Think NOPE before you POKE!

Chicken legs and chocolate might not be the usual fare for health and safety signage, but ZSL London Zoo’s creative studio has put the fun into fundamental – with a light-hearted twist on new safety signage that hopes to capture the attention of its 1.2 million annual visitors.

ZSL London Zoo uses humour to captivate visitors with new safety signage designs

The eight new engaging designs incorporate humour and strong visuals alongside traditional warning idents to ensure visitors notice them and heed important messages.

“THINK NOPE BEFORE YOU POKE – touching the animals can hurt or scare them” and “DON’T BECOME LUNCH – stay behind the safety barrier” are among some of the attention-grabbing slogans included in the new suite of signage, combining an irreverent approach with traditional visuals for maximum impact. 

Emma Edwards, Head of Communications & Content at ZSL London Zoo, said: “Health and Safety signage is vitally important at the Zoo – it’s imperative our visitors know how to keep themselves safe in such a unique environment.

But in a setting like ZSL London Zoo, it competes with all the fascinating information about our animals – as well as our animals themselves! Too many signs can lead to ‘sign blindness’ meaning important safety warnings aren’t taken in.

New safety signage at ZSL London Zoo

“We knew a particular sign in our tiger exhibit, humorously depicting a person as a piece of steak, was shared regularly on social media and being ‘noticed’, so we decided to expand that thinking to our entire portfolio of H&S notices.”

Head of Health and Safety Ian Stacey collaborated with the creative studio to ensure the signage retained its clarity and impact. He said: “Combining humour with clear imagery, while retaining elements of the recognisable visual language of traditional health and safety signage, means our warnings and instructions to visitors are still clear – but might also raise a smile.”

Kathryn England, the Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “Understanding our visitors and what they respond to is essential. That’s why we’ve given our health and safety signage a complete revamp, which we are confident people will both notice, and enjoy.”

The entire suite of signs is now being rolled out across ZSL London Zoo and will later extend to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo so keep your eyes peeled during your next visit!

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