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Deer Caught in the Spotlight

(June 2014) posted on Tue Jun 24, 2014

A faux trophy head is designed to stand out among a restaurant’s current décor.

click an image below to view slideshow

As part of a rebranding project, Red Robin restaurants enlisted bluemedia and its sister company Blind Society to come up with some ideas to complement their existing décor. The restaurants have a well-established Americana motif, featuring prints and items from pop-culture over the years (not to mention endless French fries), and the challenge was to stay within their current theme, but find some unique ways to implement the graphics so they’d stand out among the traditional wall prints.

Our shop has a long history of executing two-dimensional graphics for our clients such as murals and banners, but this project provided us with the opportunity to work outside our normal offerings – and consider not just the graphics on an item, but how the item itself needed to be constructed.

We proposed a number of ideas to Red Robin, combining our traditional print work with custom elements. Among the proposals: a trophy-style deer’s head made to look like it was built from standard road and street signs.

Investigating Materials
During the concept phase, we presented multiple options to the client, and once they approved the “street sign” version of the deer head, we then had to choose a material that would not only give the desired appearance, but would also hold up during assembly. Picking the correct material would set the foundation for the entire project.

Our initial idea was an aluminum composite to give an authentic street-sign look, but we tested a variety of materials – ranging from 3A Composites’ 3mm Dibond to Sintra PVC, cardboard, wood, and other substrates. The final material had to let the pieces slide together easily without deforming, and rigidly hold the assembled form. In the end, we chose Sintra as the right solution here.

Designing a ‘No-Tools’ System
Being able to efficiently store and ship the deer heads was a concern. Keeping the pieces unassembled until they arrived at the installation site would reduce the package size for a kit, and would also allow us to better protect the graphics.