“What we thought would be a simple one-day project turned out to be an odyssey to find a way to make the customer happy.”
The Job A couple of vinyl banners – sounds easy enough right? That’s what the team from CSI, a print provider based in Falls Church, Virginia, thought when they received a call from client MillerCoors looking to brand a corner of the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, with Coors Light graphics. But, as it turned out, installing the vinyl on a textured cinderblock wall with extremely recessed grout was anything but easy.
“The wall was tricky because it was tiled, so we couldn’t drill, which limited our ability to adhere the banners with typical fasteners,” says Rob Harris, CSI partner and COO. “The client knew what they wanted, but they didn’t like how the vinyl banners laid unevenly.” So after several attempts to adjust the banners to the client’s satisfaction, CSI decided to start from scratch and set out to discover alternative solutions.
Production The team carried out several tests on the arena’s cinderblock walls to find the best media options, and came up with two separate solutions, one for the cinderblock wall, and one for the other two walls.
The cinderblock solution comprised graphics film cut around each 12 x 12-inch cinderblock. Using the shop’s Fujifilm UVistar 2 UVR 5032 printer, CSI output the vinyl wall graphics onto 3M Scotchcal IJ8624 graphic film for textured surfaces; 3M 8524 laminate was added using an AGL 6400 laminator. The final graphic measured approximately 13.5 x 44 feet.
For the other two walls, CSI utilized a Visual Magnetic System for replaceable magnetic signage. Drytac FerroJet Synthetic Paper was printed using CSI’s Inca Onset S70, with no finishing necessary. Final sizes of the graphics were about 2.5 x 17 feet each.
Two in-house CSI installers removed the old vinyl and installed the graphics onto the walls in four days. For the wall with the graphic film, “a lot of install time was needed since the film required us to cut around each block with an Olfa knife and use a lot of heat to adhere the graphics,” says Harris. The Visual Magnetics System installation was much simpler: The wall was painted with micro-iron latex primer, magnet was adhered to the primer, and the Drytac FerroJet Synthetic Paper clung to the magnet.
The Client MillerCoors
The Players CSI (www.csi2.com)
Tools & Supplies Fujifilm UVistar 2 UVR 5032, Inca Onset S70, 3M Scotchcal IJ8624 textured surface film, the Visual Magnetics System, Drytac FerroJet synthetic paper, AGL 6400 laminator, 3M Scotchcal 8524 laminate