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RD Studios is one of the most impressive film and production studios this side of the Atlantic. Graffiti Design were thrilled to be asked to play a role in the development of this sprawling 45,000-square-foot space at Premier Park in Park Royal, London. The signage team were tasked with designing, developing, and delivering Hollywood-worthy solutions that would position RD Studios as an industry leader.
Why Graffiti Design?
RD Studios are on a mission to offer “the most sustainable and green film studio facilities in Europe”. It was crucial for them to select a signage partner that shared their views on the importance of sustainability in business. Graffiti Design operate in a way that’s firmly rooted in responsibility, and were able to guide the RD Studios team towards powerful solutions that wouldn’t ‘cost the earth’.
Graffiti Design were tasked with creating powerful signage solutions for the new £20 million RD Studios venue that was under construction just a few minutes’ drive away from Wembley Stadium.
The studios would feature five soundproofed stages, edit suites, sound engineering rooms, hair and makeup facilities, wardrobe, camera hire areas, and a green room, in addition to a screening room. This would make RD Studios one of the most impressive studios in the UK and Europe. And so it was essential that the building’s new signage fully reflected this in its design.
Ultimately, the primary mission for Graffiti Design was to produce signage solutions that positioned the UK – and London in particular – as the top destination for film production outside North America.
The Graffiti Design team worked closely with RD Studios’ Ryan Dean and Stephanie Cheung to develop drawings and plans that would meet the criteria outlined in the brief. With the signage needing to be ‘larger than life’ – big, bold, and easily visible from the roadside – the decision was made to take inspiration from leading film studios in the United States. Together, Graffiti Design and RD Studios decided to give the signage a Hollywood feel, with a design straight from the movies.
Using this core design feature, Graffiti Design developed three different signs, each depicting the name ‘RD Studios’. Two exterior signs were created, one fixed to the outside of the venue, and the other to an external entry point. The third, an illuminated interior sign with backlit lettering, was fixed inside the studios themselves, on the wall of a reception area for greeting customers and guests. All three signs were designed and developed to stay true to the existing RD Studios branding.
A combination of aluminium, recyclable acrylic, and 50mm thick modelboard were used to manufacture the signs, with each material bringing its own unique quality. Aluminium benefits from a lightweight yet durable quality, while acrylic was the obvious choice for the interior sign due to its ability to be illuminated. Modelboard helped create a powerful impact through its natural thickness and density.
From the time of drawing approval, it took Graffiti Design just three weeks to manufacture the signs.
The Graffiti Design team encountered two challenges when approaching this highly unusual and niche project. However, with extensive experience in all elements of signage, it was nothing they couldn’t handle.
The first challenge was simply the size and scale of the lettering. With a requirement to be easily seen from the roadside – essential for both customers and suppliers – the exterior solutions needed to be big. The team addressed this by welding the main large letters with full-size backtrays.
The second, more complex issue was the need to fix signage to the top of a hydraulic gate outside the venue, without jeopardising the movement of the entry system. This was a new challenge for Graffiti Design, and an innovative solution was required. The team developed a bespoke fixing method that would allow the sign to be safely and securely positioned in place, without impacting the hydraulic system controlling vehicle access.
RD Studios opened its doors in April 2022, instantly becoming the largest film production facility in London. Today, the studios are used by prolific clients including Qatar Airways, Etihad, Manchester City FC, Facebook, and more, and Graffiti Design were proud to play a role in its development.
Project Manager James Gordon noted that “it was a privilege to complete this project for such a unique client. All parties involved were absolutely delighted with the results”.