By Melissa Donovan
Part 1 of 4
Every Spring Digital Output asks readers to submit recent jobs for consideration in our annual Application of the Year awards. This year brought with it some interesting entries, from wall murals created for music mogul Snoop Dogg to labels for recycling barrels in a suburb of Boston, MA.
Not only did the readers nominate, they voted for the winners. Swift Print Communications of St. Louis, MO received first place for its work with design firm Atomic Dust creating wall murals for a new restaurant.
The print service provider (PSP) offers a complete range of services from planning, data transfer, composition, and proofing to printing, electronic filing, and distribution. A G7 master printer, Swift Print employs over 50 staff members out of its 60,000 square foot facility.
Swift Print was contacted by repeat client, Atomic Dust, regarding a project they were working on for chef and restaurateur Gerard Craft, graphics for his newest restaurant Porano Pasta.
“From the very beginning, the inspiration behind this was how do you take the local warmth and pride of a small town like Porano in Umbria, Italy, and help bring the spirit home to St. Louis? One way is combining photos and keepsakes from both locations and then transferring them to giant walls in the restaurant for all to see and share,” explains Shawn Fogle, VP display and graphics, Swift Print.
Two large main walls—20×20 and 37×20 feet—were the focal point of the job. When designing the graphics, image resolution, how the panels would align after being handled during installation, and longevity were all taken into consideration.
To ensure all of these needs were met, Swift Print turned to PhotoTex Group, Inc., which recommended its newest wall graphic material, fabric-based PhotoTex OPAS. “This was chosen because the design was unforgiving in terms of graphic crossovers between panels and PhotoTex does not stretch, giving confidence during installation that there would be no surprises. The beauty of the material is that it is removable with a permanent characteristic,” says Fogle.
After undergoing proofing and alignment checks, an Océ Arizona 550 XT from Canon Solutions America proved to be the ideal printer for the job. The 96×120-inch flatbed, with a roll attachment, was used because of the alignment reliability across multiple panels and the color fidelity generated from the richness of the UV inks.
From start to finish, the Porano Pasta project took roughly six weeks. This includes on-site measurements, prepress, showing proofs, revisions, and final imaging. Each panel was inspected to ensure alignment between pieces was correct in addition to running quality assurance that there were no print flaws across the entire print run.
When it came time to install, several challenges arose. According to Fogle, during the early days of the project, materials were taken to the job site and hung on the wall—but nothing would stick. At the time, the walls were unfinished and covered in dust, so it was determined that the walls would need to be painted and wiped down before graphics could be adhered. On installation day, enough time passed after painting and drying that the material stuck perfectly.
Due to the magnitude of the project, lifts were brought in and scaffolding built just for installation of the wall murals. Fogle says the “biggest hiccup” of the whole project was when the original scaffolding company failed to deliver as needed and the team had to scramble to hire another organization on short notice.
The entire install process took about eight hours across two days. If not for the issue with the scaffolding company, Fogle believes the project could have been installed in one day and not two.
For Swift Print, the Porano Pasta project was its largest of this shape and size. The PSP was pleased with the outcome and proud it was able to combine the latest in digital imaging, materials, craftsmanship, and application techniques to build a recognized destination experience that evokes the flavor of the old world while providing fast casual dining.
The next part in our series spotlights Agio Imaging, based in Portage, MI. Its graphics for a special Mother’s Day event held at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Reflecting Pool earned second place in the 2016 Application of the Year awards.
Aug2016, Digital Output DOAOY1608