Sunderland Council

Building a social legacy

Sunderland Council and Cultural Spring commissioned Sail to develop community way-finding and environmental signage in Sunderland. Through public workshops, we uncovered rich stories and pride, co-creating a place-based campaign from within the heart of the community. The project provided space for people to reflect on sense of place, and what their community represents for them and the wider context of Sunderland. 150 people engaged, 9 permanent co-created signs installed and local action groups created.


The Cultural Spring is an exciting, ambitious project to get more people in Sunderland and South Tyneside to experience and be inspired by the arts. We worked with local groups to look at creative ways to approach environment issues in consultation and in co-creation with local residents across nine wards in Sunderland. This created a lasting social and cultural legacy for Sunderland and South Tyneside.

What we did: Creative Workshops and Consultations, Conceptual Thinking, Campaign and Strategy, Art Direction and Tone of Voice.

We wanted to encourage a high level of imagination from the residents, making the message their own, aiming to change perception that would influence behaviour and instil pride. It was soon clear that people are the heart of Sunderland, and they are the building blocks of the community. We worked with a range of diverse groups from 14-85 years old. The work gathered, messaging and conversations informed the final 10 signs, which can now be seen across the Western wards.

‘Sail Creative were an excellent company to collaborate with on this new signage commission for the west area of Sunderland. Mandy and Danielle were asked to design new signs to promote the clean and green project in the local communities. They put out suggestion boxes in community centres asking people what they thought of their community and held a number of creative workshops. The signs have taken the artwork and ideas of the local people and created bright and beautiful images. We hope these signs will inspire people to be proud and keep their community clean from litter.’


Emma Scarr

Co-Director, The Cultural Spring

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