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York Minster

York Minster, in the northern city of York and one of the largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, has undergone significant renovation and structural repair work in the last few years. As part of this, improvements were needed around the site to attract and inform some of the 7 million annual tourists to the city.

At the end of 2013, a significant visitor development opened in York Minster's Undercroft. Set to transform the visitor experience and support the primary York Minster Revealed objective of developing and engaging audiences, York Minster needed to complement the visitor experience with a comprehensive signage scheme of exceptional quality.

This is when Bolton Sign became the 'Chosen One'.

We were approached by one of our Manchester design clients to provide multiple signage solutions for the site surrounding York Minster. They approached us following a successful collaboration creating signage for the National Media Museum. The brief identified that effective signage was needed to drive admissions and inevitably, secure increased financial sustainability for the attraction.

One aim of the brief was to reduce signage clutter and the decades of accumulated styles which were confusing, unattractive and detracted from the site's historic aesthetics and splendour.

York Minster wanted signage which:

  • improved the visitor welcome and encouraged audience engagement
  • was visually engaging but non-intrusive
  • provided clear directions to entrances/exits, to new exhibits and key visitor areas internally and externally
  • was accessible to international and foreign-language speaking visitors, as well as those with restricted vision

For this project, we manufactured two double-sided and one single-sided externally fixed totem signs, two mobile totem signs, and two externally fixed map tables.

Map Table (1450x800x900mm):

Our skilled fabricators constructed the subframe of the 'map table' from 10mm thick, marine grade stainless steel and then clad it with 6mm thick brass plates. All the edges were welded together and polished to give the effect of a solid block of brass.

Any exposed brass edges had a BMA (Bronze Metal Antique) finish applied, a process where the brass is dipped in a mild acid to create an aged metal effect, which was important in preserving the appearance and matching the general aesthetics of this world-famous heritage site. Fixed Totem Signs (2200x500mm):

Again, these signs were manufactured in house by our experienced fabricators from the same material - 10mm thick marine grade stainless steel clad with 6mm brass, coated with a BMA finish. The central section of the sign had back to back brass-framed poster cases with 4mm thick toughened anti-reflective glass.

Bolton Sign carried out groundworks to secure the map table and fixed totem signs into a 0.35 cubic metre area of concrete foundation.

Mobile Totem Signs (1483x345mm):

These were manufactured in almost exactly the same format as the map table and fixed totem signs, however, enlarged base sections were added to feature heavy duty concealed and hinged castors, for easy relocation in and out of the Minster foyer.