13th August 2014

Has anyone else noticed the spread of bannermania, disfiguring the faces of some of Bloomsbury’s finest buildings?  There seems to be a misconceived need for institutions to shout

‘I’m here!’

by sporting an outsize banner, usually in some garish colour.  I think it must be down to public relations departments feeling the need to justify themselves by doing something unavoidably visible.

If it was an effort to help those with impaired vision I could be more sympathetic. All that is achieved is an increasingly loud visual ‘background noise’ as each sign and banner tries to compete with its increasingly brash neighbour.  Unchecked the result would be Hong Kong – itself rather wonderful but not as a vision of the future of Bloomsbury.  The example of banners at the school of pharmacy, shown below, is particularly sad – completely ruining the appreciation of the entrance of this very fine and subtly detailed deco listed building.

I guess banners are fairly cheap (they certainly look it) so institutions are happy to put them up at risk (these surely cannot have got consent) and see how long they can get away with it.

Hult International Business School – John Street

The School Of Pharmacy – Brunswick Square