Liverpool City Council graphic designer Esther Lazenby explains how she came up with the artwork for the city’s new fleet of green CNG powered refuse vehicles which are hitting the streets.
I have worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years, so I’ve seen my artwork produced in all sorts of places from social media, flyers and leaflets to large scale digital screens. But to have my designs wrapping our bin wagons has to be a career highlight because they will be seen by all of our almost half a million residents.
Taking care of refuse and recycling is one of the most important jobs that the council does. It affects every single person. The people who collect our rubbish do a fantastic and important job for our city so, for me, it was a privilege to work with Liverpool Street Scene Limited (LSSL) to design the wraps.
The 20 new CNG vehicles are a city first — and the biggest fleet of its type in the country. They are environmentally friendly, contributing to lowering Liverpool’s carbon emissions and making it a cleaner, greener city — and a clear demonstration of our commitment to take tackling climate change seriously. The illustrations on the wagons had to celebrate and showcase this, and take our message out around the city.
The first design for the wagons reflects the natural assets that Liverpool has: a beautiful coastline, parks and wildlife. The Liver Bird, which is the most powerful symbol of Liverpool, is the main element on the side of the wagon, and is pictured looking out over the city and the river.
The second reflects the work of LSSL. Their strapline is ‘Love our City’, so the illustrations show some of the work they do including collecting the bins, recycling, keeping the streets clean and maintaining street lighting — basically keeping Liverpool sparkling. The Liver Bird is watching over as LSSL and the council working in partnership to take care of our city.
This has been a real ‘team Liverpool’ effort. The people who work with the CNG vehicles to collect refuse and recycling work for LSSL, and the design of the artwork was carried out in-house by the council. We worked closely with a local firm, PPL in Speke, who printed and applied the designs to the vehicles themselves.
Pride in our city is an important part of living in Liverpool and the artwork on the new wagons reflects that. I hope the design will catch the eye of local people as they travel around — I’ll certainly be pointing them out to my family and friends!