The John Wesley Chapel Revamp

Printing directly-to-wood to create highly impactful displays inside the John Wesley Chapel & Museum in Bristol


Over the past few months, The Bigger Printing Company has been busy helping Bristol based exhibition designers, Cod Steaks, revamp The New Room / John Wesley Chapel and Museum. As part of this project, Bigger Printing produced a series of impactful, cut-to-shape wooden displays, along with printed floor vinyl displays for the new exhibition displays inside the museum.

2017 has seen the most substantial change to the New Room / John Wesley’s Chapel since the eighteenth century with the opening of the new three-storey visitor centre, and a full revamp of the museum rooms. The new building offers a 40-seater café and shop on the ground floor, library and archive facilities on the first floor, and a conference / education centre on the second floor. The museum itself tells the story of the Wesley’s and Bristol in the eighteenth century, and how Methodism grew and developed across the country.

Cod Steaks are award winning exhibition designers, theming experts, model makers, interactive designers and museum specialists. Working from purpose built workshops, Cod Steaks create everything from authentic replicas and models to entire exhibitions and themed fit-outs. 

Cod Steaks called upon Bigger Printing to help produce a series of large printed floor vinyl displays, and a series of wooden displays. The vinyl floor displays were produced to either look like a specific floor finish (wood, tiles etc.), or they created informative displays in their own right - such as maps for example. Each floor vinyl display is finished with an anti-slip matt seal to reduce light reflection, and help provide extra grip for the museum visitors walking on top of these floor displays.

The raw material for the wooden displays were supplied by Cod Steaks already cut-to-shape, and Bigger Printing printed directly to them, ready for Cod Steaks to build them into displays in each museum room. The wooden displays varied in thickness (the thickest display was 36mm), and the type of wood varied slightly too, depending on what display it was being incorporated into. The overall result is a spectacular range of wooden displays which wouldn’t be possible to create without printing directly to the raw material.

Below is a quick video showing the direct to wood elements being printed, and the displays up in situ at the John Wesley Chapel.


Commenting on the project, Cod Steaks Head of Project Management, Charles Mills said “The New Room project posed some really interesting challenges for us in bringing to life the story of John Wesley and the history of Methodism. Our Designer, Paul Drake, had conceived some graphic pieces which we approached Bigger Printing to help resolve. This they did with superb attention to detail both from the admin and production departments. A big thanks to you all.

For more information on Cod Steaks, please visit their website here.

For more information on the John Wesley Chapel, please visit their website here.