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Mill Road Lanterns

WORK

Brief

The Mill Road Winter Fair is an annual celebration of Cambridge’s most diverse and lively neighbourhood. This year due to Covid restrictions, the fair takes a different form – ten illustrated lanterns displayed in ten local shops, that celebrate the diversity of the area. I was asked to design a map for people to follow.

Research

I lived off Mill Road for several years but many of the shops had changed since my time there. To make sure the map (that covered almost one mile) was accurate, I spent lots of time ‘walking’ up and down using Google streetview – and what a nostalgic experience it was! So many happy memories of studying at the nearby art school and meeting friends at local cafés and pubs came flooding back.

Learning

Working to a brand palette of colours whilst allowing the lanterns to stand out directed me towards a darker colour scheme. The ten lantern venues, plus local landmarks meant there was lots of detail to include and a hierarchy of information to consider.  

The map, printed onto a long 2xA4 sheet also meant working within a kind of visual shorthand to keep things legible at small size. Many details had to be left out but retaining the atmosphere of Mill Road was important. The addition of trees and little characters has helped to keep it feeling vibrant.

Outcome

The map had a huge print run of 11,000 copies which were delivered to local businesses and residents around Mill Road in mid-November 2020.

I hope it gives those who know the area an extra reason to walk the length of this bustling street and spot the interesting buildings that make Mill Road so special, whilst also welcoming newcomers to this wonderful part of town.

I’m looking forward to the Fair returning in all its glory (hopefully) next year.In the meantime you can find out more on millroadwinterfair.org and millroadhistory.org.uk