Large format digital print providers strive for efficiency to maintain profitability in even the toughest projects. Building wraps are one of the most rewarding applications due to sizing considerations, production footprint, design, and install. The process of creating a graphic for one building is challenging, but imagine working on multiple wraps totaling almost 250,000 square feet of media.
Arthur Boisfontaine, partner, Crystal Clear Imaging (CCI), and his staff executed this for February 2013’s Super Bowl XLVII held in New Orleans, LA. Working with the National Football League (NFL) and Sport Graphics (SG)—a branding, production, installation, and distribution company; CCI printed eye-catching graphics in under a month that were displayed on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and surrounding buildings leading up to and during the event.
Founded in April 1999, CCI specializes in grand and large format printing. The print service provider (PSP) creates indoor and outdoor graphics including banners, vehicle wraps, event graphics, wall murals, and point of purchase (POP).
A 53,000 square foot facility is home to New Orleans-based CCI, with another location in San Francisco, CA. The New Orleans building utilizes a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet L26500 latex printer and an HP Scitex XL1500 five-meter device for double-sided graphics and POP orders. A six-color Gandinnovations—now owned by Agfa Graphics—five-meter printer is used for banners. An HP Scitex TJ8300 creates building wraps due to its ability to print up to 4,000 square feet per hour. The PSP relies on media from 3M Commercial Graphics, Arlon Graphics, LLC, and Clear Focus Imaging, Inc.
Building Wraps and Athletics
With an increasing number of building wrap requests, CCI hopes to move this application to the forefront. “Building wraps were a big part of the National Basketball Association’s All Star game in 2008 in New Orleans. We knew that if we were going to grow to what we wanted, building wraps would be part of our future growth,” recalls Boisfontaine.
Many steps go into creating a building wrap. Before a project can begin, CCI must cover areas such as insurance needs, availability of building drawings and blueprints, the hours it is allowed to install, and determine if there is prior rigging done on the building for previous or other ongoing projects.
CCI is branching out to larger national markets and events, with an emphasis on the sports industry with its building wrap expertise. The athletic arena is familiar ground. In 2012 it collaborated with SG to create event graphics for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.
A Super Job
For a third year SG was asked by the NFL to act as the event décor company for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Due to prior work with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and SG, CCI was an ideal fit.
“Its history and relationship with the Superdome and experience with the demands of large scale event décor production and installation after the NCAA Final Four made CCI an obvious choice as the local production partner,” states Adam Wolske, director of event operations, SG.
Once SG reached out to CCI, the PSP jumped on the project. “We started working with SG four to five months in advance. Production time was roughly three weeks. We ran our facility 24/7 for nearly a month,” says Boisfontaine.
CCI used a variety of devices to create the approximate 3,000 to 5,000 pieces needed. The Gandinnovations printer, HP Scitex TJ8300, an Océ LightJet from Canon Solutions America, the HP Scitex XL1500, and an Agfa :Jeti 3324 AquaJet were all utilized. An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 square feet of media was used including Top Value Fabrics 8 oz. Double Sided Mesh Banner, a 1000 Denier product.
The long hours and unpredictability of which teams—in the end the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers—would play in the Super Bowl proved to be a challenge, but the PSP welcomed the opportunity to be kept on its toes.
Once creative and production were finished the building wraps were displayed for four weeks prior to the Super Bowl. They were installed on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as well as inside and on buildings surrounding Champions Square—an outdoor festival venue; including a Hyatt, Benson Tower, and an IMAX theatre.
The Skyscraper is the Limit
With the goal of reaching international markets, acquiring additional sporting event contracts, and adding more building wraps to its workload, CCI is well on its way to continued growth and success.