Magnetic Media: Dare to Be Different

A pediatric urgent care is branded with youngsters in mind.

Starting a new business is risky in an age when up to 90 percent of entrepreneurial endeavors fail, according to Fortune magazine. So, when NiteHawk Pediatric Urgent Care planted its roots in Wylie, Texas, they knew they needed to set themselves apart.

“They didn’t want to be like other pediatric spaces,” says Sarosh Nayar, owner of the Fastsigns franchise of northeast Dallas. “They came to us asking, ‘What can you do to help us make this feel different?’”

To set young patients at ease, the Fastsigns and NiteHawk teams created a playful, inventive environment. Nayar had recently bumped into Visual Magnetics at a tradeshow, and the idea for an interactive space was born. No longer would moms need to scold their kids for making fingerprints on the walls – the walls would become, rather, an invitation to enjoy their visit to the doctor, with repositionable animals poised for play in their magnetic environments.

Fastsigns began by painting one 7 x 8-foot wall in each of the eight examination rooms with a magnetic primer. After a few trial-and-error moments as the team of two installers began to understand the best way to line up the media, the two-day install went smoothly, first with InvisiLock sheet magnetics to serve as the backing for the graphics, followed by satin-sheened VM-Synpaper for the magnetic background and individual jungle “props.” Graphics were printed on an HP Scitex FB700 industrial UV printer and cut with the shop’s Zünd G3 L-2500 cutter. Fastsigns also created centerpieces, acrylic and vinyl graphics, and die-cut door signs to create themed spaces; kids are able to look forward to “the penguin room” rather than dread “exam room 7.”

“The idea was to make this dynamic,” says Nayar, and while their lively walls accomplish just that, their imagination stretches further, with plans for a companion Augmented Reality mobile application developed in partnership with digital marketing firm Persuasive Pixel. Upon recognizing the magnetic graphics through the camera of a smartphone or tablet, the Android- and iOS-compatible app launches animated digital content.

“It appears as if it is coming straight out of the magnet and onto your screen,” says marketing and advertising consultant Gary Smith, who works for the two sister companies.

“[NiteHawk] wanted something very special,” says Nayar, and there’s no denying that this is no ordinary healthcare center. And with a bridge in the making between tactile and digital realms, these are no ordinary signs.

For more magnetic-receptive inspiration, check out "Easy Come, Easy Go." For tips and best practices from Nayar and other magnetic media pros, read "Advice to Stick to."

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