Bespoke signs and shapes were required by Ordnance Survey to be used as props for an upcoming PR event to help launch Greenspace; a new free layer in Ordnance Survey Maps which enables the public to easily discover green spaces for leisure and recreation across England, Scotland and Wales.

The concept was to produce a giant map pin that was capable of freestanding and various handheld arrow-shaped signs that were fun and interactive. All signage and props had to be lightweight yet robust as they would be handled frequently by school children during the course of the campaign and be travelling all across Britain.

Display-grade polystyrene containing a flame retarding additive was selected as the ideal material to make the signage from due to its lightweight properties, while the additional painted finish added to its strength.

The arrow-shaped signs, which were 30cm tall and up to 2 metres in length, were machine cut from blocks of polystyrene and shaped to have radius corners making them safer for members of the public to handle. The arrows had a matt emulsion paint finish and white, self-adhesive vinyl lettering applied to one side.

The giant pin was an impressive 7ft tall and 1ft thick and had a hollow centre with mini arrow signs inside which were held in place by a pole that ran through to centre of the pin. The pole was fixed to an MDF base and was stabilised by white wedges which helped the pin to free-stand. The MDF base and side of the pin were both covered in a realistic faux grass for added effect. Similarly to the hand-held arrows, the pin was finished in matt emulsion paint and had white vinyl logos and letters applied to the face. The customer chose to have applied vinyl rather than flat cut acrylic letters so that they could easily update logos and wording in future.

Due to the General Election the official launch of Greenspace was pushed back by about a month but all props and signs were delivered by the original agreed date and the customer commented that “they look amazing” and they were “proper chuffed”.

Since the official launch of Greenspace at the beginning of July the props and signage have travelled England, Scotland and Wales visiting schools and local councils and have even been photographed with high profile MPs and celebrities such as Ben Fogle to help raise awareness of Greenspace.


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