User login

Whimsical Whatnot Workshop

(May 2009) posted on Mon Apr 27, 2009

Check out this Muppet Workshop at FAO Schwarz, part of our series on P-O-P.

click an image below to view slideshow

Once Disney had given its approval for the concept work, and provided digital image files, GSG could turn its attention to final output, creating a faux brick structure and window, hanging signage, plus wall and floor graphics throughout.

The brick wall and brick accents along the fake window help provide "workshop-like" realism to the display. Although some of the brick detail around the window is indeed real, the bricks along the walls were output--GSG used its 104-inch HP Designjet 10000 to print onto 3M Controltac adhesive vinyl, carefully color-matching the printed brickwork to the actual bricks.

Another of the other workshop's main features is the 5 x 8-foot "window" featuring the famous Muppet crew. The shop output this graphic via its Durst Lambda onto Kodak Duratrans, then coated with a General Formulations UV matte overlaminate.

The client wanted the main sign hanging on the ceiling dropdown in the workshop's entryway to look like it was painted on stucco. GSG printed this piece using its HP Designjet 5500 onto "a special material" found in Manhattan's textile district, Madsen says. The shop then put an adhesive on the back and simply wrapped it around plywood, giving it the "stucco" look and feel.

Other elements for the project included:
* 13 framed pictures of other Muppet Whatnots digitally printed via a 12-color Canon imageProGraf iPF 9000, and hung throughout the workshop for customer inspiration. Sizes ranged from 20 x 24 to 30 x 40 inches.
* A faux "chalkboard" made from 1/8-inch Alcan Sintra and coated with magnetic paint. Using an HP Designjet 9000, GSG produced more than 200 small graphic elements onto 3M adhesive vinyl, then cut and mounted these to the chalkboard.
* Additional output including workshop graphics for the cash wrap (where the customers purchase items), printed onto 3M adhesive vinyl, and a floor graphic of a Muppet-adorned sewer cap, output using the Designjet 10000 onto a 3M floor-graphics kit (IJ-162 and Scotchcal 3645) with eco-solvent inks.

GSG handled installation of all two-dimensional workshop elements, while three-dimensional elements were handled by PRG Fabricators in New Windsor, New York. The Muppet Whatnot workshop will be in place for three years and has already been featured on The Today Show.

Serving the studio, retouching, digital print, and large-format graphic needs of its customers, Graphic Systems Group has been operating for more than 20 years and currently employs 150 in its 40,000-square-foot workspace. It's not your typical P-O-P print provider, says Madsen: "We only do retail space when it’s a very specialized theme or theatrical setting which begs visual."