We were asked by architects and designers Gillespies to support them on a 'quick win' project to help raise the profile of Basildon and to assist with a problem that haulage contractors had in finding destinations in Basildon's extensive business and industrial estates.
We decided on a multi-faceted approach. We re-signed a six-mile stretch of the A127 rationalising naming, and removing out of date information. We introduced 'gateway signs' on the A127 and also at the entrances to the various business parks. We also designed 'landmarks' for each of the 5 exists for Basildon from the A127.
It was decided that the town centre exit should be prioritised. We proposed to spell out 'Basildon' in 2 metre high letters on the only hill in the town. We had been briefed that vandalism was a problem in the area, so the letters would have to be extremely robust. We specified the letter cases to be made from 6mm thick, brushed stainless steel with the letter faces coated in vitreous enamel. The letters were fixed using Home Office approved security bolts that are more commonly used by the prison service.
The landmark generated a great deal of media attention, and was covered by all 4 terrestrial news programs and all the national newspapers.