Creative team takes inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci

When it was announced that the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull would host the exhibition Ten Drawings by Leonrado da Vinci: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration from the Royal Collection, it was bound to be a resounding success.

When it came to designing the creative work required by the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, to accompany the exhibition, the chance of success was less clear cut.

Hull-based Mercury, a design and communications specialist, rose to the challenge and its work certainly seems to be paying dividends. The exhibition has been a huge success and has so far attracted more than 35,000 visitors.

Anyone who hasn’t seen it yet is being urged to go along before it closes on January 20.

Claire Longrigg, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions at Ferens Art Gallery, said: “Mercury were fantastic to work with, they took on board our brief to create print materials that were eye catching and unique. We anticipated that the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition would be popular and we wanted something really special when it came to the marketing materials and interpretation. The design work complements the lead publicity image The Head of Leda, and the gold and peacock colours have also been used for the exhibition interpretation panels and labels.

It has been great to work with a local company like Mercury on the publicity, who understand how important this exhibition is to the city. The attractive design work that Mercury has produced has been essential for attracting new and existing visitors to the exhibition. We have worked with Mercury a number of times on exhibition print, including the high profile David Hockney exhibition, and have always been pleased with the end result.”

Mercury’s creative director Paul Burnett said: “It was certainly a challenge to try and design the publicity materials to accompany an exhibition of works by a legendary artist such as Leonardo da Vinci.

“It would be easy to be intimidated but we all took inspiration from his work to come up with something which we hope does the gravity of the exhibition justice.

“It’s certainly a feather in my cap personally to have worked on this for the Ferens Art Gallery. Our design studio team enjoy working on projects which make us think and test our abilities – there can be nothing more challenging than trying to help advertise an exhibition of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.”

Paul led Mercury’s design team to pull together the posters, banners and graphics to accompany the exhibition. The Ferens Art Gallery, in Hull’s Queen Victoria Square, is the only place in the north of England where the drawings, from the Royal Collection, are to be exhibited.

Mercury also worked on the look of the interpretation panels and labels for the ten drawings on display – including designs for chariots fitted with flailing clubs, a study of the head of Leda, a drawing of oak leaves, a double-sided sheet of anatomical sketches, a design for a scheme to drain marshland, a view of a river from a window, a costume study of a man on horseback, apocalyptic scenes and a rough study of an old man in profile, which is one of the last drawings made by the artist.

Paul said: “to be given the brief to design for all the publicity and exhibition interpretation for such a prestigious exhibition was an honour indeed.

“We were asked to design the same collateral for the recent Hockney exhibition so we were really pleased to be asked to get involved in this one also.

“It really is something to have been involved in and we feel like we are part of something special, the Ferens Art Gallery is a true jewel in the crown of Hull and we are glad to be part of that.”

The exhibition to mark the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations have been on show at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull since November 10, 2012. The exhibition is open until January 20, 2013.

Before the exhibition arrived at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, it also toured galleries in Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast and Dundee.

The Royal Collection, one of the world’s greatest art collections, is held in trust by The Queen for her successors and the nation. The collection is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. To learn more about the Royal Collection go to:

This exhibition is sponsored by Aberdeen Enterprise Finance Ltd, Crown Paints, Humberside Decorative Supplies Ltd, and Wykeland Group.

For more details, visit for more details.

Mercury also developed the creative around the Hockey exhibition which ran at Ferens Art Gallery, as well as designing literature for the 2012/13 junior and open exhibition.