User login

Fabric’s Endless Possibilities

(January 2012) posted on Tue Jan 24, 2012

Big Image Systems pursues fabric printing on a grand scale.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Mike Antoniak

“Our focus has always been to print on fabric, or fabric-like material,” says Olle Lindqvist, president of the US sales office of Big Image Systems, the 25-year-old company headquartered in Sweden. “That’s where we started, where we have the skills, and where we can offer something unique.” By his estimation, the company has printed on more than 2000 fabrics and flexible media since its founding, and it continually tests new material.

Big Image Systems’ prints have been seen on curtains and carpets, furniture and buildings, and walls and ceilings. The company is primarily known, however, for its output of gargantuan images on fabric, which transform a stage, exhibit hall, or retail space into a new environment with new possibilities.

In one of its largest projects to date, the company produced a 38,000-square-foot recreation of Mt. Everest to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the conquest of the world’s highest peak. Installed a few years ago inside a former gas storage tank in Leipzig, Germany, this cyclorama immersed visitors in an image that stood 110 feet high and measured 345 feet in circumference. Printed on more than 50 sections of uncoated muslin, the final output weighed in at nearly a ton when assembled for installation.

And every year continues to bring new projects that serve to further bolster Big Image Systems’ reputation as the go-to company for fabric printing on the grandest scale. For the 2011 E3 Expo electronic-gaming conference in Los Angeles, for instance, the company provided EventMakers, an event-production specialist firm, with a variety of graphics printed on voile sheer cloth, flag cloth, and Artist Heavy polyester for the Warner Bros. booth. Highlighting characters such as Batman, Harry Potter, and the Sesame Street cast, the largest graphic was a dye-sub print on flag cloth measuring 24 x 90 feet. The project also required two more pieces on flag cloth measuring 15 x 40 feet, a 24 x 47-foot panel on voile, and five tapered cylinders (each measuring 27 x 50 feet) output on Artist Heavy polyester. The shop also designed and engineered the frame system to suspend and support the prints.