Harlan Graphics and FRCH partner on sumptuous graphics for Chi-nnati's restaurant.
Who Doesn’t Love Pizza?
“This came from the notion of a reclaimed, repurposed billboard,” says Matt Wizinsky with FRCH. “We wanted something that created a message without being a [literal] sign.” Signage codes prevented putting actual words on the piece, so a mouth-watering solution was found. By creatively arranging pizza condiments to visually say “I love pizza,” the billboard became more of a decoration instead of a sign—as far as the city was concerned—and the restaurant was able to keep its big-city-inspired exterior.
To create the graphics, Harlan ran four 48 x 96-inch, 6mm-thick DiBond panels through its 4-color Inca Columbia printer producing four full-bleed prints; these were then covered with an enamel clearcoat and placed side by side.
Harlan also fabricated and installed the custom-welded aluminum building frame, which arrived onsite pre-built. After the frame was bolted to the building, the four panels were slid into a channel in the frame and bolted into place.
Found Type Funk
The welcome sign behind the hostess stand started out life as two different pieces. When budget concerns arose, however, instead of scrapping one of the pieces, the two pieces were redesigned into one.
The mural art in the background was created by layering and color correcting high-resolution images and typography in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Harlan used its EFI Vutek PressVu UV 320/400 to print onto 13-ounce Fredrix 1008 Solvent Polyflax Canvas wall vinyl. Aside from merging beloved icons from each city, the mural’s background name-drops Cincinnati and Chicago neighborhoods.
The found-type pieces in the foreground were also digitally printed. Harlan ran 12 x 12 inch x 1/2-mil aluminum pieces through an HP Scitex FB6700 flatbed, then attached them to plywood pieces. These were finished with an enamel clearcoat and cleat-mounted to the mural. The type, says Wizinsky, mimics lettering from old warehouses in both cities, one of many nods to their industrial backgrounds.
A separate company created the wooden enclosure for the stand, and the Harlan crew installed the sign in two steps. The mural was put in place, left to sit for a day, then the team installed the printed type and pin-mounted the dimensional, white “Welcome.”
Photos like these are displayed in groups around the restaurant, and are used to tie together the various interior elements.