The new welcome sign at Atawhai, left, designed by Nelson artist Andy Clover. Photo: Kate Russell.

Nelson’s new welcome sign revealed


After 83 entries, five finalists and a few months of waiting, the winning design for Nelson’s new welcome sign has been revealed.

Local designer Andy Clover has won the competition to design a sign to replace the outdated ‘Nelson: Live the Day’ sign on Atawhai Drive (SH6).

The new sign was installed last Tuesday.

Entries, which closed last November, had to contain the words ‘Welcome to Nelson’ and were judged by a panel of executive board members from Arts Council Nelson along with staff from Nelson City Council.

Andy works mostly for himself as a designer at Go Ahead Punk Ltd and as Creative Director at 7 Design Secrets.

He says his design wasn’t inspired by “anything in particular”.

“I approached it with simple fundamentals in mind, really – legibility and boldness are important for a sign of this nature and the font was a nod towards the creative people and industries of the region,” he says.

“I wanted it to look friendly, fun, welcoming and a bit ‘arty’, without being too overdone. Obviously the colour choices were made to support the sense of the outdoors, beaches and bright skies and sunshine which is such a big part of what makes this region so attractive.”

In the past, NCC has gone to design companies for signage, but decided this time to go to the public, offering a prize of $2500 for the winning entry.

The competition attracted entries from those as young as seven through to 82 year-olds, with the range of submitted imagery being as diverse as the age gap.

The runner up in the competition by Maggie Sweetman.
The runner up in the competition by Maggie Sweetman.

Chair of NCC’s community services committee, councillor Gaile Noonan, says that Andy’s design met the brief “perfectly”.

“It’s great that we are able to revamp our ‘Welcome to Nelson’ sign with something fresh and inviting, while also showcasing a local artist,” she says.

“A big thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their submissions, it was fantastic to see the effort from so many people wishing to make a warm welcome sign for locals and visitors.”

The winning design will also be used by NCC for other promotional purposes.