Illustrating history can be tricky, but that’s why you leave it to consummate professionals like Triad Creative Group, Brookfield, Wis., which specializes in producing brilliant displays for museums and trade shows.
Triad Creative Group won the bid to provide graphics for the Wade House Visitors Center and Carriage House shortly after the opening of the 38,000 square foot facility in Greenbush, Wis.
The specifications for the 18 wall murals depicting horse-drawn apparatus and their use throughout history originally called for prints produced with eco-solvent inks. Triad Creative Group took that specification to the next level with the purchase of an HP Designjet L26500 latex inkjet printer from LexJet.
“We had been in conversations with Kara Work [Triad’s LexJet customer specialist] about upgrading to the HP latex printer. I discussed latex-based prints on vinyl as a way to meet the specifications with our designers and this project pushed us toward purchasing the printer. It was such a huge job it virtually paid for the printer,” says John Toth, project manager for Triad Creative Group.
Toth was looking for something economical, that would image well and would be simple to work with at the installation site. Work recommended LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl laminated with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate.
“It’s a very nice material; it’s very forgiving on a multi-panel project like this. You need the ability to stick it down and pull it back up, which this allowed us to do with its air-egress liner. The color gamut and imagery looks incredible. All the archived photographs that we scanned and put into use with Simple Flo really popped,” says Toth.
Most of the murals, which ranged from 8′ x 10′ to 12′ x 15′, were applied to wood frames with primed MDF faces offset from the wall, another was applied to Sintra and a few were applied directly to the walls. “The Simple Flo adhered beautifully to all the surfaces. It was also easy to trim, so I was very pleased with how it performed,” says Toth.
Mural application began in February and the rest were installed as the exhibits were finalized throughout the museum, with the final wall mural applied last week. It was essentially a year-long project as plans were made and Triad scanned and touched up the historical photos that would be used.
“The photos weren’t in great condition, so we had to re-touch them in Photoshop. Depending on the location within the museum, each area has its own color designation. They’re all grayscale images, but a duotone was applied based on the color scheme of the area in which they were installed. The reddish ones, for instance, were tied to a firefighting theme,” explains Toth.
Triad also used LexJet Sunset Velvet Rag SUV for the donor wall that Toth says was a nice complement to the overall project.
“Kara was very helpful with finding the right media for this project. She is awesome, not just from the sales end, but from a technical support aspect. She’s very knowledgeable about media for different applications. She’s always been there for us,” adds Toth.