Giant 3D Cardboard Words and Letters for Weddings, Conventions, and Festivals

11 Jan Giant 3D Cardboard Words and Letters for Weddings, Conventions, and Festivals

Giant words and letters have always appealed to us at OPL.  The large size, font, and colour can immediately grab our attention because of the contrast: we are used to seeing small letters, on screens, billboards. When the letters are giant and 3D, and we can walk around and through them they become alive: their message can have a big impact. A good example of this is the City of Toronto, who for the 2015 Pan-am Games (check out the recycling bins we made with TO2015) commissioned huge 3D letters spelling “Toronto”.


via CBC

via CBC


The letters are giant: over 22m long by 3 meters high.  Each letter is made with a steel frame, aluminum cladding, and translucent polycarbonate front.  They can be moved and placed on its own and re-positioned, though each weighs about 3000lbs.  The letters have transparent faces that can be illuminated from behind via LED lights.   The sign was hugely popular this past summer in Toronto, with the Huffington Post calling it “one of the big hits of this summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games“.


Because of the nature of the materials used in the 3D Toronto sign (metal and aluminum) each letter is very heavy: requiring a forklift or handcart to move: and cannot be easily disassembled.  The cost to build the Toronto sign, and move it to two locations durings the games cost over $100,000.


Over the Holidays, working with Coolearth Architecture, Our Paper Life created a series of 3 giant cardboard pop-cup cards with the words “Peace”, “Love”, and “Joy”.   Just like the 3D Toronto letters, although only 5ft tall, still had a big impact on passerby’s of Coolearth’s Storefront.  The pop-up cards fold flat, and can be stored and used again next year without taking up space.  While Coolearth preferred to keep a simple look with bold colours, and wove Christmas Lights through the letters to illuminate the cards at night.




At Our Paper Life we feel it is possible to use cardboard or choroplast to create very similar letters that are more cost-effective, lighter, can be easily assembled and move.  Indeed depending on the projects needs and requirements we feel it is possible to achieve a similar result for a fraction of the cost.




Therefore it seems to us that Cardboard can be used to make giant 3D letters for weddings, conventions, festivals, pop-up, and temporary events.  Below is the design we made this Christmas for over-sized letters for a storefront display in downtown Toronto.




A few other benefits of using cardboard to create 3D giant letters include:

– Cardboard can be assembled on site, and disassembled for later re-use.

– Logistics: can be designed to be shipped around the world flat packed, or assembled into individual letters, which are yet lightweight (50lbs per letter for above words).

– Surface can be printed with custom designed patterns or pictures to match theme or convey a message

– Letters be mounted on stands, sit on the ground, or be suspended from above, because they are light

– Can be included with other 3D elements to create large scene or engaging environment of shapes and forms