We Built this City

Carnaby Street resident We Built this City was originally a ‘pop-up shop’ but is now ‘staying-up’ for the foreseeable future. The self-confessed revolutioniser of London souvenirs is moving from strength to strength. We were fortunate enough to be one of their shopfront mural artists over Christmas 2015.

We were approached by Alice Mayor, the founder of We Built this City, with a dream brief to apply our intricate style to the shop exterior and interior.With a unique ‘M’ shape to work with, that bends around the shop’s glass panelling, this bespoke London cityscape comprises of both horizontal and vertical panoramic areas. As well as outside, the stairwell is also totally ‘city-worked’ with panels that, when aligned, reveal one complete London cityscape.

We’re really proud to have our designs used as an attraction to passers by to symbolise all of the great artists and designs that can be discovered inside. This work was visible until February 2016, with our ‘Lost In London’ collection available within. Thank you to everyone at We Built This City for the opportunity, and thank you to Onward Display for their help with the manifestations. Read below for our Q&A with Alice.


What inspires you as an artist?

Living in the city is always a fascinating source of inspiration. With the number of things that are happening, moving, or changing, it’s very easy to take a walk through the streets and notice interesting sights and find new influences. From odd colour combinations and graffiti to crowds of people and tangling architectural styles, living in the city is never in short supply of surprises.

What inspired the exterior for WBTC and how did you bring the idea to life at scale?

We Built This City is home to the best souvenirs in London! So we wanted to give the store a design that justified all of the quality products that you can find inside.With the winter nights descending we wanted to reflect the nighttime shopping experience on Carnaby Street, so we aimed to design something that felt like it was lit-up. The design is set against a midnight blue background, with an electric neon colour palette.

What does it feel like to have your work on Carnaby Street?

Seeing as we specialise in small cards and stationery, it’s a very special feeling to see our designs on such a scale, and have so many people walk past looking at it. It’s such a great opportunity to be involved with We Built this City and feel honoured to be in the spotlight of one of London’s most famous shopping destinations.

What do you most love about London?

One side of London that we particularly love is when it’s early in the morning, before the city wakes up. A misty sunrise, the slumber of delivery drivers and workmen, the smell of fresh produce being offloaded at a market. It’s a weird feeling watching the gears begin to turn on a new day in London.

We Built this City Staircase design of London by The City Works
We Built this City Carnaby Street Mural by The City Works
We Built this City Carnaby Street Mural by The City Works

More of our commissions

Barbican Centre

Barbican Commission Stationery Set by The City Works

Straightline NYC

Straightline NYC 1 By The City Works

Sketch House

Sketch House Finsbury Park Mural by The City Works 2
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