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Ideas for Museums

by Britten Studios  

According to the American Alliance of Museums, there are at least 17,500 museums in the United States.

From small rural museums in the Midwest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, everyone wants to draw a little attention to their prized collections! Here are a few suggestions for how you can utilize large format print to spread the word about your upcoming artwork, curios, memorabilia and miscellany.


Idea #1: Fabric Murals

Britten prints directly to several fabrics that are ideal for museum quality exhibitions.

Shown above, these photographs by artist Charles Lindsay were printed larger than life on a luxurious fabric material that covered every wall in the exhibit. The abstract designs combine with the larger-than-life canvas for a very “other-worldly” experience!

Each material is available in long rolls measuring over 120″ in width, including a white/black/white material that was used for this exhibit both for its bright white color and to eliminate any sort of washout or back lighting. This fabric has a tactile quality that doesn’t cast a glare, and it feels as luxurious as a movie screen curtain. Environmentally friendly inks add to the appeal.

Also included in this exhibit were several free standing backlit displays that added a unique sense of intrigue. Britten offers a number of standard BriteWall LED systems that can be wall mounted or set up as a double-sided pedestal, as shown below.



Idea #2: Photo Cutouts & Mixed Media

The 50 best players in vintage uniforms really jumped off the wall in these photo cutouts that were featured in the “Born to Play Ball” exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

These life size photos add excitement and compliment the actual game jerseys, bats and gloves used by the players themselves that were safely secured in glass display cases.

Britten’s team includes Décor experts who are true masters at creating immersive 3D environments like this one. (Learn more about Britten’s approach to project management and what we can do to bring your concept to reality!)



Idea #3: Object Labels and Placards

Interesting piece of museum trivia… what’s a fancy art school name for the large panels that introduce a section of an exhibit? They’re called Didactic Placards (French “plaques didactiques”), and they are a great way to bring a bit of history or context to the display.

Britten offers many rigid substrates and a flatbed press that can print full color as well as perfectly crisp white text onto a solid black piece of material. For the historical photographs at lower right of the placard above, a layer of white ink is laid down before the standard CMYK inks.

And they can also be router cut to any shape. Add some visual interest and reinforce your exhibit’s theme by connecting it the form of the object labels!

Shown below, these placards were mounted on barrels which also helped reinforce the theme at the Lincoln & the Canal exhibit at Lock 16 in LaSalle.



Idea #4: Exterior Billboards & Frames

One of the best advertisements for your museum is large, street facing billboard that announces your currently featured exhibit, or one that is opening soon. Changing that banner frequently, however, can often be a challenge!

Ideal for large exterior displays, Britten’s BannerRail Display Systems make it easy to update your current information without throwing a banner over the side of your roof or renting an expensive lift to hoist your banners. Using a mechanical hoist and two vertical rails, your upcoming exhibit information is quickly updated and looks perfectly tensioned.

Voila!  Everyone will be looking forward to the opening of your next exhibit!


Idea #5: Ceiling Banners & Hoist Systems

Ceiling banners are a great opportunity to utilize large open spaces with particularly high ceilings. And yet the same challenge applies: how do you change the banners on a regular basis, without using an impossibly high ladder or renting a difficult-to-maneuver lift?

Britten created a patented ceiling hoist specifically to satisfy this need. Our BannerDrop display systems operate with a remote control frequency that raises and lowers banners (or any other media) with the push of a button.

Shown above, these systems were installed at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum to promote constantly changing Imax features, but BannerDrop systems have also been used to hoist everything from cubes to inflatable spheres, mobile structures and more.

How could your museum be utilizing its high ceiling areas?


Idea #6: Light Pole Banners & Brackets

Light pole banner programs are a great way for museums and other non-profits to spread the word around town about upcoming promotions and events. Shown above at left, the city of Dallas actively promotes the arts and culture with tasteful and constantly updated banner designs.

Elsewhere at a much smaller town in America, the banners above at right used a gold foil on top of the banners which caught the reflection of the sun, reminiscent of the ancient gold that was on display in the exhibit’s showcases!

Britten’s patented wind-spilling BannerSaver bracket is the perfect solution for exterior light poles and specified in cities on six continents.


Idea #7: Donor Recognition Signage

We understand how important it is for your organization to acknowledge the generosity of your donors and supporters.

