BRILLIANT AND INVENTIVE
Offices can be anonymous and unwelcoming places but, with a bit of creative intuition and the application of some modern materials, spaces can be completely transformed. They become welcoming. The deliver privacy where it’s needed. And they reflect complex missions and objectives. Thanks to some inventive graphics by Barnsley based Totty Signs, Smoothwall’s offices in Leeds are a best practice example of what’s possible.
Smoothwall was founded in 2000 on the foundations of a simple and yet incredibly powerful concept: To provide the best digital safety solutions in the world. Two decades have passed and today Smoothwall is an award winning organisation with partners in sixty countries and over four million users around the world. The company aims to keep its users one step ahead of the evolving world of digital safety and it’s succeeding.
When Smoothwall wanted to give its Leeds offices a lift, Totty Signs’ phone rang. The work needed involved colourful graphics applied to wall surfaces and “something” to elevate the look and feel of obscured office partitions. Totty Signs responded with a range of ambience enhancing graphics and some inventive work for glazed surface.
Smoothwall is a complex business but its being is reduced to practice in a capabilities matrix provided by Totty Signs. Its a simple arrangement of cut Foamex panels applied adjacent to a body of printed text on a wall. The effect is eye-catching and thanks to the Totty Signs’ team’s expertise with typography, it’s legible and memorable. Metamark MDP-H displays its characteristic appetite for ink and the colours are vivid and deeply saturated.
MDP-H assists in the display of monochromatic images mounted to walls too. The printing is flawless without even a hint of a colour cast marring the warm grey tones and the definition ensures that every detail contributes to the impact of the whole.
The offices’ glazed partitions had been previously obscured with etch effect materials and the privacy achieved needed to be maintained. To coordinate the partition work with other parts of the graphic installations, Totty Signs took the very unusual step of provisioning applied graphics on the glazed partitions’ second surfaces. They printed the detail on Metamark MD-CR an optically clear material, and the effect is simply stunning.
The printed detail now sits in slight relief off the glass’s obscured first surface. This imparts a level of definition, thanks to the MD-CR that simply can’t be achieved when printing on a micro-textured etch film. Subtle shading and reduced saturation elements in the design lead the eye and contrast with crisply rendered fine text, too fine to print successfully on an etch film. The partitioned space is still private. It still admits light into the interior of the meeting space. It now though display in very crisp relief a range of inspirational and informative ambient graphics.
Totty Signs has demonstrated not just a basis of creativity with its work for Smoothwall, but a solution to a challenge that has valuable technical merit too. Seen through the customer’s eyes, the solution is workable and very practical. Seen though the eyes or a sign and graphics producer, it’s something that’s sure to become a widely practices technique.