Sheffield Publicity Department was a dream tourist board for the ugly, lovely city of Sheffield, created and run in collaboration with the designer Jon Cannon. We created and distributed official-unofficial publicity materials that we thought the city should be creating for itself.
Products of the SPD included: Viewpoints, a series of printed and hand-folded maps to the best views of the city; Tree Rubbing Packs, DIY posters to help people celebrate the city’s urban forest; and Sheffield Music City, a guidebook to the second best musical city in the history of mankind (after Detroit, obviously), through the everyday and uncelebrated places where the music was made.
The project culminated in The Arrivals Zone: a fully functional tourist information kiosk in a shipping container outside of the station, built in collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s amazing School of Architecture, as part of the University’s 2012 Festival of the Mind. At this point, we realised we were basically doing what the city should do itself, for little to no money. So we shut down.
Postscript: due to the continued and egregious felling of healthy trees across the city by Sheffield City Council and their privatised contractors, Amey, our Tree Rubbing Packs are no longer valid, and have been recalled. All completed posters must be returned to the Sheffield Publicity Department for destruction. Take them off your fridges; smash their frames; rip them down from your children’s bedroom walls. Sheffield’s urban forest has been destroyed. We apologise for any hearts broken.