Out With the Old: Ampco Graphix

Previously installed banners at Vancouver's Centre for Digital Media become 392 handbags.

Big Picture

The Client Centre for Digital Media

The Players Ampco Grafix (www.ampcografix.com), MCM Interiors, Massif Creative, Common Thread Cooperative

Tools & Supplies EFI Vutek 3360, Ultraflex Ultralon IV Backlit, 3M solvent inks, Sinclair Triad banner welder

The Job The Centre for Digital Media (CDM), a multimedia facility at the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, was looking to revive its exterior appearance and update its artistic banners. Going with the notion, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” CDM regrouped the very team that had designed and output the interior wall murals and outdoor banners for the facility’s first “graphic transformation” back in 2007.

The team comprised: interior-design firm and project coordinator MCM Interiors; Massif Creative, a branding and design firm; and British Columbia-based print provider Ampco Graphix. Together, the power trio set out to design and output 18 giant architectural backlit banners to adorn the building’s exterior. In addition, the team decided against simply tossing the old graphics to the wayside – wanting instead to somehow refashion the retired banners.

Production Massif Creative’s Kristen Dyer designed the new graphics in Adobe Illustrator. Ampco adjusted the colors, added a border space for hems, and provided the client with a print sample for approval. The shop took to its EFI Vutek 3360 in outputting the 18 panels (each measuring 7.5 x 22 feet) onto Ultraflex Ultralon IV Backlit. Finishing included hand cutting and hemming each banner using a Sinclair Triad banner-welding machine.

“The biggest challenges were sourcing all the necessary hardware for installation and cleaning all of the old banners for repurposing after the removal.”

Over a span of two days, an installation team of three handled the removal of the old banners as well as the installation of the new backlit graphics. “It was a custom application. We used a combination of stock aluminum extrusions to build out the existing frames and mechanical attachment via screws and 3M Dual Lock tape,” says Ampco’s Minori Ide.

To bring a second life to the previously installed banners, Ampco turned to Vancouver-based Common Thread Cooperative, which works with individuals who face barriers to landing employment and teaches them various skills to utilize in the workplace. It took the team nearly 10 hours to clean and ready the old graphics, and these were then handed off to Common Thread; the co-op, in turn, was then able to morph them into 392 fashionable handbags, which were handed out by the campus as surprise gifts.


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