Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand

puzzling-world-logo

Some of our most interesting work has come from Puzzling World, Wanaka’s Wonderful World of Weirdness!

This unique attraction has been fascinating visitors for over 40 years with it’s theme of Puzzling Eccentricity. From the Tumbling Towers to the Great Maze, the Leaning Tower of Wanaka to the Illusion Rooms, Puzzling World continues to confound visitors.

The Tilted House

The Tilted House

There is a great Café where you can relax and test your skills with the many puzzles on the tables. Look up and you’ll see a huge kaleidoscope above. Even the public toilets are fascinating with an extra room which is an imitation of an old Roman-Style bathroom, a magnificent mural on the wall carries this remarkable room on into the distance.

The Illusion Rooms are our favourite; 1. Hologram Hallfrom a large display of 3-D hologram photos; a room where 168 famous faces appear to follow you; a space where you appear to shrink or grow, and where you can watch your appearance on a delayed video output; Ames Rm Web 2another room where objects look to glide uphill; a new gallery filled with incredible illusionary sculptures. These amazing rooms must be seen to be believed and will challenge your perceptions of reality.MeYou ambigram

Outside, the Great Maze encourages problem solving, exercise and fun. Puzzling World invented the modern styled maze with over-bridges to create the world’s first 3 Dimensional Maze.

And in December there is something new promised, according to the sandwich board we have just delivered. And we can’t wait…!

Puzzling World

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Olivers Restaurant & Victoria Store, Clyde

One project that kept us busy in the Autumn, courtesy of Feast Creative in Queenstown, was the external and internal signage for the refurbished Olivers Restaurant and Victoria Store in Clyde. The stylish 3D signage, hanging signs and gold window decals look great on the historic stone schist buildings. Olivers Restaurant The original stone complex, in Clyde’s historic precinct, was built by Benjamin Naylor in 1869 as a general store, servicing the prospectors who sought their fortunes during the Otago gold rush. Today, in recognition of its outstanding heritage value, Olivers is protected by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Inspired by the past, owners, Andrea and David Ritchie, have sensitively restored the buildings, including an elegant homestead, the old store, coach sheds, stables and barns and converted them into luxury accommodation, a restaurant, cafe and bakery, store and brewery. The vision is to once again attain the national and international profile enjoyed by the original Olivers restaurant opened by Fleur Sullivan (now of Fleur’s Place, Moeraki) in the 70’s.

The Victoria Store & Brewery

The Victoria Store & Brewery

The Merchant of Clyde Café & Bakery

The Merchant of Clyde Café & Bakery

Olivers

Olivers

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Dick Frizzell and the Four Square man…..

Well we discuss new/old/retro approaches to signage from time to time here at Wanaka Signs and we’re looking for a glitter disc image of Dick Frizzells Four Square Man……

I have not been able to find a shot of the image to date, but I have found some beautiful images of what we’re looking for, one attached above, we just want to make some good old fashioned (yes, possibly expensive) sparkly, 3-D signs. We’ll just have to think of a good spot to put one Disa…..

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Choppers wrapped by #GigaTownWanaka’s Wanaka Signs

Well it’s that time of the year again and the teams of  WORLD HELI CHALLENGE. are back to NZ to test their skills. This time in Mt Cook National Park. They have picked a great spot, fantastic snow and sublime weather!

Ready to hit the skies with those who are ready to hit the slopes....the really really big ones!

Ready to hit the skies with those who are ready to hit the slopes….the really really big ones!

This is our fourth year here at Wanaka Signs to work on signage for the World Heli Challenge’s choppers, so I thought it time that I got familiar with the History of this amazing event that is World Heli Challenge. I had no idea that it had been running for so long and has garnered so much kudos in snow sport circles around the world. It is truly an amazing set up and produces some of the best footage for ski and board that you will see. The following clip shows some wonderful local Wanaka footage and personalities:

And then I’ve found this one, through Carlton Dry on Youtube, giving a totally dizzying Point of View journey into what its like to be a Heli-Skiier. Amazing visuals, flying you around the pristine, snow covered mountains which we’re so lucky to live amongst:

There is some fabulous footage out there, created by the World Heli Challenge team and the participating athletes. And it’s so good to see Wanaka Signs work featuring throughout! We love it!

