Environmental Graphics: Transforming 25 Libraries

Wall and ceiling graphics make reading more fun in Baltimore.

When Dave Gimbel bought the Signs by Tomorrow franchise in Alexandria in 2002, most of their work was cut vinyl, banners, and run-of-the-mill signage. But they quickly faced the question: “What would set us apart from Kinko’s, FedEx, and everybody that bought a printer?” Gimbel says. They decided to diversify, and today about 20 percent of their work falls in the environmental graphics sector.

Tip: “It’s critical that primer dries for at least 10 days. This goes for all wallpapers. I put this in my estimate when I send it over to the client.” –Dave Gimbel, Signs by Tomorrow. Featured: Hampden Elementary.

The franchise began working with Kirk Design on a long-term initiative with the Fund for Educational Excellence in Baltimore. The organization plans to refurbish 25 libraries in the Baltimore City School district; so far, Gimbel’s shop has helped shape the environment for 13 locations. Most recently, the team provided 600 square feet of graphics for the library at George Washington Elementary, and 950 square feet for Hampden Elementary. Both feature a number of wall graphics around and above rows of bookshelves, and are topped off with 13- and 15-foot ceiling graphics, respectively. Gimbel says the key to the ceiling graphic is printing 2 to 4 inches of extra material to allow for flexibility at install. The shop used a Mimaki JV33-160 printer to image 3M Controltac IJ40 vinyl.

Read more from Big Picture's May 2017 issue or check out the rest of our environmental graphics series:

Environmental Graphics: Fresh Wall Wraps

Environmental Graphics: Demystifying Medical Marijuana

Environmental Graphics: A ‘Super Sweet’ Floor

Environmental Graphics: Basement Turned Cavern


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