Worldwide, Metro informs and entertains 17 million readers daily through its international network of free daily newspapers and websites, published in over 100 cities in 19 countries. For Canada, 2010 marks Metro’s 10th anniversary in the “great white north”. But it’s not just any 10 year anniversary… it’s been a decade filled with incredible growth. Starting with one edition in one city, Metro has become Canada’s largest national free daily newspaper reaching over one million Canadians daily in 2 languages and 7 editions stretching coast-to-coast. For a country as large and diverse as Canada, this is a very big deal indeed!
Metro decided to celebrate its Canadian 10th anniversary in style with a special gift for longtime partners and advertisers. It was essential that the gift be not only a distinctive brand piece and a sought-after collectible, but also something that took up residence on desks and engaged people daily – just as Metro’s newspapers and websites do. These unique thank-yous would be gifted to partners via personal visits by Metro staff across the nation.
If you’ve been in a major Canadian city, you’ve seen Metro’s iconic green newspaper street boxes everywhere. Thousands of them live on busy street corners throughout the country, and are visited by Metro readers more than a million times each day. Together with Metro, Happy Worker mini-sized the familiar Metro boxes into authentic desk-sized replicas one tenth as tall that hold business cards rather than newspapers.
The Metro Mini Replica News Boxes are made just like their biggie sized twins, with sturdy welded thick steel construction and powder coat painting, the curvy green boxes have a see-through acrylic door that opens & closes magnetically, a spot for an “ad card” insert on the front, and bona fide branding on all 6 sides of the box.
Under Metro’s direction, Happy Worker began creating new mini box blueprints by reverse engineering the existing 4-foot tall box down to 5-inches. Happy Worker’s goal was to replicate the original iconic street boxes as authentically as possible while staying within budgets.
During prototyping, several design tweaks were made – such as adding magnets to the door mechanism, replacing some metal hardware with acrylic parts, tweaking the hinge to open to a specific angle, streamlining the “ad card” insert area, and altering the inside of the box to help users extract their business cards more easily.
Remarkably, to recreate the boxes as genuinely as possible we decided to fabricate the miniatures the same way as the real-life boxes; thick steel sheets were cut by dies, then welded together by hand. Each box was powder-coated individually with Metro’s signature green paint, and branded just like their big brothers. Packaged in elegant gift boxes, the replicas were delivered to Metro offices across Canada.