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Fairy Thorn gardens



Belfast City Council



Urban / Very small-scale


Little signs for little people


The Fairy Thorn Garden is a small plot of land just off Sandy Row in Belfast on which grows a small hawthorn tree. Legend has it that when the Housing Executive were building the surrounding estate in the 1970s, the contractor, fearing a curse, refused to cut down the tree so the land was left vacant.


It was recently turned into a fairy-themed park incorporating a wishing well and a brightly coloured mural, intended to appeal to primary school children.


We designed and manufactured a new sign type specifically for this project. The Sway Signs consisted of an irregularly shaped ‘stem’ and a laser-cut, hawthorn blossom-shaped head. 


The hawthorn blossom-shaped panels are positioned at a child friendly height and crayon rubbings can be taken from the etched zinc illustrations. These magic signs can be clustered, arranged in rows or adapted for wall mounting. The panels can be laser cut in a variety of shapes and are a very cost effective signage solution.


Agency services

- Concept development

- Interpretive strategy

- Sign design and material specification

- Research and copywriting

- Design and illustration

- Logo and identity


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