Shape-Cut Dusty Duck for WWT

Creating a free-standing, shape-cut Dusty Duck with a magnetic display for Slimbridge Wetland Centre


When Slimbridge Wetland Centre looked to bring the Dusty Duck character to life as a free-standing, shape-cut information display, they teamed up with The Bigger Printing Company – specialists in large format print and creating bespoke shape-cut print.

Slimbridge is an award winning wildlife reserve and family attraction; one of nine UK wetland centres run by the the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. From birdwatchers to families there is plenty for everyone to discover all year round, including up-close wildlife experiences, safari adventures and a range of family events with Dusty Duck as the ambassador.

Dusty Duck was created by the world famous Bristol-based Aardman Studios in 2016 to celebrate WWT’s 70th anniversary and help connect more children to nature. Dusty’s role is to encourage family visitors to engage with wildlife in a fun and friendly way.

The Bigger Printing produced two free-standing Dusty Ducks, shape-cut displays using 5mm Foamex, each standing just less than two metres tall. Foamex was chosen as the base material as it provides a rigid, yet lightweight solution – perfect for free-standing displays which might need to be moved.

The sign that Dusty is holding has been designed and produced to be easily interchangeable. The sign area of the display has a ferrous coating which provides a magnetic surface. Therefore any messages and designs printed onto digifilm can be magnetically held onto Dusty - without any adhesive being required. By using a magnetic connection between Dusty and the adverts he is holding, Slimbridge Wetland Centre is able to update the messages quickly and easily, as the events and messages change.

Dusty and the interchangeable signs are protected by a matt seal, helping to provide protection from any possible damage, and the matt nature of the seal helps to reduce any reflections or glare caused by strong lighting, thus improving the visibility of the display.

The final result is an eye-catching, friendly display which easily conveys a message as visitors approach the centre, and staff at Slimbridge Wetland Centre are able to update the messages displayed with great ease.

Commenting on the project, Graphic Designer Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Dave White said: “I’m really pleased to have worked with Bigger Printing again on a project such as this. I knew from past experience that I could rely on their professionalism and expertise in converting our idea into something that was both eye catching and functional for visitors. We are all impressed with the results!

For more information on Slimbridge Wetland Centre and Wetland Experience & Creation, please visit their website here.