Metmark vinyl material was used in a Winter Windowland event project, which illustrates the product’s durability. Thanks to the efforts of Brian Totty Signs and Designs, and the work of Paul Slater, Barnsley was treated to a spectacle in colour and light that cheered up the view in the town centre.
Barnsley Council’s arts and events team engaged Slater to conceive and design an art installation as part of their Winter Windowland event. One of the exhibits in the Winter Windowland event involved Barnsley’s town centre new Library@the Lightbox. Slater’s design, entitled ‘Colour Flow’, would overlay the building’s tightly confining geometry with a work that covered the glazed surfaces. The abstracted work softened the divisions between the glazed panels, leading the eye and never fully resolving itself. It is a static image but looks as though it is in animated transition. It radiates colour too, at any hour of the day or night.
The brief came to Totty Signs in the form of a design and manufacturing specification. The design was to everyone’s liking. The manufacturing specification however needed some input from Totty Signs in order to make the production, installation and subsequent removal of the art practical and affordable.
The installed graphic would be visible from both inside the library building and from the outside. It would be applied to body-coloured tinted glass. For this reason, and for several others, it was elected to apply the graphics on the exterior aspect of the glazing.
The design originally anticipated manufacturing the graphic from discrete coloured elements. To simplify production and installation the council accepted Totty Signs’ recommendation and gave the go-ahead to produce the stunning graphics as a print and applied job.
The team at Totty Signs printed its work on Clear Metamark MD5 and laminated the work so encapsulating the meticulously matched colours between two layers of extremely durable digital media. This construction would ensure that the graphics could be appreciated from either side of the glazing, that light transmission would benefit the exterior view at night and the interior one during the hours of daylight when the building was occupied.
Surveying the extent of the job presented its own challenges and ultimately the application had a few of its own too. The weather on the day of installation decided it would not cooperate and the Totty Signs’ installation team found itself working in very cold temperatures and at height.
Despite the low application temperatures, the graphics were applied without issues and, even though it is designed to be appreciated from a distance, close examination of Totty Signs’ work reveals flawless application and attention to detail.
Slater’s art tells its own story and imparts its own magic in colour, so conferring a bit of an occasion in Barnsley town centre at a time when circumstances said it could not be done. Totty Signs’ work too is worth noting. Producing signs and graphics for application to glazed surfaces at this kind of scale is not a trivial exercise and it is not something that every sign company would care to take on. Challenges presented to Totty Signs though meet with engagement, competence and a get-it-done attitude.
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