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The Ups and Downs of an Escalator Wrap

(April 2014) posted on Wed Jun 18, 2014

Double-sided graphics help a university’s message reach its student prospects.

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By Scott Hibler

How do you get teenagers and pre-teens – most of whom have their minds on just about anything but higher education – to think about what a college might offer them? One way is by installing marketing messages at their favorite “watering hole,” the local mall.

To help implement just such a campaign for Arizona State University (ASU), Catalyst Media Group approached our shop, bluemedia. The message, aimed at teenagers and their younger peers, would be implemented in popular shopping malls throughout the Phoenix metro area. The idea was simple: Make a big enough impact to increase their interest level and awareness about the cool programs offered by ASU, hence “dream it, do it.”

While surveying Scottsdale Fashion Square – one of the local malls – we discussed the idea of wrapping the glass escalators. Typically, we would produce this type of wrap using a standard single-sided PSV (because the finishing time would be way less). In this case, however, the mall demanded double-sided graphics (they were concerned about possible vandalism, among other things), which had to be installed from the inside of the glass.

This job included the mall’s escalators as well as its elevators, but we’ll focus only on the former in this step-by-step detailing of how we tackled this challenging work.

Step 1: Surveying, Accurately
Just as with creating a solid foundation for a house, producing an accurate survey of something like an escalator was imperative to the success of this project. Using standard measuring tapes, laser levels, and an oversized protractor (to determine the 152-degree angle), we first documented any and all measurements that would be required. This was crucial in the accuracy of the template. For non-typical areas, like the very end of the escalator, we often times break it down into parts that we can manage (as displayed with the green lines). One trick is to use some simple masking tape lines to get your thinking correct. From there, we just needed to measure the sizes of each individual element.