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Gambling on Wall Graphics

Inkjet printing wall murals and decor

They say (whoever they are) that, one way or another, the House always wins, so there’s nothing better than a situation in which everyone wins. Such was the case with a recent wall graphics project Imagine This Banners completed for a casino in West Virginia.

Casino decor and wall graphicsImage This Banners, headquartered in Charleston, W.V., covered four walls at the casino, effectively transforming those spaces and setting a unique atmosphere. Two of the walls were 50 feet long by 6 1/2 feet tall, another was 22 feet long and 8 feet tall, and the fourth wall was 15 feet long by 10 feet tall.

Imagine This Banners used Photo Tex PSA Fabric from LexJet for the project, and owner Greg Harpold says it was the first time they installed an adhesive-backed wall mural of this size though he’s been evangelizing on behalf of this application for years.

Applying inkjet printed wall graphics“When I first got into the large-format business in 2005 I was attending a lot of trade shows like SGIA and I was intrigued by the wall wraps. I come from a theatrical, stage lighting, film and television background and it was a natural thing for me to latch in because digital inkjet printing makes fantastic backdrops, as well as the ability to change and create atmosphere quickly,” says Harpold. “I’m hoping that it will run like wildfire and open the door for more of this type of application.”

Image This Banners, by the way, is the design and large-format printing arm of an international multi-media company with additional offices in Toronto and London that includes Jaguar Education, which produces educational materials for schools. “Large format printing was a natural spinoff for us; we enlarged our basic formats for posters, mascot banners, floor graphics, wall graphics, pole banners… you name it,” Harpold says.

Installing interior wall decor imagesHarpold adds that he had previously pitched the casino on wrapping the walls a few years ago. The casino finally came around, designed a concept and called Imagine This Banners to see if they could pull it off.

Harpold admits to being a bit nervous about the project since, as mentioned earlier, they had not completed a project of this scope with adhesive-backed materials. Fortunately, the choice of Photo Tex soon put any misgivings to rest.

“I have learned a lesson or two when it comes to installing large adhesive graphics and some materials are very unforgiving. If you drop them or position them wrong you might be starting the entire install over or damaging the surface that you are applying to, but Photo Tex is a blessing for its ease of application since it’s repositionable and can be easily corrected if it sticks where you don’t want it to stick,” says Harpold. “I would totally suggest using foam-covered squeegees when it comes to applying Photo Tex. This technique really helps protect the artwork and allows you to focus on the job at hand.”

Greg Harpold
Greg Harpold, owner of Imagine This Banners, Charleston, W.V.

Harpold says the client is “absolutely stoked,” all the way through the organization from top to bottom. Part of its success, beyond the relatively easy installation, was the color gamut provided by the Canon iPF9000 printer, which Harpold says is especially important for hitting flesh tones.

“My production manager and righthand gal Tracy Rogers was completely floored by the print quality of Photo Tex and the ease of its application. She has been with me through thick and thin and said this job was, by far, a total success because Photo Tex gave us such latitude in both printing and installation,” says Harpold. “Also, working with Jaimie Mask [Imagine This Banner’s personal customer specialist] and the valuable information she provided regarding the product really helped us move toward Photo Tex as our choice of material for this project.”

Regan has been involved in the sign and wide format digital printing industries for the past two decades as an editor, writer and pundit. With a degree in journalism from the University of Houston, Regan has reported on the full evolution of the inkjet printing industry since the first digital printers began appearing on the scene.

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