leeds song tunnel

a typographic artwork celebrating the city's music

About The Artist

Adrian Riley has produced public artworks for a wide range of settings, usually involving text or typographic elements that relate to the location and people who live there. He studied graphic design at Leeds College of Art and began his career as a designer in the city before forming Electric Angel Design and relocating to the North Yorkshire Coast.

Adrian’s artworks often utilise either found text, specially composed poetry or involve collaborating a poet or writer to involve local residents in creating texts for artworks in their locale. Work has included commissions from English Heritage, RSPB, Newcastle City Council and York NHS Trust.

His work features a highly visual treatment of words and he believes that what you write, and how you write it are inseparable:

“I believe words and letters are far more than just carriers of information. The typeface used, the size and arrangement of the words, and the context in which they are used can express the meaning & emotions within the text, and they can have an impact and resonance of their own. When you place words in a public space this is amplified tenfold – they form a relationship and dialogue with the surroundings and the people who pass through that space.

The approach to using the song titles in the Song Tunnel is inspired by how we form personal attachments with popular music. Songs take on a meaning beyond the author’s original intention according to when we first heard them and what was happening in our life at the time, other songs are lifelong friends that always speak to us no matter what. That premise prompted the selection of the songs in Song Tunnel and how they’re arranged as part of a loose narrative – the songs of one moment in a persons life. Each song title panel is also treated uniquely with the typographic design seeking to embody the situation and characters suggested by the words.”

You can see more work by Adrian and his colleagues at Electric Angel Design – public art projects and graphic design – at www.electricangel.co.uk


Commissioned by Leeds City Council, August 2013

Concept & artwork created by Adrian Riley / Electric Angel Design LLP

Production Management & Technical Consultation by Don French / Don French Signs

Laser Cutting & Install by JM Engineering

Video by Cup Of Tea Productions