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GIANT "Welcome Mural" Greets International Travelers to Seattle

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

SEATTLE (November 3, 2008) – The Port of Seattle has just unveiled a breathtaking 16- by 250-foot mural at SeaTac Airport. What has for years been a bare white wall in the SeaTac international arrivals terminal has been transformed into a work of art thanks to the efforts of BIGink and photographer Michael Craft.   
The "Welcome Mural," as it is being called, was produced and installed by Seattle-based custom and large-format printing company BIGink. The mural features many ofSeattle's iconic images in a colorful and stunning 80-foot long digital photograph of the Seattle skyline. The Space Needle is in the forefront, Mt. Rainier is on the horizon, and the Puget Sound glows in the light of the downtown cityscape. The skyline image is framed on either side by blue wall coverings displaying the word "welcome" in 25 languages from around the globe.
"What a fantastic way to welcome people to our great city," said John Scholl, founder and president of BIGink. "And the collaborative effort by all parties involved in making this project come together was truly amazing."
In May of this year, BIGink and Seattle photographer Michael Craft were commissioned by Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Port of Seattle to print and install Craft's skyline photograph. Craft's original "Panorama of Seattle" photograph was captured using a Fuji 6-cm-by-17 cm Panoramic Camera, on Fuji 100 transparency film. One of the challenges of the project was transforming the original film image into a file size that could be reproduced on such a grand scale. Craft spent a great deal of time manipulating the composition of the image until it was ready to be enlarged. With the help of Dick Busher at Seattle-based Cosgrove Editions, the original transparency was re-scanned at 10,000 DPI.
The team at BIGink then spent more than 50 hours in the production phase to convert that small image into the impressive 4,000-square-foot creation it has become. Twenty hours were spent in proofing and file preparation. The printing process took 32 hours with simultaneous lamination of the materials and QC performance to measure ink densities and confirm tiling between panels. BIGink used a Gandinnovations Jeti 3324 solvent printer and UV fade resistant ink. The mural was printed on 3M Controltac vinyl adhesive and 3M Luster laminate.
The BIGink team needed to incorporate the mural around the existing architecture of the international arrivals terminal. This meant separating the mural into 62 48-inch wide vinyl panels, as well as three 3M Window Perforated vinyl panels that still allow for visibility through the one-way security viewing windows into the terminal. And travelers aren't the only ones subject to the airport's security measures; everyone involved in the installation had to go through the necessary homeland security clearances to gain access to the terminal. Additionally, in order to complete this project with little interruption to travelers, BIGink installers spent five nights and 72 graveyard shift man-hours installing the Welcome Mural.
 "We were inspired by Michael Craft's photography," said Elias Calderon, director of marketing and creative services at the Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau. Many of Craft's images, including the skyline photo, have been an integral part of the Bureau's Seattle metronatural campaign, with the intention of demonstrating the blend ofSeattle's urban and natural attractions to potential visitors. "This photograph really captures that message," said Calderon.
"We knew this beautiful shot would be the perfect way to warmly welcome international visitors to Seattle," said Calderon. "And the folks at BIGink really made it come to life. I am so impressed with the final project, and I know everyone who sees it will feel the same."




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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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