Priestley College Barclays project


Barclays is a global financial services provider. We help millions of customers all over the world to borrow, save and invest. We transact billions of pounds a day. Everything we do for our customers is supported by IT systems. Our largest global technology centre is in Knutsford, Cheshire. Known as 'Radbroke' (after Radbroke Hall which is the original house and estate on which the site is built), over 3500 people work here every day in technology and operations roles.


Priestley College Extended Diploma Year 2 Art and Design students set the task of designing wallpaper for Barclays Radbroke.

Image below shows the 3 successful students whose designs will be made into wallpaper for individual Barclays offices.

Zach Wrightson - Concept title: Through the Structure

For this assignment I developed ideas around the theme of ‘transformation’, more specifically smart materials. I analysed a range of materials under the microscope and researched innovative fabrics & materials with interesting surface qualities and aspects of performance. Materials that have qualities like being able to change colour with temperature, to have patterns appear when heat is applied, and materials that are immune to staining and dirt. These new materials demonstrate the transformation process and are a source of inspiration for my designs. My concept relates to the innovation, development of smart business practices and customer focus of Barclays- transforming banking.

Within this project I looked at artists such as Linda Florence, Rachel Kelly and Hanna Nyman, mainly because of their technique and processes which then could be reflected within my own designs. I did market research by looking into current wallpaper designs and designers, and the different levels of wallpaper, such as mass produced and bespoke.
The materials are transformed under the microscope and created some interesting patterns for me to use as a starting point. I then produced my own materials- fusing, weaving, and trapping materials together. My drawings, materials and samples were scanned into the computer to develop into my collection.

I selected a neutral colour range to link in with any colour of furniture creating a calm but warm interior suitable for a large open plan office space. The scale of the design was adapted accordingly.


Sechele Mtitimila - Concept title: V2

My aim was to produce a wallpaper design for Barclays Radbroke technology centre to use in their office re-design. The theme for the project is transformation. My concept for this is technology, specifically space travel and sci-fi. Technology and the developments and improvements to this are a fundamental aspect of Barclay’s work and just like the Cold War Space race they must improve the research and development to become ahead of their competition.

My influences for this concept were old 1950s-60s magazines, comic strips and packaging. I was interested in the idea of my wallpaper telling a story or depicting an event similar to comics and strip cartoons. When visiting the Barclays offices, they mentioned that they would like the wallpaper to promote conversion and that they were now taking on a lot of younger employees who have adapted well to the new informal work space. I think that comic book inspired paper would fit in well with this new modern take on work and working practices.

I have also researched into some illustrators who use a combination of hand rendered and CAD techniques including Andrea Manzati and Anne Wilson. I was inspired by these artists to combine their styles of work with my own style and make some friendly illustrations to go on my wallpaper.

I researched primary sources of technology and space travel from museums like the museum of science and industry in Manchester. I also researched into a range of market levels for wall paper to get an idea of the different prices, standards of design, patterns and techniques used at each level. I also found examples of retro wallpapers from the period so that I could recreate the look whether that is via colour, texture or pattern.

Elizabeth Justice - Concept title: The Phoenix, New Beginnings

For this project I explored the theme of ‘transformation’. When first faced with this brief I immediately started to think about the story of the metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, I then thought of the royal ballet’s interpretation which I absolutely adore. This took me down the route of looking at ballet dancers and the stories they portray. I found a cute little children’s book my sister used to own in the loft that was about the stories behind famous ballets. I remember my favourite was the fire bird. A tale of a prince who fought an evil wizard using the help of the fire bird so he could win the affections of a princess; whom he had fallen in love with. The idea of the fire bird reminded me of the phoenix which was the final idea I settled on.

I explored the phoenix myth from is Egyptian origins through its Greek transformation and also observed where it pops up in other cultures such as the Chinese interpretation.
The phoenix is believed to only appear when the world is in danger; along with 4 other creatures it helps protect the lands. I feel this is a perfect symbol to represent Barclays, as the phoenix represented royal houses over the centuries but it also shows the changes in the company over the years - with the idea that Barclays can rise above all the bad press (PPI scandal, low customer ratings, increasing fat cat bonuses, while making 1000s of workers redundant) banks have gained over the past years and reinvent its self as the “new” trustworthy face of banking. A new beginning

The students relax ahead of their presentations

Selection of work

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Pingit; a smartphone solution for sending and receiving money using just a telephone number. You do not need to bank with Barclays to use Pingit.

The service was launched 18 months ago – the first from any UK bank. To date, 2M customers have downloaded the app. At launch, Pingit received significant press attention and was supported by a national advertising campaign. This included the use of social media where an exclusive video was launched.

However, product utilisation by more 16-24 years old would help to stimulate a significant shift in how people send and receive money in future.


Priestley College Extended Diploma Year 2 Graphic Design students set the task of designing adverts for Pingit

Image below of the winning concept from Rebecca Walton (left centre), and the two runers up, Sophie Cahill and James Cannell.

Images from the day, and each students submitted design.