Signs that do more than merely inform

The theme park we are currently designing will be a place to have fun. Colors are bright, flowers will be a plenty, and many of the features will be slightly off kilter in a playful, cartoon style. We are designing a place to take people out of the real world for a time of fun. We are designing a place to host wonderful family experiences and create lifelong memories.The signs are a critical component of the mix. These signs are asked to do much more than 'typical' sign in the real world. They do much more than merely inform. They also tell a story, entertain and set the mood for each attraction. 

The sign for the bumper boats tell the story of the pond - Bucky's pond. The pond was created by a beaver.The sign carries his image on each side. But to effectively and truly tell the story and add a touch of humor for those who take the time to look, we need to give the sign one more twist. The post of the sign (as well as a few fence posts in the vacinity) will be chewed and leaning, ready to 'fall' at any moment.

The tall tower ride will feature a windmill at the top. Riders will go to the very top and then DROP sixty-five feet in an instant. The ride is called the Windmill Drop. While I could have done a sign with a windmill the situation called for much more. We are setting the stage as a western/desert look so I instead went with that theme. A tall cactus will act as the post with an old board being the sign. On top a vulture waits patiently, setting the mood for a scary ride. Underneath an old cow skull, bleached in the hot sun, fuels the feeling of peril just a tad more. The sign not so subtley questions the passersby's courage and perhaps the outcome of the thrilling ride.

Nearby is the large ferris wheel, which has covered wagons for gondolas. The ride is in the western part of the park and is called the wagon wheel. This too is a very large ride which towers over the park. The icons for the sign for this ride were easy. A wagon wheel was an obvious one, graphically stating the obvious. A prairie dog perched on top with eyes very wide, amazed at the SIZE of the massive wheel above, instantly set the mood I was looking for. AWE.

These signs are fun to design and even more fun to make. I'll bet they have no trouble passing the test we put to all of our projects. Within minutes of their being seen guests will pose in front of them with cameras flashing. These pictures will be posted to Facebook and elsewhere instantly spreading word of the fun to be had at this place. These signs will work hard for their owners doing many tasks.

And of course I am still hard at work designing much, much more. Stay tuned...

-grampa dan