AtlantiCare, a healthcare system based in Atlantic County, New Jersey—with a flagship location next to the Atlantic City boardwalk—maintains a healthy community with its wide variety of medical services.

Illustration, Print Design, & Wayfinding

Project Overview
The AtlantiCare Foundation Development & Cultural Project Manager approached our team with a dream of transforming their beige, institutional pediatric wing into an immersive, caring space for their patients, families and staff. As is often the case with hospitals and institutions, the wing was previously decorated with clunky mosaics of sea life and patches of artwork from local artists and lacked cohesion and warmth.

Our response to the challenge was to create an expansive illustrative seascape that takes the viewer on a tour of the Jersey Shore from the boardwalk to an underwater fantasy land. Our team worked in scaled elevations and architectural plans to create a continuous design that wraps a playful scenery around the entirety of the wing. By brightening the space with a fresh coat of white paint, crisp new trim and molding, painted door jambs, and floor-to-ceiling graphics, we softened a space that was often intimidating for young patients.

Our designer/illustrator team created the illusion for the viewer of being swept out to sea to an underwater fantasy land. Sea monkeys in submarines, a seahorse castle and starfish taking selfies are just a few of the whimsical scenes capturing the viewer’s attention. Oh, and there’s Lucy the Elephant too!

Final photography of the Pediatric mural ©Sahar Coston-Hardy

Project Goals

  • Use design and illustration to transform an existing high-traffic hospital wing into a space of wonder while maintaining the functionality and floorplan of the pediatric wing
  • Use visual storytelling to create an immersive and continuous experience that wraps the entirety of the physical space
  • Create a space that welcomes and cares for children and their families
  • Capture the carefree and whimsical imagination of children
  • Assure that the content would engage a wide range of ages
  • Showcase local landmarks and oceanic themes to tie directly to the Jersey Shore
  • Refresh code and wayfinding signage to visually integrate with the new aesthetic of the wing

The AtlantiCare Pediatric ward before the redesign.

Our Process

Working alongside the Development & Cultural Project Manager, we identified areas of opportunity in the floorplan and then created storyboards to facilitate visual storytelling and develop the narrative of an underwater seascape. The journey begins with a feature wall at the exterior of the wing showcasing local landmarks that hints at the wonder of the pediatric wing that lives behind secure doors.

Beyond the secure doors of the wing, we wrapped the exterior walls of the corridor with floor-to-ceiling illustrations digitally printed onto graphic film designed to withstand the abuses of high-traffic areas. The 21 separate but contiguous murals are linked together to take the visitor on a trip from the beach to the depths of the deep sea and back again as they travel around the loop of the corridor that surrounds the wing.

The illustrative style of the pediatric wing was created to be bright and engaging for visitors of a wide range of ages. We included moments of humor and inspiration to make the viewer smile.

We created dimensional acrylic lettering to honor the primary donor for the wing, as well as bright ADA signage to honor the aesthetic of the newly refreshed space.

We converted the illustrations into a keepsake coloring book that patients and their siblings could enjoy while being cared for.

We converted the illustrations into a keepsake coloring book that patients and their siblings could enjoy while being cared for.


This project is a testament to why working for mission-based organizations has become the foundation of Pixel Parlor. Being able to brighten the work day of those that provide such important care to so many and add some joy to an otherwise worrisome time for patients and families gives us tremendous pride and a feeling of unmeasurable success.

Since launch, the AtlantiCare design has been awarded a 2020 American Graphic Design Award from GD USA.

Let’s Work Together

We enjoy taking on smaller projects that then become larger initiatives. There’s no project too big or too small for us. We’d love to hear what you have cooking.

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