Killer app: Footprint breathes life into hospital waiting room

By Max Goldbart, Monday 22 May 2017

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In March, James Hempstead, managing director of Cambridge-based sign and graphics specialist Footprint Signs & Graphics, found himself making the unfortunate trip to Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s A&E department after his daughter was injured.


He was saddened by the state of the department’s waiting room and the atmosphere it created.

“I saw vinyls peeling off the wall and nothing was sticking. So I had a chat with the nurse and said I do this for a living and maybe this is something we could do. We went from there,” said Hempstead. 

What did you produce?

Addenbrooke’s took action immediately, commissioning Footprint to produce a sizeable wall graphic to cover three of the department’s walls, opting for an underwater-themed design, which was sourced from the Shutterstock image library. An installation team of two com-pleted the job in early April.

What did the job entail?

The 2.5x10m graphic was printed in six sections on six-staff Footprint’s OKI ColorPainter M-64s. While no finishing techniques were applied, Footprint sales and development manager Chris Holmes said it was important to get the correct material, which ended up being a Mactac self-adhesive vinyl for wall graphics. The graphic was hung up in vertical sections, divided by a small overlap between each one.

“As opposed to using standard vinyl we would always use hi-tac vinyl,” said Holmes. 

“From an adhesive point of view, once it’s up there it will stay there.”

What challenges were overcome?

Holmes said the hustling, bustling nature of an A&E department proved taxing when trying to clear space to work.

He added: “Waiting rooms being used can’t be closed down so that’s always something to bear in mind. While we were there a couple of families came in with their kids so the kids were playing around where we were working.”

What was the feedback?

Footprint has already been asked to print and install two more large-format graphics in the waiting room.

Addenbrooke’s A&E paediatric sister Sue Creasey said: “The general consensus in this department is: what a difference it has made and how effective it is in transforming the whole area. We are looking forward to the others being done.”

Do you have a Killer App? We are interested in special, difficult or simply fabulous print jobs. Contact Max Goldbart on 020 7501 6681 or

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