Window Mural Spectacular
Bristol based N3 Display Graphics and Bristol Aquarium are no strangers to each other. When the aquarium was opened and operated by Blue Reef, N3 designed and installed the facility’s original window graphics and interior signing. Later, when the aquarium’s ownership and branding changed, N3 made another visit for the re-brand. Its latest outing was to provide a new, landmark-scale mural on the aquarium’s exterior that also served a need in managing light in the building’s interior.
The team at N3 worked with design data supplied by the aquarium and provided its own input in terms of making the design fit the complex exterior previously surveyed with laser measuring hardware. The applied graphic measures some 17.36M wide by about 12M high - over 200 SqM. It comprises 58 drops, each 1.25M wide and 2.7M deep. Lots of overlaps and alignments to plan - top and bottom and from one side to the other. Not the easiest of design jobs.
The design is a reflection of the aquarium’s branding. A really colourful ensemble of the characters that visitors to the aquarium are likely to meet during their visit rub shoulders in a huge montage that surveys the busy street below. It’s a real head-turner and there’s a lot of appreciative pedestrians and motor traffic passing continually.
Part of the N3 Design Graphics’ teams work involved stripping off the previously installed graphics. That was quite an undertaking. The previous graphic had been double sided to provide an interest to the building’s interior while newly planted foliage was getting established. The removal and cleaning took the team two days in total given access time restrictions.
N3’s new installation is single sided because the interior now has established foliage growth obscuring the window’s interior. There was though, a need to manage the levels of light incoming and a requirement to obscure the exterior design from interior view. For these reasons the N3 team picked up the phone to ourselves, Metamark and Metamark MD5A-B was specified for the job.
Metamark MD5A-B brings together Metamark’s class leading reference quality MD5 digital media and a specialist light-blocking adhesive complete with Metamark’s MetaScape feature. MetaScape doesn’t give trapped air a chance making it very easy to evacuate from the applied graphics, and the blocking adhesive doesn’t give much hope to light getting through either. The colourful graphics really pop thanks to the material big appetite for the Latex ink used by N3’s HP Latex 2800 printer.
The printed graphics were laminated with Metamark MG-700 laminate and then the application project began. The aquarium’s management arranged access from the busy street bordering the massive glazed wall and, five days later, the job was complete. The aquarium has a new and stunning advertisement making its purpose plain.
The finished job keeps interest levels high outside the aquarium and light levels low inside. The outside is colourful and inviting. Inside the subdued lighting is both atmospheric and imparts precisely the environment this world-class exhibit needs. It’s not every day a job on the scale of the Bristol Aquarium comes along, but, when it does, N3 Display Graphics is more than ready to take it on.