The “Hole” Nine Yards
The Meeks Group and Hilti Tools partner on a lobby surprise.
Every January, when Hilti North America, the maker of industrial power tools headquartered in Tulsa, hosts its annual sales meeting in that city, one of the first calls it makes is to local print provider, The Meeks Group. This year, Hilti wanted to ratchet it up a notch when it came to graphics for the event, asking Meeks to create a large, 3D floor graphic that would simulate a virtual hole in the center of the Double Tree Hotel, across the street from the show’s venue.
“Last year we did a similar type graphic, but it was much smaller,” explains Chris Raleigh, manager of Meeks’ Signs and Stripes Division. “This year, they really wanted to make a big impact.”
Hilti communications coordinator Ben Meyers worked with a freelance designer at Hatfield Design, to provide Meeks with artwork for the “big hole” – a triangular image measuring 25 x 40-feet at its largest point, complete with rubble and the Hilti logo visible below the shorn away faux concrete.
The image was delivered as a Photoshop file. “When we got the files, they were pretty much ready to go,” says Raleigh. “Ben does a lot of large stuff and wall wraps that we print for them, so he usually has us in really good shape when we get the files.”
For final output, Raleigh and crew turned to the shop’s 6-color EFI Vutek QS2000 UV printer with ColorBurst RIP. “We printed on 3M Controltac 160C graphic film with 3m Piezo 2800UV inks, [using] the Vutek QS2000 for its speed—it took about half a day to print,” says Raleigh.
Finishing was done on Meeks’ GBC Falcon 60 Plus laminator, using 3M 3645 non-slip matte floor laminate. “It probably took a half a day to prep it,” Raleigh says. “You laminate, you cut it, you trim it—it takes about a half a day to get it ready to take it out to the venue.”
Two employees executed the install work onto the hotel’s marble lobby floor, which took place in early January. “We do a lot of floor graphic installs. We just cleaned the floor real good and stuck it down,” explains Raleigh. Total install time: approximately 2.5 hours.
Then, to enhance the visual impact of the image, Hilti hired a local artist to craft fake rocks and concrete shards from Styrofoam. The foam replicas were stacked indiscriminately around the floor graphic to give it the appearance of real explosion.
The end result was very realistic, says Raleigh: “It looked like you were looking down in a hole. People would step up on it and pause, wondering if it’s okay to step off into that hole. Even customers that weren’t Hilti-related that were staying at the Double Tree thought it was just the neatest thing in the world.”
The job—which also comprised column wraps as well as graphics for the convention center--remained installed for the length of the five-day Hilti Tools’ sales meeting.
The Player The Meeks Group (meeks-group.com)
The Client Hilti Tools
Tools & Supplies EFI Vutek QS2000 UV printer, ColorBurst RIP+, 3m Series 2800UV inks, 3M Controltac graphic film 160C, GBC Falcon 60 Plus laminator , 3M 3645 matte floor laminate