Big Picture - May 2017 - 14
SELLING A STORY
emember when the best thing about wideformat was that it was big? The task of
slapping a logo on a banner or an ad on a
poster will always fall to someone, but in
2017, those are no longer the jobs that
showcase what digital can really do. The
best thing about wide-format today is the
ability to print something special, and there's a whole new pool
of end users who are beginning to pay attention.
"Environmental graphics are a way of storytelling,"
says Joanne Rarangol, a specialist in Designtex's Surface
Imaging department. Rarangol works with architects and
designers, showing them how digital printing can help tell
their clients' stories.
The Society of Experiential Graphic Design says
environmental graphics work to communicate identity
and information, and create experiences that connect people
to place. For architects and designers, 18-inch repeating
wallpaper is quickly disappearing in favor of one-of-a-kind
"Now," says Dave Gimbel, owner of Signs by Tomorrow
Alexandria, "you can just do everything. Whatever they
Splunk, an operational intelligence company based in San
Francisco, came to architectural design firm Nichols Booth
Architects looking to transform their basement into an
underground cave. Nichols partnered with Designtex
(designtex.com) to curate and produce imagery that would
complement the stone-like furniture that filled the space.
Rarangol says she's seeing many companies like Splunk
looking for a floor-to-ceiling transformation "so you're
encompassed in the whole environment." This project
spanned about 1400 square feet of 3M Controltac 180C-10
printed on the company's EFI Vutek GS3250LX Pro and
laminated with 3M Scotchcal 8519.
Rarangol works as a liaison between end users
(architects and designers) and the production department.
Designtex Surface Imaging isn't your average print shop,
however. The staff is made up of artists and photographers
who collaborate with firms to create and curate any design
Rarangol says she's seen a change in the importance
graphics hold in designers' plans in recent years: "Before, a lot
of that piece was at the tail end. ... 'Oh, there's one wall, we
need a graphic.'" Now, graphics are an integrated part of the
design process. It's all about telling that story, Rarangol adds:
"It's really what seals the whole thing together."
Environmental graphics are all