Rich Culture Comes to Life at German-American Museum

When the German-American Heritage Foundation planned to open an interactive museum to promote appreciation of the contributions of German-Americans in the United States, ABC Imaging’s Grand Format division bid on and won the monumental project. The multimedia exhibits involved creating graphics for the entire interior of the new museum.

ABC’s staff used the Contex HD5450 wide-format scanner with Nextimage enhancement software to reproduce the exhibit materials because most of the originals would not be on display. “With the Contex scanner, we can win projects based on the quality that we produce,” commented John Stricker, manager of ABC Imaging’s Grand Format Division. The Contex scanner provided the quality images that ABC staffers required to produce the high-end, large-format design work, whether making photos look less distressed or – as is sometimes the case – more distressed.

Fast, reliable, and easy to use, Contex scanner solutions deliver market-leading image quality, regardless of the material. The scanners handle thick, wrinkled, dirty, folded, and fragile documents, as well as ordinary large-format material – whether technical drawings, maps, blueprints, or fine artwork.

ABC Imaging collaborated with Washington DC-based creative director, Nicole Hamam, to produce the GAHF exhibit. The design required enlarging many historical documents and images, which were scanned-to-print with the Contex HD5450 and HP DesignJet 6100. A unifying feature of the exhibit is a timeline that runs more than 60 feet and covers three walls in the main exhibit space.

To protect the integrity of the original historical pieces, the GAHF exhibit displayed only scanned reproductions. ABC manipulated the scanned files using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign , which enabled the images to be properly enlarged. The files were then imported into Autodesk AutoCAD and readied for print. “With the Contex scanner, we are able to deliver the quality that our clients are accustomed to seeing,” commented Stricker.

ABC Imaging is known as the go-to company for print solutions in the Washington DC area. Many museums turn to the company’s Grand Format division for quality large-scale reproductions, such as interior displays, building banners, and billboards. When the German-American Heritage Foundation (GAHF) planned to open an interactive museum to promote appreciation of the contributions of German-Americans in American culture, commerce, and society, ABC was asked to bid on the project.

The multimedia exhibit involved creating graphics for the entire interior of the new museum based on the members’ archive of historic documents and images. This monumental endeavor included interactive kiosks with video to display historic events and games for kids. A project of this magnitude was a first for ABC Imaging, which recognized that delivering high-quality reproductions of delicate, historical documents was essential to winning the project.

The museum features images, documentation, and interactive video depicting German immigration and migration across the Unites States from the early 1600s until today. The interactive exhibits display images and video of German music, literature, and families.

“This project marked the first time we did a full museum interior, and it required a lot of attention to detail. The Contex scanner enables us to deliver everything we need. We use it constantly and the results are superb,” commented Stricker. “The Contex scanner is easy to use and always reliable. It was exactly what we needed for a project of this scope.”

The museum opened just eight months after the start of the project and has received rave reviews by both GAHF and museum visitors.

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