‘Paint the Town’ is an initiative funded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) to improve the appearance of Barking Town Centre by designing and painting existing shop shutters. 

The content and typographic aesthetic is inspired by throw-away advertising posters and promotional scrawling that we were inundated with when walking round Barking town centre. ‘Amazing Deals’, ‘Best in…’ and other such slogans lose their credibility when viewed on mass so by reinterpreting these words and phrases we hope that they might regain some of their intended meaning and have a positive impact.

We also wanted to champion brush stroke and marker scripts that are commonly used on this sort of promotional material. Deemed ‘bad taste’ by many – little thought goes into their selection. They are placed haphazardly and often squashed or distorted. The text and design is unconsidered but this can often result in interesting and unusual results and we wanted to reference this spontaneity and humour when painting the shutters.

“It makes the place look so nice, especially when you work here at the weekend and the shutters are all down, it looks so marvellous.” 

– Joyce, Owner of Likkle Cee’s Salon 

“Not only me but all of my customers think it looks great too. It does attract people’s attention and when you look at the town, it looks completely different. It looks more lively and friendly. It’s inviting people to Barking.”

– Sully, Owner of Turquoise Jewellers 

“All the customers like the view from London Road. Thank you to the council and all the staff that did the work.”

– Yusef, Owner of JSP Fried Chicken