By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
Bare chain link fences are the ideal outdoor space for promoting brands, new buildings, retail, and upcoming events. Digitally printed mesh transforms ordinary fences and sidewalks into marketing displays. Fence graphics are found at construction sites, sporting events, and universities.
Major League Shop
In 1984, Paul Britten established Britten Studios, formerly Britten, Inc., in a home studio in Alexandria, VA. As an architect student, Britten entered a banner contest for World Series tickets and won after producing a hand-painted custom banner. The banner captured the attention of General Motors’ (GM’s) chairman Roger Smith who commissioned a 40×100-foot banner from Britten that hung on GM’s world headquarters. As a result, Britten turned his business into a banner company that produced custom banners and signs by hand.
Located in Traverse City, MI, Britten Studios offers art and design, apparel, cutting, digital and screenprinting, fabrication, installation, point of purchase displays, and shipping and fulfillment. With 300 employees, the shop has a combined campus of over 300,000 square feet.
“With our innovation and unrivaled commitment to customer service, we empower thousands of businesses each year with the highest quality custom visual solutions,” says Mike Dudek, senior designer, Britten Studios.
Britten Studios ships products across the country and patented hardware all over the world. It recently installed grandstand banners and seat covers at Dover International Speedway. Every month it sends fabric prints for standees and BannerDrop mounted SkyBanners to Simon Property Group’s malls across the country. A division of Britten Studios exclusively specializes on shipping BannerSaver brackets and BannerDrop ceiling display hoists to international customers, including thousands of brackets for the 2012 London Olympics.
Digitally Printed Mesh
Fences found at construction sites, fundraisers, and sporting events are prime locations for advertising and promotional graphics. Mesh scrim is commonly used, primarily because one of its features is the ability to withstand weather conditions.
15 years ago, Britten Studios started digitally printing on mesh to take advantage of NASCAR racing events. The shop sources its proprietary 30 percent mesh scrim—AdMesh—to provide the best quality and value to customers. Digital printers used include an HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press, HP Scitex XP5300 Printer, five HP Scitex XL1500 Printers, and Roland DGA Corporation SOLJET Pro 4 XF-640 and SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640.
Despite its experience in the fence graphic segment, challenges still arise. Dudek refers to “ballpark” measurements provided by field or operations managers as one of the more common issues. Estimated dimensions sometimes lead to inconsistent and incorrect sizes, causing rework.
Aside from sporting events, Dudek believes colleges and universities are ideal environments for fence graphics, primarily as a marketing tool for academics and athletes. “The construction industry also embraces colorful mesh fencing, as it looks more attractive than one-color scrim and can be completely customized,” he adds.
Britten Studios recently received a request from a new residential development, Trailside45, in Traverse City, MI. The construction company, Westwind Construction, needed to build awareness and desirability for the 74 residential units adjacent to the TART trail, which leads downtown. The property is 1.7 acres of vacant land and features modern amenities.
According to Dudek, the residential units are consistent with urban living and offer a welcoming community environment for young professionals and others in need of affordable housing. The construction company asked Britten Studios to create fence graphics that promoted this message.
Using a Caldera RIP and one of its HP Scitex XL1500 printers, Britten Studios printed ten banners, some as wide as 442 feet, totaling over 7,200 square feet in media. The shop used AdMesh to cover the construction fences that surrounded the jobsite. The material was reinforced by webbed hems and grommets and zip tied to the fence.
During the job, the shop experienced sizing challenges. The provided 72-inch height measurements had to be shortened to 66 inches. “Fortunately, this was a local project for us and didn’t require shipping the banners across the country,” adds Dudek.
The project was quoted in February 2017 and installed in April 2017. The print provider’s marketing team created a time lapse video of the construction in progress and is viewable on social media and YouTube. “The developer shared the video on its social media. We’d say the customer is satisfied,” shares Dudek.
Fence mesh graphics hide messy construction areas while providing a marketing opportunity to highlight new buildings. Part two of this series features a print shop that offers fence graphics for sports stadiums.
Aug2017, Digital Output