Shortly after joining FESPA as Technical Support Manager, Graeme Richardson-Locke kick-started a re-design of the FESPA HQ atrium. Graeme tells us more about why he wanted to create this space, and how it came to life with the help of HNS Signs and Banner Box.
When you think of FESPA, what is the first thing that you think of? I think of a group of talented print and graphic arts professionals who bring the industry together at inspiring Print Expos across the globe. When I first joined FESPA, this idea wasn’t well represented at the office and I felt we needed to better showcase FESPA’s expertise.
The FESPA HQ atrium provided the perfect space to do this as it is the first area that employees and visitors see when they arrive at the offices. I could see the potential this space had to offer and I was excited to bring it to life.
My initial thoughts were that I wanted our employees and visitors to step into an inspiration hub every day that illustrated how FESPA, as an organisation, understands and connects with members of the wide format and graphic arts industry.
We also wanted to represent a real broad spectrum in the space, to ensure that when you walked in, you felt you were immersed in signage, fabric, décor, wide format etc. because that is who we are.
Finding the perfect partner
From the early stages of the atrium project, it was important to work with the right partners who could add value to the project, from initial design through to finished project. We chose to work with HNS signs, a two time FESPA awards winner with a broad offering across printed and non-printed signage. I approached owner and FESPA UK member, Michelle Henry and we worked closely to decide on the components that would contribute to this project.
HNS were the core of this project, taking on board our requirements, factoring in the constraints we were up against and understanding the level of quality we were looking for.
The HNS team came to the FESPA office to get a feel for the space that they would be working with, to support the design process and to give us the opportunity to discuss initial ideas. The brief evolved from there.
In each step of the process, HNS kept us updated, sharing back and forth scaled down prototypes so that we could preview how the components would work within the environment. This worked particularly well with the mobile that hangs in the entrance of the atrium. We were able to establish the right size and the right medium so that it wouldn’t overpower the space.
The prototypes were also shared with the whole FESPA team, ensuring that the final atrium would resonate with each and everyone that worked in the building. The feedback was very positive, which provided a great incentive.
In addition, we worked with large format print specialist, Banner Box, to create stand out hanging banners that reflected FESPA’s brand in a visually appealing manner.
From the initial brainstorming, to the design, to the prototypes and the handmade fixings, HNS and Banner Box really thought through every aspect of this project to the tiniest details. This made it an extremely productive and enjoyable partnership.
Showing print’s best face
A key element of the atrium is the artwork that is displayed around the space, all of which was donated by previous FESPA Award winners, including MidiPrint in Moscow, Lorenz Boegli in Switzerland, Michel Caza in France and Christian Walter in Spain. We were extremely honoured that they offered their prints to us. The selection we have is a timeless and lasting collection which we can display for years to come.
With the fine art pieces that were donated, they are not only representative of technical processes across digital and screen printing, but also show the best of the best when it comes to quality within the industry. Take our centre piece for example, the Richard Estes screen printed artwork which was shared by Edition Domberger. The fine art reproduction, which took a year to complete and incorporates 212 screen printed spot colours, is a perfect representation of commitment to a pursuit of excellence within the industry.
As well as being a stand out visual representation of the industry, we used the prints to show what is possible with print by including written descriptions of the technologies and processes involved to bring the prints to life – that way we were able to satisfy technical curiosity for our visitors as well.
Our biggest challenge was achieving universal appeal, while representing FESPA’s brand and associated values and, with the size of our industry, we were initially concerned that we wouldn’t be able to show its whole potential. Looking at the finished project and based on the feedback we regularly receive, I am confident that we achieved a great result.
When my colleagues at FESPA and I stand in the atrium, it is extremely rewarding to look around and see not only the mix of 3D applications and printed materials, but also the time and dedication that went into every component. That is what makes it so powerful. The atrium now provides us with a daily reminder of just how creatively inspiring our industry is.
The support that we have experienced throughout this whole project has been so heart-warming for us and we are extremely grateful to our partners for their support with bringing the initial idea into fruition. In addition, we are very thankful for the artwork that was donated to us to create a showcase of the talent and quality that exists here in the print industry.
With the help of HNS Signs and Banner Box, we were able to showcase the whole production process in our short film on the atrium re-design. If you want to learn more about the project, you can watch it here.
by FESPA Staff