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James Watt Exhibition

What’s the story?

The Library of Birmingham curated an exhibition celebrating the life and work of James Watt, the Scottish inventor and engineer. The graphics for the exhibition, titled Watt in the World – The Life and Legacy of James Watt 1736-1819, were designed by specialist museum design agency, Blue the Design Company.

What was the solution?

All concept and design work was created and produced by Blue the Design Company and supplied to us as print ready files. The design team initially considered PVC panels to clad the library walls, as this was to be a temporary exhibition, however, concerns were raised over the use of plastics.

We offered an alternative that would be light but rigid, and more eco-friendly. The product was bubble board, which is fully recyclable and made partly from recycled materials. In total, we supplied 225m2 using both 3mm & 5mm thickness in 2 sheet sizes, 1220x2400mm & 2000x3000mm.

The graphics took 2 weeks to print and produce, then Blue the Design Company oversaw the installation alongside the library’s technicians on-site in Birmingham.

What were the results?

The graphics tie the exhibition space together seamlessly, providing the ideal backdrop to the various artefacts on display. The printed bubble board successfully stands up to the glare of the spotlights and no visible joins interrupt the design. But, perhaps the main success of the installation is that once the exhibition is over, the backdrop will be recycled, leaving no waste.

“Digital Plus was crucial in achieving the visually stunning installation at The Library of Birmingham. We relied completely on the wow factor of the immersive graphic walls to reflect the enormity of James Watt’s legacy. The artefacts to be displayed in showcases were relatively few and small compared to the size of the gallery. We didn’t want to reduce the floor space as a solution, we needed the scale of the gallery to create enough impact to reflect the enormity of James Watt’s influence that is still felt today. Digital Plus was able to deliver on time, budget and to an exacting standard of service. The finished design has been extremely well received.”

Claire Gresswell, Director, Blue the Design Company Ltd

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