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Ferris wheel wrapped in fabric graphics

Graphics | September 1, 2011 | By:

The project. The Santa Monica pier served as the finish line for the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon. A wrapped Ferris wheel was to provide marquee signage and greet runners as they crossed the finish line.

The companies. Asics, an athletic-equipment company, was looking to showcase its brand in a unique way. AAA Flag and Banner Manufacturing, Los Angeles, was commissioned to print and install the wrap.

The task. Use graphics to promote Asics’s brand message and display the larger-than-life image of a runner on a fully operational, permanent Ferris wheel.

The challenge. The project was truly one of a kind. As AAA was the first to tackle a wrap of this type, there was some concern if things would come together as the companies envisioned. The shape of the wheel and two-sided install added to the project’s complexity. The wrap had to fit properly, not only for aesthetics but for safety, as the wheel would continue to give rides to visitors. “There was an unknown as it hadn’t been done,” says Craig Furst, president at AAA. “There were no instructions or guidelines.”

The solution. The wrap consisted of 3,000 square feet of mesh vinyl. Eighty triangular-shaped pieces were carefully joined together, paying special attention to preserving any logos and the wrap’s text. Overall, AAA spent two weeks diligently planning, engineering and testing the wrap.

The result. The customer was thrilled with the outcome, as it drew attention to the company’s message and brand. The project went on to receive an International Achievement Award in the fabric graphics category from the Industrial Fabrics Association International. “It was really fun because it was so different,” Furst says. AAA has since received proposals to wrap other permanent Ferris wheels.

Mara Whitten is a freelance writer from Eagan, Minn.

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