Next is, without a doubt, one of the UK’s best known and most respected retailers. It can trace its roots back to the 1800s when its founding company, J Hepworth and Son, a gentlemen’s tailor, was established in Leeds. The company bought Kendals rainwear shops in the 1980s to develop a womenswear group of stores called NEXT.
By 1984, the company had expanded its operations to include menswear and had opened its first mini department store in Edinburgh. Ten years later, the group had opened its 300th shop and it joined the connected age in 1999 with its online presence. Today, NEXT has over 500 shops and one of the best served online shopping systems too.
Any business the size of NEXT is going to have a big appetite for well trained colleagues to fill its customer-facing roles and its back-office functions too. Educating the company’s recruitment intake and immersing new people in its mission is a job that falls to the NEXT’s Learning and Development Manager and his team. When he decided he’d like the learning environments at the company’s Doncaster and Leicester offices to reflect the company’s ethics, Barnsley Based Turner Signs got a call.
Turner Signs’ roots don’t quite reach back to the 1800s, but its a company that’s founded on the skills of a time-served signwwriter, Dean Turner. As anyone who has ever earned a living behind a brush will attest, an eye for lettering and its layout and proportions goes with the territory. That intrinsic skill appears to have been transferable. Dean’s sons now comprise the Turner Signs team and its output reflects a certain quality that accompanies a knowledge of type and design.
NEXT’s ethic are polarised around leading by example and a customer first focus. That message needed to radiate loud and clear in the learning environment and to find its continuation in icon-based designs elsewhere in the programme. The team at Turner Signs produced and installed a series of coordinated graphics that display the message in an impactful and very memorable format.
Large areas of colour are decorated with sharply contrasting devices that ground the overall design. Specific messages are picked out in bright colours, each having their own ground and punctuating expanses of wall space. The whole effect is one of balance with a sense of restrained ambient decor that still broadcasts the all important words.
The Turner Signs team used Metamark MD-WA WallArt materials for most of the programme and Metamark MD5, Matte Laminated and applied to Foamex features for the balance. The printing is perfection and the colour ways’ fidelity with the design perfect. The application and installation is flawless too with nothing detracting from the overall quality the team has accomplished.
Living up to a business ethic and immersing people in it is a job that demands that the details are right. Turner Signs has delivered to NEXT a highly functional and effective programme that works in both a decorative and a practical sense. Through the programme, NEXT can deliver all that its public expect of its brand.
What’s next for Turner Signs?