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Printed nightclub curtains divide and conquer

Graphics | January 1, 2011 | By:

Printed graphics provide bold colors and striking imagery to one of New York’s hottest nightclubs.

New York-based Color X is no stranger to creative printing ideas. Specializing in large-format printing and digital graphics for high-end retail and exhibit displays, the company continually explores the latest applications for fabric printing. So when one of New York City’s hottest new clubs was in need of dynamic graphic visuals for both its interior and exterior, Color X was called upon to turn the design vision into reality.

Having worked on previous projects with Color X, the club’s design team turned to the company to help create a lounge environment using graphics as a key element. The artwork needed to feature bold colors that still complemented the overall feel of the club. To serve as a major focal point, the design team wanted a digitally printed entry curtain that was 35 feet by 20 feet. The curtain would be multi-purpose, functioning as a divider between the club’s dancing room and lounge area and the entranceway, all while bringing additional visual interest to the space.

The project had to be completed under a time crunch, in only three weeks before the club’s January 2010 opening. To make matters more challenging, the entire space was still under construction at the time. Coordinating with the other construction workers was critical in getting access to take proper measurements and in devising a custom installation method for the entry curtain.

The entrance to the club is located near a retractable roof, exposing the curtain to wind, rain and sun. And if the harsh outdoor climate wasn’t enough, the curtain had to be durable enough to withstand the natural wear and tear of the club environment, where the likelihood of spilled drinks is a concern, and meet fire codes.

While it was a challenge to find a material suitable for the project, the final curtain was printed on a 10-foot-wide, 100-percent polyester fabric that was treated chemically to add additional protection against staining. The side of the curtain that faced the interior was backed with black velour. To add versatility, the images were divided into panels. This allowed for sections to be pulled back during warmer weather while still maintaining privacy.

Inside the club, Color X provided additional printed fabrics that helped give each lounge area its own décor. The distinct areas each had a large-format image stretched on a frame, which was then mounted as wall art. The graphics continued throughout the rooms, such as in digitally printed wall coverings and fabric that was strategically tufted into the leather couches to create a dimensional graphic and tie all the elements together.

Color X decided to use a dye-sublimation print process to ensure vivid colors and durability. This process allowed the fabric to remain naturally soft and for it to be steam-cleaned and washed without fear of the inks fading. For additional protection, the fabrics were chemically treated to shield against staining.

With a perfect mix of practicality and style, the printed graphics helped to physically divide the club’s spaces and bring the overall look together with bold colors and striking imagery.

Mara Whitten is a freelance writer in Glenwood City, Wis.

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