ISA-UK Member Astra Group Enjoys National Recognition At The Sign & Wrap Awards

– The Celebration Was Shared With Fellow Manchester Business, Placemarque, With Whom Astra Group Worked Alongside On The Award-Winning Shepton Mallet Town Council Contract –  

Leading full-service provider of traditional and digital signage solutions Astra Group has been recognised at the Sign & Wrap Awards.

The national awards, hosted at NEC, Birmingham, acknowledge the very best sign-making in the UK and Ireland. Astra Group was awarded the title Wayfinding Project of the Year at the prestigious annual event for its work with Shepton Mallet Town Council.

The contract saw Astra Group tasked with developing the technical design for manufacture, and installation of a suite of architectural wayfinding signage products to help visitors navigate the picturesque market town and increase visitor numbers in the historic core.  The scheme was delivered alongside wayfinding experts, Placemarque, which developed the wayfinding and interpretation strategy, with sign designs tailored to accentuate the town’s distinctive and vibrant character.

It is the second consecutive year that the two Manchester-headquartered businesses have been awarded the highly coveted accolade, with Astra Group and Placemarque last year recognised for their work at Wellington Place, Leeds.

Featuring signage professionals from across the UK and Ireland, the judges at the 2024 Sign & Wrap Awards credited Astra Group’s entry for “being straight to the point as wayfinding should be. Aesthetically pleasing to the environment with great contrast. Signage that is going to last the test of time having been built with longevity in mind.”

Speaking on the business’s success, Astra Group CEO, Jim Kerr, said: “To have been awarded Wayfinding Project of the Year once was a proud moment.  To be recognised twice and for the second-year running is a phenomenal achievement.  It is absolute testament to the dedication and expertise of the entire Astra Group team who work tirelessly to deliver creative and innovative signage solutions for every client. 

“Shepton Mallet is an incredible market town with a lot to offer.  It has been a pleasure to work with Shepton Mallet Town Council to improve visitor numbers and help locals and visitors alike navigate the historic centre.”   

Sue Manley, Strategy Director and Founder of Placemarque, said: “Being recognised for what we love doing is just the icing on the cake.

“We’re so proud to help guide people to both explore and get to where they need to be and to be recognised at the industry’s most prestigious event is simply wonderful.”

Tara Jessop, Project Officer at Shepton Mallet Town Council, concluded: “Shepton Mallet has a rich history that warrants celebration.  The wayfinding signage designed, produced, and installed by Astra Group not only successfully addresses the challenge of reorientating visitors towards the town centre, but also complements the town’s identity, combining modern and innovative designs with historical context to create a lasting impact.  We could not be more pleased to work together on this scheme and see Astra Group recognised in these prestigious awards.  It is thoroughly deserved.”

Amongst the range of products produced and installed by Astra Group are large map monoliths, mini monoliths, wall-mounted map signs, and directional signs. 

All are designed to reinforce Shepton Mallet’s ‘quirky and bold’ personality, with the objective of bringing the town’s stories and visitor attractions to life, principally its parks, gaol museum and historic trails.  Utilising bright colours against a full bronze material and placed in strategic locations to choreograph visitors, the signs aim to catch people’s eye and draw them in.

Astra Group is a leader in producing innovative visual solutions for a wide variety of sectors including travel and transportation, hospitality, retail, leisure, and international events.  Recent projects include working with Manchester International Festival to deliver the signage throughout its new Aviva Studios home, continuing to deliver Large Format Roadside for Out of Home Media partners such as Global, and working into new business sectors with Arnold Clark.

UK & international clients include BT, Manchester Airport Group, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Bowmer & Kirkland, NHS, Gino Restaurants, Manchester City Football Club, Samsung, Gatwick Airport, Skechers, Global, JCDecaux, easyJet, Alight Media, Arnold Clark, and Unilever.