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Printed tent houses the Acatemy

Graphics | September 1, 2009 | By:

The project. To create and install a 30-foot by 60-foot tent structure for an exhibit promoting Meow Mix products. Interactive play areas inside the tent allowed visitors to bring their cats into the structure, which traveled to 11 U.S. cities. The structure, appropriately named The Acatemy, was part of the Meow Mix Think Like a Cat campaign.

The companies. Grand Central Marketing, New York, N.Y., designed and managed the project. Rainier Industries Ltd., Seattle, Wash., fabricated and printed all of the elements of the structure. Rainier also completed the initial installation of the tent at the Meow Mix corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The task. The client wanted the tent to stand out from other structures by featuring sidewalls that were digitally printed on both sides with custom graphics. Rainier printed and fabricated the tent sidewalls, and created the unique entrance to the structure to give visitors the impression that they were entering a museum.

The challenge. The printing proved to be a difficult task. Rainier had never printed imagery on both sides of sidewall material, and the company had to be creative and resourceful to complete the project.

The solution. Rainier chose Ferrari 502 fabric as the material for the sidewalls. Both sides of the fabric were run through a Durst Rho 351 high-speed UV inkjet printer designed for printing roll media such as vinyl, fabric and PVC films. The colorful graphics were printed with Durst Rho Roll Ink, which was developed specifically for printing on flexible material. Careful execution and attention to detail allowed the printing to be completed successfully.

The result. The client and the visitors loved the structure and its unique environment. More than 50,000 people visited the exhibit, and the tour was considered a huge success.

Abbie Yarger is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis, Minn.

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