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Banners help showcase the story of space travel

September 1st, 2008 / By: / Graphics

The project. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon.

The companies. Hunt Design Associates, Pasadena, Calif., worked with Tom Fricker and Peter Radestsky, California-based exhibit designers, who created the concept and content. The printing was done by Gregory, Inc., Buhler, Kan. Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson, Kan., was the exhibit producer.

The task. The assignment was to design and develop a permanent exhibit that would inhabit 65,000 square feet of museum space and showcase the story of space travel. Dramatic banners were an important element in the design and implementation of the exhibit.

The challenge. Two challenges, in particular, faced the team working on the project. One was to fill a space larger than an airplane hangar. “Even with the rockets and the planes, everything felt a bit dwarfed,” says Imsung Kim, senior designer with Hunt Design.

Getting the ink to print dark enough was especially problematic because the images of space were predominantly blacks and blues. “The fabric tends to soak up the ink and wash the colors out. We had to go through numerous trials to get the ink just right,” Kim says.

Although printing on vinyl could have solved this, Kim says they wanted the quality and fluidity of a non-vinyl fabric.

The solution. With persistence they were finally able to find the right combination of fabric and ink. Gregory Inc. used an HP Excell 1500, using a dye submlimation process on poplin fabric, produced by Fisher Textiles. The 60-foot banners helped to fill the space above the main floor and set the stage for the entire exhibit.

The result. Visitors are greeted by an inspiring scene, created in part by the dramatic banners, which provide a powerful backdrop for rockets, space craft and satellites that tell the story of space exploration. The museum opened June 8, 2008.

Janet Preus is the editor of Fabric Graphics.

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