Working in the field of graphic design for more than 25 years, I feel I’ve designed just about everything under the sun. While this is, obviously, an impossible claim, I’ve seen dozens and dozens of brochure, catalog, direct mail and trade show projects come across my desk in that time. Then, a few years ago, another form of design crept into my world… corporate interiors. Many call this environmental graphic design. Others might refer to it as experiential design or interior aesthetics. In many ways, it’s interior design, but with an emphasis on printed graphics. Whatever you want to call it, these projects require some non-traditional creative thinking.
If you would like to add wall graphics to liven up your office space, here are 5 things you need to consider:
- Sight Lines
Wouldn’t it be terrible if you put money and time into a terrific wall display, get it installed, and then realize the majority of the traffic walking through the space does not have a clear view of the focal point? It can happen very easily if you don’t consult with your vendor to survey the space ahead of time and recognize the best places from which the display can be viewed.
- Viewing Distance
Similar to understanding sight lines, knowing the distance the typical onlooker will be from the display is critical. This distance determines a number of things, from scaling your art appropriately to acceptable image resolutions. If the typical viewer will be 50 feet away from the display, detailed components of the artwork such as text blurbs will need to be scaled accordingly. The good news is pixilation is far less noticeable from this distance and image files can be smaller. Conversely, if the viewing distance is, say, 5 feet away, it is imperative that your resolutions are maximized.
- Accurate Measurements
While it might seem nice to measure the space yourself to save your vendor time and a trip out to your office, I STRONGLY suggest that you allow your vendor to take their own measurements to ensure your files are built to the correct size, avoiding last-minute, costly rework. If we, as the experts, still get it wrong, then the rework is on us and won’t affect your project budget.
- Think Dimensional
- Those Pesky Obstacles
It’s happened to the best of us. You tell your vendor you have a blank wall, they come out to install your new mural and, lo and behold, there’s a fire alarm on the wall that falls right in the middle of someone’s face in the graphic. Addressing these issues after the fact can cause missed deadlines and add cost to print new graphics. It’s a painstaking process, but quality vendors will take the time while measuring the space to chart the location of every single obstacle. In most cases, this includes doors, windows, light switches, electrical outlets and alarms.
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of “small things” in environmental graphics that can become big problems. Before starting your next project, consider a free consultation with a wide format printer. We can offer you expert advice and ideas from a portfolio of experience.
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