By Melissa Donovan
Part 3 of 4
The results are in! While 54blue Communications Inc. and SlyFox Creative were top winners in the indoor and outdoor categories, respectively, there were too many innovative applications that we could not ignore. In response, we decided to profile the runners up in each category as well.
Manufacturer and Printer
Visual Magnetics, known for its Visual Magnetics Graphic System, launched in 2007. The company is headquartered in Mendon, MA, but it also maintains a showroom in New York City. In MA, a 20-person team focuses on production and product development. Meanwhile, two employees in NY facilitate invitation-only demonstrations of the Visual Magnetics product line.
Since hands-on learning is sometimes the best way to showcase a product, Visual Magnetics constantly creates examples of its magnetic system’s versatility. Not only does this include its own in-house marketing, but more importantly it partners with retailers, architects, corporate offices, educational institutions, and museums worldwide to create projects for clients.
School of Visual Arts
Its work is exemplified by its nomination in the Digital Output Application of the Year awards. The School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York, MFA Visual Narrative, awarded a wall graphic job to Visual Magnetics after the vendor completed a project in another department, SVA’s MFA Design for Social Innovation.
The SVA MFA is a low-residency program with a space that acts as a pop-up studio during intensive portions of the course, which takes during the Summer. When the Visual Narrative program isn’t in session, the space is used as a painting studio. “Because of the temporary, pop-up nature of the studio space, the client wanted a branded, immersive, and interactive application that could transform easily throughout the duration of the residency, but still make students feel completed engrossed in the brand as well as highly engaged in the program environment,” explains Naomi Mukai, representative, Visual Magnetics.
Visual Magnetics worked closely with Benjamin Marra, a member of the SVA faculty, who designed illustrated cut outs as an interactive element for students that concurrently accentuated the program’s branding. These cut outs required ease of use, application, and storage. The Visual Magnetics Graphic System is ideal, as the magnetic-receptive media can be re-used and re-installed with ease and rolled and stored cleanly in a tube.
“The imagery was designed for the background of our print pieces, so they reinforce our branding, and are just fun random pieces of story. The magnet pieces can be picked up and reorganized to tell a different story every time. Each day the wall looks different, care of our magical narrative elves,” shares Joan McCabe, assistant to the chair, SVA, MFA.
For the Visual Narrative space, Visual Magnetics painted the walls with its ActiveWall primer, applied flexible InvisiLock tiles once dry, and then layered on VM-DRYerase media. Pieces that required printed graphics were run through a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet L25500 60-inch latex printer with HP 789 Latex inks. The print and install process took three days, with two people applying the materials.
All students enrolled in the program love the space. Mukai says many of them pin their artwork and other course materials using magnets, write and draw on the dry erase material, and even create stop motion animations.
The interactive elements of Visual Magnetics’ project demonstrate the inventiveness of wide format print and its endless possibilities. “The well-branded elements of the application keep the students highly engaged in the program environment and make the studio an exciting wall-to-wall creative space,” shares Mukai.
We conclude our profiles with a look at the outdoor category runner up, Budget Truck and Auto Inc. of Janesville, WI. The company’s massive out-of-home project for Fox Sports Wisconsin and Major League Baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers, earned it a nomination.
Aug2014, Digital Output DOAPP1408