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Humorous new zoo signs send serious safety message

Next time you visit ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo you may notice some rather colourful new safety signs have replaced the more traditional versions.

Creative studios at ZSL London Zoo have revamped the old signage and produced eight new light-hearted and engaging designs that it hopes will capture the attention of its 1.2 million annual visitors.

Combining an irreverent approach with traditional imagery for maximum impact, each design incorporates humour and strong visuals to ensure visitors notice them and take heed.

“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 slogans included in the new range of signs.

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.

“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.”

Keep your eyes peeled during your next visit –


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