2024 UCL Letters Design Competition - apply now!

UCL portico at dusk with giant glowing UCL letters in front of Portico steps
UCL portico at dusk with giant glowing UCL letters in front of Portico steps
UCL Campus Experience and Public Art would like to invite all staff and students to submit a design proposal for the 2024 UCL Letters Design Competition.

The aim of the competition is to generate new, unexpected and hopefully quite remarkable ways of recreating these letters for the campus.

The competition started in 2023 specifically for students at the Slade School of Fine Art. The competition was created in recognition of the interest from students across the year and particularly during graduation period to create memories of their time at UCL. The letters act as a vital tool in signposting that people have arrived at the campus, with the letters acting as ’arrival points’ to students and visitors.

We are now opening up the competition and are inviting all UCL students and staff to develop a concept proposal for the UCL letters for display in the outside public areas of the campus.

Concept Proposal

The letters will be located outside and would need to be moveable, but also withstand:
  • People leaning on them
  • People sitting or climbing on them

The proposal should consider the following:
  • Materials and durability - the work will be located outside and be moveable
  • Robustness - people will lean and sit on the letters
  • Sustainability - the letters should be designed to last for at least 5 years and be potentially recyclable

Please take into consideration:
  • Each letter must be approximately 1.5m tall and approximately 1m wide, with a depth of no more than 50cm
  • The overall piece should be no more than 2m in height

Submission Requirement

All entries must include:

  1. A written narrative about the design, outlining the inspiration
  2. Visualisation of the proposal

We do not expect you to work out the costs of making the work but in the development of the idea you should consider the availability of the materials you are proposing the work be made with.

Selection Process

A selection panel will review the submissions against the criteria below.

Selection Criteria

  1. Creativity and innovation: The proposal should push boundaries and explore innovative ideas for the design of the letters to align as close as possible to Helvetica or Arial fonts.
  2. Quality of Materials: The proposal must be suitable for the location - an external site - subject to the impact of the elements. The proposal must be durable and with clear and adoptable maintenance requirements.
  3. Site context: The proposal must be sympathetic and respectful to the buildings within the university campus, bearing in mind we have Grade I listed buildings surrounding the Terrace and the high-quality materials palette used throughout.

Detailed Design and Implementation

The Estates team and UCL Public Art will lead on the delivery of the selected concept proposal.

Future Use

The designs will be used in the first instance for the UCL signs, but we would agree with the artist(s) of the successful designs on a package of potential wider merchandise around the design, printed on bags etc. For this, a further one-off payment of £500 for additional use will be offered.


Up to two designs will be selected for construction - winners will receive an honorarium of £500

How to apply

Email Kelly Peaston with your design submission by Sunday 4 February. Entries should be in PDF format, with no more than three sides of A4. Please note that only one entry per person will be considered.
  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000