Panels IV - Design

The panel design was kept to a strict library of colours, font styles/sizes, and templates for borders surrounding images and photos.

I found that consistency was best maintained by always keeping the first and same finished panel copied/pasted & stuck beside the panel design being worked on in order to eyedrop colours and font size, as well as eyeball consistent heights of titles and subtitles (important as the panels will be side by side on some walls).

The red, tan, and 2 shades of gray on the panel are our best match to the actual dry paint on the wall. Hopefully the subtle difference in colour will not be too noticeable. We did extensive print tests of dozens of shades of each colour to try and match up the Pratt & Lambert paint chips to the end result coming out of the printer, however, the monitors we were using were rendering colour very inaccurately and ambient light in the design room was extremely inconsistent. It really was a guessing game and a test of patience to hone in on a shade close enough for comfort. Another factor differentiating the finished printed colour from the dry painted-walls is the UV protective lamination which slightly dulls and darkens the printed result.

*These jpegs of 2 of our 14 text panels have been modified and the quality reduced to prevent copyright infringement.

Panels III- Lamination and Substrate Prep

For "Cold War Berlin" each panel will be effectively turned into a sticker before mounting to the gatorfoam substrate. The bottom layer is a pressure activated adhesive with a paper backing, while the top layer consists of a UV filtering matte lamination, which will protect the panels from fading and damage. The laminator was first webbed and adjusted to the proper tension, then checked for wrinkles, air bubbles etc. It is always good to do a test with a blank or duplicate.

Once your piece begins feeding through the rollers there's no adjusting, so make sure it is square with the feed tray and within the limits of the laminating materials. Our widest panel was 36" wide, and the laminator is 38", so there's little room for error. For an introduction into the world of large scale lamination, see here.

If possible, prepare multiple pieces and begin feeding them in as the one ahead comes through to avoid wasting laminating materials. Each piece must be brushed clean with a soft-hair brush to ensure that no dust/debris is trapped under the lamination. This can marr the professional appearance of your pieces.

Our 0.5" white gatorfoam substrate was prepped for mounting by painting the edges red to match our panel borders. Pieces of similar size were stacked and painted with a roller.

Panels were then stacked with small spacers and allowed to dry. Next, each panel will be thoroughly cleaned with a brush and tack cloth to remove and dust, debris or particles before the mounting begins.