Monster Media and Impressions Printing combines window graphics and interactive media.
By Clare Baker
While large-format projects are their own attention-getters, adding an interactive component to the project can undoubtedly capture the interest of passersby that much more. That was the thinking of the creative minds at Monster Media, which came up with the idea of creating a street-level, interactive “digital aquarium” to promote Carnival Cruise Lines. The installation combined wide-format graphics and an LCD screen that allowed viewers to interact with the elements on the screen.
New York City-based Impressions Printing was tapped by Monster Media to output the graphics for the campaign in the Big Apple. Installations were also done in Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Los Angeles with the help of other print providers around the country.
Impressions Printing received the EPS files for output from Monster Media via an FTP site. The shop converted the files to TIFF files and used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to reduce any gradation errors. Due to the quick turnaround time required, Impressions Media only had time to send digital files—no print proofs—for approval. Because the incorporation of the LCD screen in the final installation made it necessary that all dimensions were exact, “converting the files and making sure that all the measurements were correct to scale was the most difficult part of the job,” says Arif Jacksi of Impressions Printing. Manipulating and sectioning the files, he adds, also took a considerable amount of time.
Once Monster Media gave its okay, Impressions Printing output the final graphics using its Roland SolJet Pro-III XC 540 with Roland Eco-Sol Max inks. The 1600 square feet of graphics were output onto Roland SCM-GVWG glossy calendered vinyl. Print work took approximately 10 hours and the graphics were finished with a Roland luster overlaminate film using Impressions’ GBC Titan 1264 WF. Finishing took about six hours.
Three Impressions employees installed the graphics over the course of one day. The LCD wall that covered one of the six graphics-covered panels was created and installed by an outside party. The LCD wall combined with an HD rear projection screen to create a projection of a seascape that reacted to the motions of passersby. Viewers could also use their cellular phones to call an 888 number to create a digital fish using their voice. And, with their phone’s keypad, viewers could make their fish swim, eat, and transform into other sea creatures. The final result was an impressive, interactive exhibit that had tourists and residents alike stopping to interact with the digital aquarium.
Despite the tight turnaround time, Impressions was pleased by the outcome. “The time limit was a challenge,” says Jacksi, “but without a challenge there is no fun.”
Impressions Printing has been in business since 2004 and operates out of a 1500-square-foot facility. The shop’s five employees can produce a range of graphic applications including large-format graphics, banner displays, tradeshow displays, vinyl lettering, vehicle wraps, wall paper applications, and building wraps such as the Carnival project.