A collection of ground-breaking designs which revolutionised the world of football matchday programmes has been assembled and will feature in a new four-star hotel set to open in Coventry next month.
The Telegraph Hotel is due to open in November in the former headquarters of the city’s newspaper and will feature a host of Mid-Century design elements, furniture and artefacts from the period.
One of the design professionals working on the project has spent the past few months assembling a whole season of Coventry City programmes from 1970-71 from across Europe.
The programmes – which include the club’s European campaign – were designed by John Elvin, whose work is widely recognised to have changed the way sports programmes were produced.
He left the club after just one season but recently his work has been the focus of national attention.
Now the programmes will feature in one of the rooms at the 88-bedroomed hotel, which is being operated by Bespoke Hotels.
Christian Hills, who works on design across the Bespoke portfolio, said it had taken several months to accumulate a full set.
“It is hard to overstate how important John Elvin was in the evolution of the matchday programme,” Christian said.
“He joined the Sky Blues from West Bromwich Albion, and was given total freedom to do what he wanted with the publication, and it was voted the best in the country.
“Previously, programmes had just been for information but John realised that with improved content and proper design, they would become part of the matchday experience.
“My history is in typography and from that point of view they were like nothing that had gone before and it is clear looking at the collection, that they are mini-masterpieces.
“I have sourced them online, mostly from across Europe. It was the year that the Sky Blues played Bayern Munich so that programme is sought after – I bought it from a Bayern fan – but actually the most difficult to get hold of was the pre-season friendly against Aberdeen, and I got that from a dealer in Scotland.
“Mid-Century design runs right through the Telegraph Hotel, from architectural features and fittings through to specially acquired furniture, so it is appropriate that the work of John Elvin will be a part of the hotel.”
Bespoke Hotels and the developers CDP have sourced a wide range of 1950s and 1960s period furniture which will feature in all areas of the hotel.
Brian Harrabin, of CDP, said: “We have been at pains to ensure that we bring out the best of the architectural and design features of the period which was so significant in the rebuilding and rebirth of the city, and there will be nods to the historical use of the building.
“The late 1960s and early 1970s were a golden period for the Sky Blues so it is great that the work of John Elvin will be marked. Christian has gone above and beyond in sourcing every programme he designed – I think it became a real labour of love and is one that guests will be able to enjoy regardless of their interest in sport.”
The hotel features a restaurant and bar – Forme & Chase – the spectacular Winter Garden, which is made up of 11 bedrooms overlooking a private, glazed indoor terrace only accessible from these rooms, and a rooftop terrace bar.