Adobe HQ Becomes a Graphics Showcase
Ultimate Image Printing covers 40,000 square feet of graphics for Adobe's new headquarters.
When Adobe Systems announced its new digital marketing headquarters in Lehi, Utah, it triggered more than just the anticipation for 200 high-paying jobs moving into the local economy. It meant an urgent need for a ton of printed graphics – more than 40,000 square feet of graphics to be exact.
Adobe opted for a digital graphic extravaganza to serve as the décor for its new 280,000-square-foot facility. To deck the Adobe halls in superwide art, it chose Costa Mesa, California-based printing company Ultimate Image Printing (www.ultimateimageprinting.com).
“There was about two months of planning, measuring, and testing materials before output even began,” says Hemal Ratanjee, owner of Ultimate Image. “We were dealing with various painted surfaces, working around heavy construction that was still being done, facing tight turnarounds, and using different media for each application.”
Adobe designed all of the graphics using the Adobe Graphics Suite. All creative files were then uploaded to Ultimate Image’s FTP site.
“All files underwent a high level of scrutiny. Since this was an out-of-state install project with a hard deadline, we had to make sure all files were sized correctly. We then adjusted bleeds and checked all files to ensure Pantone matches,” says Ratanjee. “We also worked with many low-resolution graphics – here, our time had to be spent vectorizing, interpolating, and scaling up images with minimal distortion.”
With the graphics readied, all files were soft proofed, with only small sections of several critical pieces output to ensure consistent color and quality.
For output, Ultimate Image opted to use its EFI Vutek GS2000 UV flatbed, even though this was a relatively recent addition to the shop’s print roster and the team was still becoming familiar with it. “Our shop was well equipped to handle the volume of graphics while continuing to output our existing workload with little to no issues,” says Ratanjee. “Our only challenge was that our operators were still getting used to the new Vutek and had a slight learning curve.”
For drywall applications, the shop chose Avery MPI 1005 LTR supercast vinyl. Avery Optically Clear SF 100 and 103 ultra clear vinyl were used for all of the glass applications. Cubicle ends in the office were covered with graphics output onto Avery MPI 1005 EZ RS supercast vinyl. Laminates were applied to the wall graphics using Avery UC DOL 1080 matte cast laminate and the shop’s Seal Pro 62-inch laminator.
“Each panel was printed in approximately 48-inch sections to maximize material and make it easier to install the graphics,” says Ratanjee. “We had no problem with color consistency with the Vutek.”
The shop used quite a bit of white ink for this project, “including some panels that required white ink only – creating a type of privacy glass that had a gradient from bottom to top,” says Ratanjee.
Ultimate Image ran its printer at about 600 square feet per hour, 24 hours-a-day for three days. It took another three days for finishing, which included lamination of the wall graphics and trimming the graphics to size.
Over the course of three weeks, eight installers comprised of in-house as well as local handled installation. All told, more than 40,000 square feet of graphics and 1000 square feet of vinyl lettering were installed.
“The glass panels were most challenging to install because we had to trim the graphic panels to match the exact sizes of the glass to avoid any seams on the glass,” says Ratanjee. “Because the glass panels were not all installed in time for us to measure, we could not produce the graphics until they were installed. So, the graphics had to be produced and shipped on the same day and installed the very next day to ensure that the construction crew could then follow up with the caulking between each panel.”
Every minute was crucial for the construction crew in order to complete the building by the deadline, says Ratenjee. “Our installation crew had to be as unobtrusive as possible.”
“We had to work around unfinished areas, electricians, window installers, painters, and tons of dust,” explains Ratenjee. “Since construction was still happening, several of the installed pieces were damaged and had to be reproduced and replaced immediately.”
The scope of the project grew substantially as new challenges were faced, new ideas were presented by the client, and creative boundaries were pushed on every piece, says Ratenjee.
Despite the job’s many obstacles, installation was completed in time for Adobe’s grand opening and office photo shoots. Ultimate Image worked up until the day before the opening, installing last-minute additions and double checking every square foot of installed graphics.