Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lightboxes, Photo Murals, and TV Coverings

I have just added a page to my website at ElizabethCarmel.com that describes the various custom photo murals,  lightbox displays, and TV coverings that I am able to do. 

These types of custom installations are often used in commercial / corporate environments. The following article describes the steps for selecting a custom art installation for a corporate environment.

The aesthetic of your workplace can convey so much. If executed correctly, the right design can successfully communicate your corporate culture, positively influence customer experience and even increase employee motivation. Done incorrectly, it can diminish your brand, detract from customer experience and hurt employee morale. Our environment not only speaks to who we are, but of what we are striving to achieve. For this reason, it is critically important that you create a work environment aesthetic that is in tune with your corporate objectives. If you are considering new design aesthetic, here are some tips for getting started, from defining the space to selecting the right corporate art consultant.

  • Define your budget. Be realistic about how much can you set aside for re-design. Will this endeavor be a couple of coats of paint and some new furniture? Or do you have a budget that can accommodate some high impact changes such as a panoramic photo mural or architectural remodeling?
  • Understand your corporate culture. What is your corporate brand personality? Are you fun and creative? Innovative and modern? Authoritative and reliable? Take the time to nail down your company personality as this will help define the artistic palette of your work environment.
  • Define the space in question. Is the space client facing? If it is, you must select an aesthetic that creates the mood you want the client to feel. Do you want them to be relaxed? Perhaps inspired or optimistic? What would the ideal client state of mind be? Likewise, if the space is intended for your employees, consider how you want it to affect them. Do you want them to have high energy? Or perhaps to feel inspired and appreciated? There are many ways to convey these emotions through design. Define who will be within the space, and determine the emotional responses you want to evoke. In some cases the space will contain both employees and clients and you will need to strike the appropriate balance.
  • Find the right inspiration. Many interior designers start their journey with a single inspiration piece. This is often a statement piece that sets the tone for the entire room such as a sculpture, painting or large landscape photography print. For some great examples of how the Ritz Carlton at Lake Tahoe used high impact nature photography to create a client-friendly commercial space check out my installment examples section. If you are not comfortable selecting your inspiration piece on your own, there are a number of fantastic professional corporate art consultants who can help you find that perfect piece that will not only fill the space, but also beautifully represent your business.
  • Partner with the right corporate art consultant and/or interior designer. I highly recommend bringing in a professional that can help you translate your ideas into a cohesive reality. Always review portfolios and ask which projects were similar to yours in budget and scope. This will allow you to not only view their work, but also gauge their taste level. Ask for references. Ask those references about the consultant’s professionalism, integrity, transparency, vision, creativity and ability to stay within budget. The ultimate goal to find a partner you can trust to help you realize your company’s distinct image.

I have had some inquiries from other photographers on how to do lightbox displays. Here is a quick guide to the materials that I have sucessfully worked with.
1. A good source for lightboxes in Blue River Digital. They have the eco-friendly LED lightboxes in different sizes and they seem to be very high quality. The printed image is easy to put into a lightbox with the snap open frames. They are available in a variety of sizes.
2. The material for a lightbox display is a printable polyvinyl. I have successfully used the Lexjext polypropylene in the lightboxes at the Carmel Gallery. I print on this material with an Epson 11880. The key is to darken the image substantially in photoshop prior to printing so it looks good with light coming through it. You will need to experiment to get the right darkening for each image. 
It is an easy process if you have the right materials - lightbox displays are easier than framing an image and can handle very large prints. The downside is that they are more expensive than framing but they do provide a light source in addition  to an art piece.

48x36" Lightbox Display

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