An outstanding education is closer than you think, if you're standing at East Croydon train station

by Gareth Strange on 14 June 2019

We were recently approached by Old Palace of John Whitgift School to help with a problem they were having. Despite being located in the centre of Croydon, the school were constantly being asked where they were located. We were tasked to come up with a solution to this problem, whilst also promoting their open days for their senior and prep school. 

With billboard advertising space at the busy East Croydon train station booked, we saw an opportunity to take the viewers on a walk through Croydon past several landmarks ending up at the school itself. We did this using illustration in a traditional style using ink and watercolour. Here are several of the illustrations we created for the project, leading to the finished advertisement. 

Iconic Green Door

Old Palace School is a beautiful building with a fascinating history that dates back 500 years. It was founded as a school in 1889 and is today ranked in the top 100 schools in the United Kingdom. We learned about the school and its history, discovering iconic architectural details such as the green door. The school's colours are green and there is a grand entrance which is both picturesque and meaningful to the school. This is what we chose to become the focus of our illustration of the school.

Senior and Prep School Pupils

It was important to visually represent the pupils and showcase the prep school uniform and the iconic green blazer of the senior school uniform.

Croydon's Iconic Buildings

One of the buildings along the way is the Almshouses, a historic building which is integral to the Whitgift Foundation – the charity that overseas Old Palace School as well as two other schools, three care homes and provides support to the Croydon community.

Another building along the way, is the grade I listed Croydon Minster, a beautiful building where six Archbishops of Canterbury are buried within the grounds, including John Whitgift himself.

We were delighted with John&Jane’s strong visual interpretation of our brief, which was to explain to the residents of Croydon just exactly where Old Palace of John Whitgift is in relation to East Croydon Station. This was no easy task, but Gareth’s clever illustrations did the trick; we could actually see the bookings for our Open Day increase the moment the advert went up. In addition, the advert proved something of a talking point, putting Old Palace on the map exactly as we’d hoped.

Nicola, Old Palace of John Whitgift School

The Journey

As part of the campaign the illustrations and messaging have also been featured in several printed magazines. The final billboard advert has been on show at East Croydon train station over the last few weeks and the feedback has been incredibly positive, with great comments from the Old Palace staff and attendees of the open days. There were high attendances at the open days which was the main objective – and hopefully the people of Croydon are now more aware of the school's location! 

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