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Colour in #GigaTownWanaka

rainbow-ocean-by-thelma

The internet is a dangerous distraction sometimes, like late on a Sunday night when the kids have commandeered the TV and you’re stuck on the PC, looking for something interesting………occasionally it works out and you find just that site that gives you a tool to explore something so basic to our day to day existence = colour. This is addictive and fun, have a look at the combinations here: Colour Scheme Designer and have a bit of creative fun…..

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Typefaces and Design, to be taken seriously in #GigaTownWanaka

Sometimes it’s difficult to credit the necessity of a good deisgner, a graphic artist, a layout expert. But a product, be it a chair, a car or a sign, is nothing without a good designer behind it and Wanaka Signs is well populated with good designers. Typefaces are the backbone of good signage and designers have an aptitude for getting the best out of a sign with a good typeface, or “font”. One of the all time great fonts is “Helvetica”, the creator of which died just recently. I’ve lifted this article from a recent on-line publication by BBC News, if you get a moment to read it, it’s quite inspirational:

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Mike Parker who helped popularise Helvetica died this week. You won’t find a graphic designer who isn’t familiar with the typeface (released in 1957 under its original name Neue Haas Grotesk). But Helvetica is one of the most well known typefaces among non-designers, too. Why is that asks graphic designer David Airey.

Many people attribute its popularity to Apple, and Steve Jobs’ decision to incorporate Helvetica into the Apple operating system. But the typeface had already joined the halls of design classics long before computers were on the scene.

Swiss designers Emil Ruder (1914-1970) and Armin Hofmann (born 1920) were on the faculty at the Basel School of Design, and it was their teachings that gave rise to the Swiss Style of design during the 1950s and 60s. Ruder was the typography instructor, placing great importance on the use of sans-serif typefaces. He taught that type loses its purpose when it loses its communicative meaning; therefore, legibility and readability are main concerns. “Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing,” he said. The even and almost homogenous form of Helvetica (Latin for Swiss) aligned well with the school’s typographical philosophy.

Not long after Helvetica’s release, students from the Basel School of Design spread the typeface’s merits to the US when they returned to Yale and other American schools (Mike Parker graduated from Yale with a Masters in design).

It might now have a love/hate relationship among graphic designers, but that’s generally more to do with its misuse, placed in the wrong surroundings, rather than any fault with the typographical design. For example, choosing Helvetica for a logo in order to distinguish a company within its marketplace isn’t going to work given the ubiquity of the typeface. With a clean, professional, and what can today be called “safe” appearance, it’s easy to understand why committees in large companies have previously reached consensus on Helvetica’s use. International brands from BMW and American Airlines to Lufthansa and Panasonic have adopted the design in their logos.

German designer Dieter Rams – famous for his classic Braun product designs – believes that good design is unobtrusive and long lasting.

That’s Helvetica.

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Warbirds Over Wanaka with #GigaTownWanaka jet racing!

We are very fortunate here at Wanaka Signs to have as one of our clients Warbirds Over Wanaka and this year’s show is going to be fantastic.

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As you can see from the photo gallery above, I’ve picked the ones with the nice stickers! Love those graphics on the old aircraft.

For the first time, there will be a one-off special event, celebrating 100 years since WWI, over the Lake on the Friday afternoon 18th April, at 4.30pm – 5.30pm, which will be free for locals and visitors. The aim is to educate new generations about the role aircraft and New Zealand pilots played in the Great War 100 years ago. Come and see these extraordinary aircraft flying over Lake Wanaka. Warhorses, static displays, searchlights, commentary and some surprises to be had.

So all the very best of luck to this up and coming world renowned event which we are so fortunate to have in our town. All the best to Ed and his team for their preparations and may the weather Gods shine upon us this Easter in Wanaka!

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