The University at Buffalo football team has a rich and extensive history, dating back over 100 years. The school wanted to showcase the history of the team, as well as the artist who was responsible for creating memorable artwork for the game programs and pay tribute to one of the team’s staunchest supporters.
The members of the athletic department knew that the recently renovated 50,000 sq.ft. exhibition space on the third floor of the Silverman Library would be the perfect place to showcase the “Buffalo vs. Everybody” exhibit and asked Kris Miller, the library’s lead designer, to help with the project.
Largely based on the collection of Buffalo News sports reporter – and football memorabilia enthusiast – Tom Borrelli, the football programs cover the games from 1930-2010. Tragically, Borrelli was critically injured while he was attending a local high school football game and later died from his injuries. His collection was gifted to the University in 2017.
The centerpiece graphic, based on the classic artwork of the programs, is visible from the moment the elevator doors open. “At 35 feet wide by 10 feet high, this is the biggest project I’ve ever been involved in,” Miller said. “I’m not a professional installer, so whatever I use has to be easy to work with and install. If I do have questions, I know I can call [LexJet rep] Ramiro Torrez for assistance.”
For the large super-graphic, as well as several other smaller wall murals, Miller chose LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl with PSA to print on his Canon PRO-4000. “The Extreme AquaVinyl is a pretty forgiving material and doesn’t show installation marks,” he said. “I just had to be careful when I overlapped the edges, but the trade-off is that the final product looks great and is really durable.”
The game programs weren’t the only memorabilia recreated. Twelve photographs from the team archives are also on display. Miller used LexJet Sunset Bright Velvet Rag 315g, to reproduce the images.
After the wall graphics were installed and the framed photos displayed, the library hosted a happy hour event for over 250 people, many of whom played on the team during the 1950s and ’60s. “When those former players saw the exhibit, they went nuts, it was nostalgic for them.”
The “Buffalo vs. Everybody” exhibit will be on display through July 2019, but Miller says he’s already planning the next display. “We’ve been asked to do a project about the landmark H.H. Richardson complex, and will be wrapping the wall again,” he says. “We will use your products for that project, too.”