Killer app: Signs Express Plymouth gives hospice charity facelift

St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth has cared for more than 3,500 people in the past year and its significance in the community is reflected by the success of its 30 charity shops across Devon and Cornwall.

But of late, the facades of the shops have been looking worn and tired, struggling to evoke the vibrancy and spirit of giving at the heart of the brand.

What was produced?

In a wider rebrand for the hospice, the Plymouth branch of signage franchise Signs Express was commissioned to produce the exterior signage for all 30 charity shops in St Luke’s network. Using new logos from St Luke’s designer, the signmaker produced signs of differing size tailored to the needs of each store.

What did the job entail?

Aluminium composite material was used to create fascia trays which were flooded with Metamark M7 self-coloured vinyl. The new X-shaped logo was digitally printed onto Metamark using an Epson SureColor 80600 signage printer with a nine-colour process comprising CMYK, grey, orange, red, light cyan and light magenta.

White Metamark vinyl was used for the lettering and was applied alongside the logo using either direct bonding to the panel or stand-off nylon locator fixings. Some shops maintained a pre-existing fascia tray onto which all the vinyl work was directly applied.

What challenges were overcome?

For the extensive commission, turnaround times were tight. The first 14 shops were completed in two weeks and the whole project took around two months.

Signs Express Plymouth production manager Mark Timson said: “This is a pretty typical job for us here, but the timescale was especially quick and because each sign was bespoke for each store that added an extra challenge.

“But St Luke’s is one of our blue-chip clients and we always prioritise giving them the best job we can and pulling out all the stops to make them happy.”

What was the feedback?

St Luke’s head of marketing Rob Maltby said: “We have been a client of Signs Express Plymouth for five years. Each project they have worked on has had exceptional quality and we can really push the creative and material boundaries. 

“We knew we could trust them as they have taken the time to understand our values and what our brand stands for. The guys really delivered on this project.”

Do you have a Killer App? We are interested in special, difficult or simply fabulous print jobs. Contact Rhys Handley on 020 7501 6388 or


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