Blog: 15 August 2016Reading Map gets an update!

It’s now just over two years since we moved from our office on the outskirts of Reading and into The Blade in central Reading. During that time, the ‘Reading Map’, an original piece of art we first created for the reception wall, has grown in popularity further and wider than we could have ever imaged…

Featuring a whole host of Reading-based figures and infamous historical, social and political landmarks, and buildings from the Thames Valley, the map has always been a great talking point for our visitors. Making the most of its popularity we decided to produce a limited edition print run raising money for local charity - Reading Family Aid, whilst also the map is displayed in Reading Councils’ Civic office and was also exhibited in the Reading Museum.

Two years on, and the popularity of the map has opened doors for us with Reading’s art scene. Since meeting Suzanne Stallard, Director from Reading Art’s Charity ‘Jelly’ back at the Pride of Reading Awards last year, the team and I have had much fun supporting Jelly on a number of initiatives. Whilst also have absolutely thrived on combining our personalities – a fine artist and a bunch of graphic designers, definitely makes for some interesting chat!

So, it was with great pleasure to be asked by Suzanne at Jelly to be part of their latest exhibition in the unoccupied Waterstones unit in the Oracle shopping centre as part of their Open for Art Festival.

Not only was it good for us as a team to be involved in this local art event but it also gave us an opportunity (excuse) to re-visit the map! Given the flurry of suggested additions that we have received since our original print run and the fact that 2016 is the Year of Culture in Reading it seemed like the perfect time for us to get our heads together and create a Reading Map II.

After many more hours researching, illustrating and re-jigging, ‘Reading Map II’ is now complete, and bigger and better than the last! We’ve added more local independents including the Grumpy Goat, 58 Barbers and the Sound machine. The Festival site has been expanded with more tents, whilst we’ve also added more Reading celebs including Charlie Brooker, Jeremy Kyle and Edith Morley who was Britain’s first female professor.  

Local printers, ABC Imaging have kindly produced and donated a huge banner of the map, which is now on display at Jelly’s exhibition in Jacksons. Whilst for all those that didn’t manage to purchase a print the first time round, A1 prints are also available from Jacksons, with all proceeds being split between Jelly and homeless charity Shelter - our official charity partner.  

I really hope that it’s as popular as the first version and helps us to raise as much money for both Shelter and Jelly as possible, while also giving us exposure in the town (and beyond!) as a team and business.

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