Brian Rogers, founder and CEO of Spectra Imaging in Louisville, Ky., used practically every tool available to the modern print shop to create the three multi-dimensional, multi-media panels with accent lighting pictured here for Kroger at the University of Louisville Business Center.
The Business Center is a collection of multiple rooms, each sponsored by a different company. In this case, Rogers wanted to create something dramatic for Kroger that would detail the grocer’s history from the first store it opened in Cincinnati in 1883 to its present position as the fourth-largest retailer in the world.
“Kroger will sponsor the room for four years and they want to show what can be achieved if you work hard and apply yourself. The president of Kroger, for instance, started out as a bag boy and worked his way up,” explains Rogers.
There are three different panels in the room: the main panel on the front wall is 240″ x 8′ and the other two panels on the sidewalls are 4′ x 8′. Rogers could have printed all the graphics, logos and photos and applied the prints to the walls or onto offset panels, but this treatment ensures the drama Kroger wanted to create.
All the panels are 1″-thick Gator Board with a faux brick wall printed on LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper, mounted with LexJet GraphicMount White Adhesive and laminated with D&K 6 Mil UV Textured Vinyl PSA.
Rogers took a photo of a brick wall downtown to make the flat print more dimensional and, yes, dramatic. “I wanted something with a lot of character, depth and contrast to make it look more realistic. We had a lot of people coming into the room during the installation and they were surprised it was a print,” says Rogers.
All of the graphics on top of the brick background print were cut out on Spectra Imaging’s CNC router and offset an inch off the background panel. Most of these panels were printed using the same method and materials used for the background print.
Additionally, the Kroger logos and the skyline silhouette are halo-lit with rope lighting from Bird Dog Distributing. The rope lighting uses LEDs for the light source and has the ability to be set in different directions so that you can control where the light shines: to the front, back or sides. Recesses were cut in the back of the Kroger logos and skyline and the rope lighting was placed inside those recesses.
“There was a lot of engineering involved in this project to get all the pieces put together properly. First, I sketch it out so that everything falls in place. When I designed this, I took the brick photo full size and enlarged the other accent images to the proper sizes and dropped everything on the brick wall. Then, those individual files come off the brick wall and are routed and printed. Each individual image needs to be printed at the same dpi to ensure consistency and the right size,” explains Rogers.
The installation took about seven hours. The largest main panel had to be assembled on-site; the Gator Board “skyline,” for example, was in three pieces and applied to the back panel. Overall, this was a very time-consuming project and well worth the effort, acting as a showcase of Spectra Imaging’s talent and effectively communicating Kroger’s dedication to the community.