If you’re local to Kent, you may know that there is a large herd of dinosaurs at Port Lympne Reserve. The new prehistoric installation has been open for a couple of months now, and received record breaking visitor numbers!
In the run up to the opening, Oak Creative worked closely with Port Lympne to prepare the Dinosaur Forest experience for visitors. The attraction needed a complete new identity, signage and advertising. The entire customer journey was considered to make sure this new spectacular was delivered with maximum impact! Read all about the project and Oak’s work here…
The first step for us bunch of creatives at Oak was to create the “visual identity” for Dinosaur Forest. We considered the style of imagery we would use, the typeface, colour palettes and finishes. This is a crucial first step and once in place, all Dinosaur Forest promotional material, signage and advertising can be consistent and professional. In essence, everything Oak creates for Dinosaur Forest will belong to part of the same family and is a consistent experience for the customer. You’ll be amazed how often this is overlooked, so Oak took on the role of brand guardians to ensure everything had the seal of approval.
Pulling in the crowds
Oak created a series of adverts to entice visitors to the new spectacular. In fact, we planned these early on during the visual identity stage as they are extremely important – there’s no point in having a Dinosaur Forest with no visitors! We created print adverts, digital adverts, billboards and advertising in several other mediums announcing the launch date.
Welcoming the masses
Before visitors reach Dinosaur Forest, they need to know how to get there. Oak created a series of directional flags and welcome signs. This is the visitors’ first glimpse of what’s to come: directions needed to be visually consistent with any advertising they may have seen which has driven them to Dinosaur Forest.
Setting the scene
As well as being a roar-some new installation at Port Lympne, there is a huge educational element to the experience. At the beginning of the forest it was important to prepare visitors for what they’re about to see and learn about. Oak produced a large timeline which details ALL the dinosaurs which visitors can expect to see on their journey as well as the pre-historic time zones which they fall into. Presenting this kind of information in a logical and understandable way for all audiences takes careful planning and meticulous attention to detail. The end result is worth its weight in gold!
Each dinosaur in the forest has a sign detailing the time period it originated from, a hand drawn illustration, weight, size and a description of its characteristics. Oak was heavily involved in collating content, drawing each dinosaur and presenting the information on the educational signs. Again, consistency is key, as well as the accuracy of the content (fortunately we have a resident Dinosaur expert, ahem… Rick).
Journey around the forest
The Dinosaur Forest is split into 7 prehistoric time periods so that visitors travel through the eras chronologically, with the relevant dinosaurs in each area. To mark the beginning of each time period, Oak created a large sign with information specific to the world’s environment at that time. We also drew maps of how the world looked at that time, where the sub-continents were compared to where they are now. There’s so much more to learn about than just dinosaurs!
Extending the fun
As if 100 dinosaurs aren’t enough of a pull, the experience is completed with a series of fun activities for children to enjoy incorporated into the forest. Oak drew silhouettes for each dinosaur, some of which have been made into stamps for children to collect at various points during their journey.
French speaking visitors
To add another challenge into the creative mix, the Oak designs had to accommodate a French translation for visitors from across the channel into some of the signage. This sounds fairly straightforward – and it is – for clever designers who ensure it doesn’t overcrowd the design!