By Abbie Yarger
The project. Provide printed banners to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the Enrnest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The 1.1 million-square-foot center, the sixth largest convention facility in the United States, sustained damage from Hurricane Katrina and housed thousands of victims in the aftermath of the storm.
The companies. Flying Colors, Berkeley, Calif., developed the concept and design of the banners and managed the project from start to finish. The New Orleans branch of Freeman Decorating Services Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, handled the production and installation of the banners, as the mission of the project was to support the local business community.
The task. The banners were to fill the 30-foot ceilings in the lobby to create a welcoming atmosphere. The banners would feature photographs of New Orleans citizens, festivities and architecture, capturing the strength and spirit of the community.
The challenge. Finding high-resolution photographs that would complement the interior design and color scheme of the space proved to be one of the main challenges of the project. Additionally, Flying Colors had to design a banner system that would not inhibit use of the lobby.
The solution. Flying Colors collaborated with convention center staff and the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau to find photographs that would meet the requirements of the project. Photographs were arranged on a storyboard to illustrate the project in its entirety. After proper color correction, cropping and enhancement, the photographs were printed on Firesafe fabric from Fisher Textiles using an HP Scitex XL1500 printer with HP XP222 Scitex ink. The system was installed to be easily removed and reinstalled as needed.
The result. The 90 banners of varying size and color guide guests through the lobby and the rich history of New Orleans, continuing the facility’s reputation as the epicenter of the city. Visitors and show managers appreciate the vivid, vibrant imagery that embodies the places and people of this resilient city.