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Backlit exhibit steals the show

Feature, Graphics | March 1, 2013 | By:

When Coppinger Exhibits out of Indianapolis needed a new eye-catching design for their trade show exhibits they looked to the award winning Lawrence Fabric and Metal Structures, St. Louis, Mo., to design and fabricate something fresh.

Coppinger requested that Lawrence build frames for their upcoming Pioneer Exhibit to be on display at various trade shows. Lawrence was given the specs for the support frames Coppinger already had and to which the new designs needed to attach. Coppinger requested a double-sided radius backlit frame for the show, but it needed to be easy to assemble and tear down, requiring no tools, so that it could be used at various trade shows.

Lawrence faced some unique challenges in building the frames due to the overall size and client’s assembly requirements. The client wanted the printed windows to be removable so that graphics could be changed in the future while continuing to utilize the frame. The frame was also made up of three separate structures, each measuring 55 feet long and over 11 feet tall, and each with 24 light fixtures. Lawrence needed to break down these structures so the client could easily bring the exhibit to different trade shows. The budget and timeline were also tight, requiring quick thinking and problem-solving.

To make the windows removable, Lawrence sewed zippers around the perimeter of each print. This allowed for removal, and new prints could easily replace the existing ones with matching zippers. To make the large structures easy to assemble, disassemble and travel, the frames were made with 2-inch aluminum tubes and covered by six individual panels of backlit fabric, with the zippers allowing for interchangeable graphics. The structures could easily break down into smaller pieces for easy moving and didn’t require tools for assembly and tear-down.

The fabric, polyester gaming suede material, was printed using dye sublimation for a crisp, clean image. Gaming suede has outstanding print qualities, on top of being stain resistant and flame retardant.

The client was very pleased with the results, and has since contacted Lawrence for additional projects. “Their exhibit was the highlight of the show,” said Karen O’Rourke, marketing director at Lawrence. “Despite a very tight turnaround time and cost constraints, our first job with this client was a huge success.”

This project won Lawrence first place in the 2012 Midwest Fabric Production Association’s Craftsmanship Awards.

Amy Overgaard is a freelance writer and barista in St. Paul, Minn.

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