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Fairground and FunFair Games

Updated on April 9, 2011

Fairground Games

In this article I wanted to keep my readers update with what I have been doing in my daily life because in the last week I have actually been commissioned by the bosses at my day job to design signs and help make games for the 'Wilkinson's Distribution Center Open Day'. This was because the management decided they couldn't afford to hire games and they already knew one employee who was good at painting and constructing these type of games, so they requested I help him because someone mentioned I have artistic skills.

I began by researching the games that the finances manager told me they needed, these included 'Knock over the tin cans', 'Welly Wanging', 'Coconut Shy', 'Hook a Duck', Splat the Rat', 'Roll the 2p Coin onto a Prize', 'Egg and Spoon Race', 'Sack Race', '3 Legged Race', 'Tombola' 'Shoot the Soccer Ball at the Bear Golakeeper' and 'Coffin Game'. I was unsure what a few of these games involved but printed off some cartoon characters associated with the funfair games such as Top Cats 'Tin Can Alley', Wellington from the 'Shoe People' and I am considering 'Count Duckula' for the Coffin Game.

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Carnival FunFair

One thing that my partner decided would be a good cost effective idea for creating the tents that the games would be played under was to take regular gazebos that we had in stock at our retail distribution center and then create stripey boards to go across the front. These boards where easily painted in the companies red and yellow brand colors and give an almost carnival/circus atmosphere to the tents.

Kids Carnival Games

Although many of today's children may not recognize Top Cat because it is a cartoon from 1962 I thought it was suited to the particular game of knock over the tin can because even if they don't know who it is they can associate the trash cans and tin can's with the funfair game which is taking place. Above I have included a photo of my sign when it was halfway through completion.

Amusement Park Games

Here we have the final design which I painted using acrylics, metallic paint for the trash can's and later varnished with one coat which dried in 20 minutes. The managers were extremely pleased and agreed it will serve it's purpose for the kids carnival games and adults will also have a trip down memory lane at the same time!

State Fair Amusement Signs

In the above and below photographs I have found some of the 'traveling fairs' signs which include painted on typography which advertises 'Joby Garter' and from what I can read 'Son Sticker'? maybe this way the name of the game or the name of the Fairground? I'm not sure but it then continues to say 'Games for all ages' and 'Every one a Winner', which is something we might need at our funfair because there will be a small prize no matter the score on each game.

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Carnival Prizes

One other thing about the typography in these letters and the typography i tried to achieve in my signpost is that the letters must be 3-D because it helps them standout better. One thing which can save time when creating these signs as an alternative to pricey commercial funfair material is that you are free to create any style lettering you wish and do not have to spend time searching the internet for the font or editing typefaces in Adobe Illustrator.

Photo courtesy of

Fairs and Fairground Game Signage

Here we can see that other fairgrounds tend to use hand painted decoration for their rides and as you have probably seen here in the UK the background of 'Dance Zone' ride usually has an airbrushed technique applied to portraiture of stars such as Elvis or Michael Jackson. I think it is great because it adds a personal touch to a carnival funfair and each one is different.

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FunFair Games

As you can see above most funfair prizes are fairly cheap and small but they do usually have a few large stuffed teddies to get the customers attention although they are usually hard or impossible to win. Luckily though, we work in a retail distribution center and they will probably gather some moderately prices items to have a prizes and this is something you can note if your business is considering doing its own charity funfair carnival.

Photo courtesy of

Carnival FunFair Games

To finish of I am going to tell you that the 'finishing touches' to any funfair has to be something magical such as a magician, fortune teller, spiritualist or a clown at least. This is because adults need some form of entertainment which they don't get to see often or have seen hundreds of times before in their lives. You don't even have to hire an actual human psychic because nowadays you can rent an electronic machine that prints out cards with people fortunes on such as the one we all remember from the film 'BIG' back in the 80's.

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