Image of completed blue, yellow and orange mural at Chummy in Des Moines, Iowa

Creating a Place for Friends to Meet with a Mural

It’s no secret that murals can breathe new life into a space, brighten an alleyway, revitalize an old building or create a place for people to come together (for selfies) and fun. That’s exactly what Eric Hartung had in mind when he decided to add a patio in the unused alley behind Chummy, his bar on 3rd Street and Court Avenue in downtown Des Moines. Their motto, “where friends meet” is exactly the vibe Project7 Design envisioned when concepting this mural.

As the weather warms up and people tiptoe back into the world, we’re excited to share the completed mural and a bit about the process that went into completing this project!

As the first step of a mural project, p7 designs a few concepts, each connecting to the style and theme of the brand or location. The interior of Chummy is vibrant and full of character so it was important that the same aesthetic carried through to the exterior brick wall.

The selected design was intended to feel like the party inside Chummy is spilling out the bar’s back doors and into the patio. The beer cup icon from the brand system is used as well, splashing with a celebratory motion.

After the project was approved by the city, we began planning out the mural’s execution. As part of any brand that may have environmental branding, p7 selects Sherwin Williams paint colors to match the Pantone brand colors.

The biggest lift for this project was to prime and prepare the exterior brick wall. To prep the wall for the mural, we had to cover the entire area with a base layer of special brick primer.

Brick exterior wall

Once primed, we use a projector to project the design on the wall in black and white. This made it easier to trace and sketch the design prior to painting.

Person tracing mural on brick wall using projector

The next day was all hands on deck (literally) as we worked from the scaffolding and the ground to execute the mural, slowly bringing the vibrant organic shapes to life.

“Every mural project brings its own unique challenges, and the Chummy mural was no exception,” says p7 Senior Designer Meghan Baltas. “Working on the uneven brick required patience, flexibility, and on-the-fly design decisions from anyone holding a paintbrush. I found that taking a few steps back and looking at the mural as a whole ended up being the most effective way to continually check on the progress and reevaluate our strategy as we painted on such an unforgiving surface.”

Two people standing on scaffolding painting a mural on a brick wall
People standing on scaffolding painting a mural on a brick wall

After painting was complete, the Chummy patio was ready for tables, new lighting and lots of customers to enjoy this new, revitalized space.

Like what you see? Check out our other mural projects and learn how p7 can help take your space to the next level with environmental branding.

Gutter Point mural at Wayward Social in Marshalltown, Iowa

Located outside of Wayward Social on their Gutter Point patio (1101 S. 6th Street in Marshalltown, Iowa).

Kind is Cool mural at Project7 Design in Des Moines, Iowa

Located outside of Project7 Design (222 E. 3rd Street in Des Moines, Iowa).

Anna Lemons sitting on a stool in front of the DO GOOD THINGS wall in the p7 office

Anna Lemons is Project7 Design’s Creative Director. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Iowa State University, Anna has held multiple design roles in a variety of industries. As p7’s Creative Director, Anna dips her toes in a variety of projects. 

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