can focus on attending to the emergency at hand as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It was a pleasure for Graphic Signs to be able to help with this essential project, and we hope that it will help NHS staff continue to provide outstanding levels of care to our community.

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