The comedy carpet that is. The promenade at Blackpool received a make over last year and you have to say she’s all the better for it. Driving in for the first time in years it was barely recognisable. Bloomfield road has finally been completed, the climbing walls are a great addition but its the sea front and the Comedy carpet that makes all the difference. That said, turn 180 degrees and you’re back in familiar territory. More of a Susan Boyle than the Carol Vorderman of makeovers.
To be fair it was only the comedy carpet we were there to see. Reading about it in Creative Review (and hearing all about the install from Dave Elinor last October) a number of the design team had to see the work for themselves. On a glorious May evening both Daves, Bobby and Michael made the trip up the M6 to inspect this typographic treat.
Visiting this fabulous feast of fonts had been on our to do list for some time. Now more than ever, seeking out inspiration for our own internal typography project. A brief visit, (it was a school night after all) we headed straight to the recently laid carpet beneath the legendary tower. Whilst appreciating the piece as a fine example of design it has to be said much of our time there was spent wondering just who said what?
For those who don’t know what comedy carpet is, it is a design collaboration between Gordon Young and Why Not Associates, commissioned by Blackpool council as part of their sea front regeneration. Referencing the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present.
Often recognising the jokes, we were just unable to put a name to who said what. Some were obvious. There is a huge strip dedicated to Morcambe and Wise, another to Peter Kay but it was those from the classics that kept us guessing. Luckily there is a key on the website to reveal all.
“I told you it was Tommy Cooper.”
Some quick snaps, some dodgy chips and a quick walk through the amusements we picked up the obligatory rock and headed home. Suitably inspired, it is now time to create our own homage, less of a comedy carpet and more of a CIC wallpaper. A little less concrete, much more foamex we hope to install our new graphics later this summer. Inevitably, you can find out more about our progress here, on our blog.
If we take nothing else from this we now have a reason to visit Blackpool. Try it, you might like it.