Coloredge New York * Los Angeles recently completed the graphics for Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
On Friday, July 16th, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County opened its all-new 14,000 square-foot Dinosaur Hall. The exhibit, featuring more than 300 fossils and 20 complete mounts of dinosaurs and sea creatures, rivals the world's leading dinosaur halls for the number of individual fossils displayed. The size and spectacular character of the major mounts, including the world's only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series and the accessible integration of recent scientific discoveries and research into the display graphics, makes this exhibit unsurpassed.
Lexington Scenery sought out John Gibson and Coloredge New York * Los Angeles to produce and install the graphics for this high profile and extremely complicated project. John Gibson, the Coloredge account executive, along with the exceptional guidance provided by Howard Smith, the Lexington project manager and leadership of Jennifer Morgan, the museum's project manager, worked tirelessly together over a three month period. During this time, the team collaborated to ensure that all aspects of the graphic elements were as impactful; but that they also met the technical requirements needed for being on display with fragile exhibit artifacts. Because so many different substrates and print processes were employed, there were numerous rounds of testing and color matching during the initial phase of production.
"Due to the variety of print processes and the museum quality requirement of our permanent installations, I chose to work with Coloredge for the Dinosaur Mysteries project. John Gibson provides the hands on detailed service required to accomplish our goals. Besides his brilliant expertise, John offers his management and creative skills to the graphic team. In our fast paced approach, the dedicated service that John provides is a must," said Howard Smith, senior project manager, Lexington.
Adorning the main exhibit hall, the majority of the graphics were wall coverings printed on Ultraflex matte wallpaper, output on a Durst Rho 500r roll-to-roll, direct to substrate device. The Ultraflex material was chosen for its durability as well as the clean look it yields. The wallpaper material was double cut which allows for a butt seam, as opposed to imaging adhesive back vinyl where you must overlap the seams. The largest individual wallpaper graphic depicting a Mamenchisaurus, is 60 feet long by 20 feet high. Coloredge NY * LA worked with Ace Wallcovering to install more than 5,000 square feet of wallpaper material for this project.
The display case graphics were printed on matte photographic material using Coloredge's Lightjet device at sizes up to 6x10-feet. These prints were wrapped around specially treated wood material supplied by Lexington specifically for this project. The panels needed to be specially treated so that they wouldn't "gas off" and damage the irreplaceable, 60 million year-old artifacts.
"The production for this project which included color matching on various substrates was very difficult to attain. Through many rounds of tests, we were able to successfully match color on the varied substrates. With the assistance of kbda and the picnic design team, we were able to successfully achieve their vision. This was by far, one of the most challenging and fulfilling projects on which I have worked," said Gibson.
For the artifacts encased in glass, Coloredge looked to their prototyping division, Comp24. The Comp24 team utilized a special transfer process to apply 5-color transfers to glass as large as 5 feet by 11 feet and up to ½-inch thick. An opacity layer was printed using Coloredge's GS3200 onto Avery Ultra Clear 103 material. Using a tricky wet mount process, this opacity layer was then applied to the Comp24 transfers for added definition.
An additional element of the project utilized 3M 8660 material with 3645 interior Floor minder for a graphic 12 feet by 12 feet onto which visitors are able to walk. After installing the floor graphic, the print was treated with a clear wax allowing maintenance crews to remove scuff marks, a process recommended by 3M.