No more scary toilets at Howick Primary

Case study

Minimum cost, maximum impact – budget wall art creates feel-good vibes at primary schools

By June-Ann Russell

Grafix Wall Art works closely with many schools across New Zealand every day to deliver cost-effective, great looking graphic solutions that will appeal to students and staff alike.

The company’s work with two primary schools – Howick Primary and Kaikohe East – make excellent case studies. While each school wanted its commissioned artwork to express quite different visual and communication ideas, they had one thing in common – very limited finances to get the job done.

Let’s see how Grafix Wall Art met these schools’ creative briefs within a tight budget.

Howick Primary – ‘Bright decals mean no more scary toilets’ 

Some of the new entrants at Howick Primary in Auckland were reluctant to use the toilet block. Hardly surprising – the beige walls, cold floors and uniform cubicle doors were a far cry from the cosy family bathroom the average 5-year-old had been familiar with up until he or she started school.  Keeping this in mind, the school wanted to do something to brighten the bathrooms up and make them more user friendly for the kids – however, they only had a $500 budget for the entire project, which included decorating both the girls’ and the boys’ toilet blocks. The school contacted Christine Petty at Grafix Wall Art for an affordable solution.

Taking her cue from the marine-themed toilet seats the school had bought for the girls’ toilets, Christine set about creating an underwater scene, first of all emailing pictures she thought would work through to staff at Howick Primary for approval. She then used their approved images to create cut vinyl decals of brightly coloured mermaids and cute, friendly fish which she then installed on the three cubicle doors.

Over in the boys’ bathroom, dinosaurs now roam the walls above the urinal and decals have also been used to add colour and warmth to the area where the children hang their bags.

Deputy principal & special needs coordinator, Leeanne Hurley says the school is thrilled with the results.

“The art has brightened and refreshed an ugly bathroom. Five-year-olds with toilet phobias have been willing to use the bathroom. Both the students and teachers loved the change!”

Kaikohe East – ‘Canvas wall art helps inspire our students every day’

Kaikohe East school in the Far North has a roll of about 400 pupils and a special needs educator called Kaz Chamberlain who is passionate about promoting the school’s vision and values.

Initially, Kaz contacted Christine at Grafix Wall Art to create a 1 metre x by 600 millometre canvas to convey the school’s mission statement. However, after receiving her $65 custom artwork – “I was so excited to get it and thought it looked great!’’ – Kaz decided to order more of the same. In fact, she wanted one for every classroom.

Kaz explains: “It actually started with me getting wall art made of those words for my office, just to try something different. But so many people loved it and wanted the words in their class too so the idea of the canvases came about.’’

“The canvases are made up of our four ‘tanga’ values which we teach our children and use as part of our reward system. Some of the inspiration also came from our school song,’’ says Kaz. “We felt if we had these words in all our classes, including the office, it would become more familiar to all, especially our children. It would be a reminder always of what we are striving to achieve.’’

Grafix Wall Art printed the canvases on 320gsm weight canvas, which were stretched then laminated to give an enduring quality to the inks. The art was then couriered to the school, ready to grace its walls. Grafix was able to supply Kaz with the extra canvases at discounted price because she’d ordered so many. And, they were also super easy to hang: “The canvases were light enough to be installed using velcro 3M strips. Our caretaker had them up on the walls in no time!’’ Kaz says

“Having the canvases in all classes shows we are working together on the same page, with the same messages.”