Uckfield College, having undertaken a substantial new build, asked us to come up with a reception wall graphic for their new three-story foyer. The wall area was huge, with sightlines from the ground level opposite the main entrance, but also from the first and second floor levels.
The brief was to embody the college’s vision and values. Their motto, ‘Love Learning for Life’, was to feature. It was also required that we referenced the college’s brand. Their logo incorporates a Martlet. The Martlet bird is a mythical creature that lives on the wing. It was most likely inspired by the swift. To the college, their martlet represents ‘the ceaseless pursuit of learning’ and ‘virtue, perseverance, endeavour and hard work.’
Uckfield college reception – Site before wall graphics project. 1 view from second floor. 2 & 3 views from ground floor.
Uckfield College logo based on the martlet – Photographs by Jim Pike
The Concept and Outcome
Our concept for this unusually large reception wall graphic was based on a stylized Lime tree (An avenue of lime trees grows right next to the school site). The tree represents several things simultaneously:
1. The Student Journey
The tree represents the personal and educational growth of each individual student during their time at the school. The journey through the school from year 7 to year 13 starts at the ground and transitions through the branches to the top of the tree.
2. The School Community as a Network
The tree represents the entire cohort of students and staff as a collaborative group or network. At this level, the tree is the whole community; individual members of the community are the birds (Martlets) in the tree. On a more hidden level, the students are woven into the fabric of the tree structure in the form of faces (look carefully at the first-floor level).
3. An Institution to promote ‘Love learning for Life’
The tree represents a nurturing, challenging, interesting and rich learning environment for all people throughout their lives (embodying the ethos Love Learning for Life’) by interweaving educational content in between the gaps between the branches. The ‘educational content’ will be visible at the ground floor level and represents the huge breath of learning that takes place not just in taught subjects, but in skills for living a good life.