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Let’s Get Physical

(April 2014) posted on Wed Mar 26, 2014

Rainier Industries produces thousands of square feet of graphics for the University of Utah's football center.


By Adrienne Palmer

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In sync with the preparation of the University of Utah football team’s third season of competition in the Pac-12 conference, the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center – a 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility – was constructed. Used by more than 400 student athletes in all of the university’s sports teams, the center includes a sports medicine area with hydrotherapy technology, a 250-seat cafeteria, a 6500-square foot football locker room, 47,000 square feet of meeting rooms, offices and team auditoriums, group study areas, a hydration station, a player lounge, and much more. There’s even “The Chop Shop,” where student athletes can get their hair cut.

Rainier Industries (www.rainer.com), whose clients include major retailers, collegiate football and sports departments, gaming and software companies, and clothing brands, produced thousands of square feet of wall imagery for the new building, including wallcoverings, prints on wood, and cut vinyl for logos. Two particular noteworthy areas of the job: interactive NFL walls, and a 10-foot hanging “U” in the Football Center’s main entry. The entire project took four installers from Rainier 10 days to complete.

Design firm Infinite Scale, which has a relationship with the university, brought in Rainier for the output of the massive project. Infinite Scale created the graphics using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and then supplied them to Rainier for prepress work.

“All files for dimensional grand-format projects [like these] need file prep to ensure proper dimensions and bleed needed for the intended outcome,” says Scott Powell, marketing director at Rainier Industries. “Although we have a color-managed workflow, all critical brand colors are adjusted for the best visual match on each printer and substrate.” Proofs were then provided on final output media for color sign-off by the client.

The two interactive NFL walls, each comprising three panels, give visitors as well as recruits the opportunity to select a previous Utah football player using an LED panel that then syncs to a center Plexiglas wall with a number of professional football team’s helmets. Once a Utah alum is chosen, the center wall puts on a light show that finally lights up the correct NFL helmet, accurately matching the chosen alum to his current pro NFL team.

Rainier teamed with interactive design shop Boston Productions for the LED portion of the walls to make sure the interactive wall, comprising quarter-inch milk Plexiglas, would be effective.

The three panels’ reflective images were back printed by Rainier onto half-inch clear Plexiglas, using the shop’s Durst P10 200 series flatbed with white ink; blockout film was used to ensure the result was opaque. The panels were mounted, using standoffs, onto a cabinet that the shop custom-constructed. The NFL logo, made of translucent cut vinyl, was applied post-install. The middle panel spanned 20-feet wide and the two side panels totaled 6-feet wide each.

But the most impressive part of the overall job might just be the large hanging “U,” which adorns the Center’s entryway and greets everyone that comes in the front door.

Rainier used its Durst RhoTex to direct print onto fabric, trimmed with its 10-foot Zünd cutter. A metal frame fabricated in the Rainier metal shop served as the “U” base, and the printed fabric was attached using a silicon edge stripping. It’s hung by braided wire cables attached to the frame and appropriate structural attachment points in the ceiling. Total size of the supersized letter: 10 x 10 feet.
 


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