We love hoarding. And no, we’re not talking about filling our boardroom with mounds of old newspapers—we’re talking about the fencing we designed to block the dust and debris from Nova Centre’s construction site.
Nova Centre is something Halifax hasn’t seen before. It’s a one-million-square-foot, mixed-use development in the heart of our entertainment and business district. So when we designed the hoarding artwork for the site, we decided to do something a little different. Something unexpected.
We wanted to engage the community, draw them in, and take them on a journey through the centre—giving a behind-the-scenes perspective on its construction. Our top priority was to highlight the centre as a whole, including its many amenities, sustainable features, and unique public space.
Inspiration & Education
In order to represent the centre’s multifaceted nature, we created two distinct colour palettes for the brand: a corporate side and a playful, community focused side. We thought the hoarding would be a perfect place to debut this playful side.
Nova Centre’s design was inspired by Nova Scotians and our seafaring heritage, and we wanted to continue this nautical theme with our colour palettes. We were inspired by rich naval brass, the z, and misty skies. The bright colours on the playful side are a modern interpretation of the blues, reds, and yellows used in maritime flags.
Each hoarding panel focused on an aspect of Nova Centre, such as its smart technology, sustainable focus, and even fun facts about the truckloads of bedrock hauled from the site. We put a lot of thought into creating lively, modern characters to match each subject and paired them with aspirational copy that spoke directly to the community. We then compiled the finished panels into powerful statement words that reflect the brand’s attributes, adding another layer of interest to capture attention.
Since we wanted to engage our audience, ensuring the design was eye-catching and easy to read in direct sunlight was always forefront in our minds. The hoarding material also presented a challenge, because it was perforated to allow for our high winds, which created an almost semi-transparent finish.
After taking a test print to the site, we increased the vibrancy of the colours and enlarged the text to accommodate for the materials and sunny location.
This was an incredibly gratifying project. While the primary function of the hoarding is to block dust and debris, we love that the design is a vibrant piece of art that helps beautify the streetscape, engages and informs the public, and makes passersby smile.