The New Pavillion – A Walk Through Time

Art is said to tell one hundred thousand stories without saying a word. We are surrounded by the most beautiful art pieces in the world, on walls and alleyways unknown to us and by illustrations that retell forgotten stories of places and times gone by. Artists are those who with a brushstroke reenact time as it once was.

Ekaterina Sheath is a visual storyteller, and we at Dock Street Signs have collaborated with her community illustration project. We assisted by producing and installing Aluminium Composite Panels adorned with Ekaterina’s designs onto the windows of the New Pavilion.

The project was commissioned by Leeds City Council and Morley Town Council, as part of Morley Towns Fund, to revive The New Pavillion which has been a prominent building in Morley since 1911. 

Ekaterina Sheath – About The Artist

Ekaterina Sheath is a student of visual arts pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Illustration at the Leeds Arts University. She is a passionate art enthusiast who perceives illustration as a way to celebrate untold stories and as an instrument to preserve local spaces as cultural assets.

Ekaterina works with organisations and international clients to deliver engaging, relevant, colourful illustrations reflecting history and education.

The New Pavilion – A Brief History

The New Pavilion has been the heart of entertainment in Morley since 1911 with one of the earliest acts to grace the stage being Vulcana the Strongwoman and her partner Atlas. A feminist icon of her time, Vulcana championed exercise for women and lobbied against restrictive corsets. With just one hand, she could lift a man!

In 1938, 12-year-old Ernie Wise, later of comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, delighted Morley audiences with his tap dancing and jokes.

In the 1950s, the theatre became a cinema, full of youngsters and couples watching Roy Rogers movies. It was an era of smoking indoors, couples ‘courting’ in the back row, and cheeky children tucking into ice cream. On the way home, they enjoyed fish and chips as a special treat for tea.

The cinema transformed into First Star Bingo in 1968 and later Walker’s Bingo in 1984. The hall was alive with calls of “Two Little Ducks” and “Cup of Tea” for over 20 years.

In 1990 the building became the After Dark nightclub, which hosted world-famous Orbit techno nights. At its peak, Orbit was on a par with the Berlin scene and attracted star DJs and clubbers from across the country.

The New Pavilion’s final chapter was as an Italian restaurant that closed in 2009.

The Aim Behind the Design

The primary aim of Ekaterina was to bring out the untold history of the New Pavilion building and help the youth connect with it. Along with that, she tried to portray the unturned pages of nostalgia that surround the unused building.

Her colourful and quirky illustrations of a ripped cinema ticket, a couple in love at the cinema, a little child’s head peeping at Grandma’s bingo card are all snippets of stories and details shared by the community of Morley.

The abstract-shaped figures depict the stained-glass windows, ornate gates, and the sculpted facades of this epitome of entertainment and culture. However, the front entrance and the windows of the distant sides depict the present days’ Morley blending past and present together in colours.


Tips To Designing A Killer Sign

You have a brilliant signage idea, but you’re not sure how to transform it into a killer sign? We know that getting your sign noticed can be quite the challenge, but the satisfaction of seeing it up and running makes it all worth it.

Take the following 7 tips into account next time you’re designing a sign to make sure it gets noticed.

1. Decide on the Signage Type

Before creating the entire design, decide what kind of sign would your idea fit better. Each of them has its own purpose – billboards are best used for ads, offers or awareness, posters are best used for awareness, while a storefront window vinyl can entice the passers-by to enter the store.

2. Choose the Best Materials

There are two reasons for not creating your sign with anything less than the best materials: one – you want your customers to associate you with high-quality service, and two – they’re easier to maintain and are more durable. Signs also need maintenance and designing them with poor-quality materials will make them wear out more quickly.

3. Work on Contrast

Once you’ve chosen the best materials, it’s time to get your sign noticed. The contrast between the background and the text is the most important in this matter. Blue text on a navy blue background is one of the low-contrast examples that will not attract customers. On the other hand, yellow text on black background is the easiest to read.

4. Keep the Message Simple

Too much text or many images will bore and confuse the readers. Any sign should only contain essential information, with relevant graphics. Refrain from adding all the contact details – some signs work better with the address info, while for others the phone number or the e-mail address are more suitable.

5. Don’t Add Plain Information

The main purpose of a sign – any sign – is to be persuasive. This happens when you add emotion to the text. How can you do that? Create a story around the concept, then distil it to a concise message for your sign.

6. Make Sure a Brand Element Is Visible

Some creators are so thrilled about their idea they forget adding the logo or another brand identity element to the mix. The downside here is that you catch their attention and interest, but they will never know it was you. If you don’t want to throw money out the window, make sure your brand’s name is visible on the sign.

7. Choose the Best Location for Your Sign

You may have just created the best sign ever, with a clear and sharp text, an amazing contrast and high-quality materials that send off just the right message to your customers.

Where are you going to display it?

A sign’s location is critical because if your potential customers aren’t passing or driving by that area, you may as well keep it in the storage room. Choose a spot that is frequently visited by your ideal customers to make sure they get the chance to see your sign.