We also know that you want your donor recognition signage to encourage others to contribute. That’s why we offer custom, beautifully crafted donor recognition signage—the kind that looks elegant, inspires generosity, and truly honors your loyal supporters.

Whether you need signage, wall plagues, murals, or displays, we’ve got the experience to help! We’ve designed, fabricated, and installed recognition solutions for universities, hospitals, foundations, and businesses—and we use cutting edge techniques like computer aided routing, laser cutting, etching, and digital printing.  So let’s get started; together we can create a donor recognition solution that perfectly rewards your supporters and fits your budget!

See more examples from our portfolio of donor recognition displays here.


Idea #8: Wayfinding

Wayfinding is one of the best ways to improve visitor experience, build brand awareness, and increase productivity and profitability. We can help you design and implement wayfinding solutions using directional signage and visual elements that are specifically tailored to your locations and facilities.

And that’s just the beginning! Let’s just say that when it comes to wayfinding solutions, banners, and custom signage, we have the ability to design, fabricate, and execute almost any project you can imagine.

Even More Ideas for Museums!

These are just a few of the ways that you can utilize large format print to build buzz for your museum and help you to look your very best.

We would love to hear more about your upcoming exhibits and brainstorm ideas for how to make the experience the best that your patrons could possibly ever remember!

Contact us today and let’s get started.


Paul’s Corner | July 2015

by Paul Britten  

Parking Deck Wallscapes

With over 30 years worth of experience installing huge banners, we are constantly looking to push the limits of large format framing systems in our industry. The BannerWrap display pictured above is over 16′ H x 35′ W and tensioned around a steel frame that is attached directly to the parking deck structure.

Shown below, Britten has partnered internationally with Vedi Belgium to be the exclusive provider of their Ovio frame in North America.

We’ve combined Ovio’s structural stability and ease of installation with our exclusive BriteWall LED technology to create the biggest, brightest and most energy efficient exterior displays available today (and we’ve even fashioned them for curved walls)!

ovio banner frame outdoor

Arched Bulkheads

Britten has built a network of decal experts who know what it takes and how to get it done, situated in strategic markets throughout the country.

Shown below, a specialty material was chosen for this bulkhead because of the uneven texture of the drywall (different kinds of paint may also require special treatment, as well).

With years of experience across thousands of projects across North America, we’ve field tested so many scenarios that we can recommend the best adhesive material for your specific need.



BannerDrop Raises Revenues

These 16′ H x 14′ W SkyBanners are raised 3 stories above an ice rink easily and efficiently with Britten’s patented BannerDrop ceiling hoist system.

Whereas renting and maneuvering a lift through the mall would be both expensive and dangerous, BannerDrop saves on labor cost, liability and makes sponsorship revenues possible where they never existed before!

Shown below, this vertical SkyBanner (24′ H x 14′) fits into this tall glass atrium above an escalator, which would again be a difficult accomplishment for such a tall articulating lift!


Custom Shelves

We’re very excited to welcome Britten Woodworks into our family and about all of the capabilities that they bring to the table!  (Or in this case, some really impressive custom shelves.)


Our customer said it perfectly, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. I enjoyed working with you very much and your craftsmanship is superb.”

Thank You

We sincerely appreciate you and your patronage and wish you the very best!



Paul’s Corner | June 2015

by Paul Britten  

Cutouts at the Zoo

These outdoor cutouts brought together two of our favorite things… penguins, and beer!

“The head poke was a great success at our biggest fundraiser of the year, Brew at the Zoo. It held up very well to the elements and our crowd of over 6,000 guests over 2 days. The hashtag #justbrewit on Instagram has lots of user photos with it too! Thanks again for all of your help.”

Cutouts are great for engaging your audience and buffeting your brand on social media.  These cutouts use a sturdy outdoor base and are router cut from a durable 1/2″ thick material which an be virtually any shape.

Large Format Window Decals

Our customer was so impressed with how spectacular this looks that they extended their contract with the mall until the end of the year.

To keep up with the styles of each season, this retailer will be switching out their graphics to reflect the current line of fashion.


Sideline Signatures

Versatile for any variety of sports, our padded A-frames were on display as future professional athletes were put to the test at the NBA combine.

Used at all levels of competition, our customers love that the product is both injury resistant and maximizes sponsorship exposure on the field of play.



Concerts & Festival Stages

On huge stages at summer events, our blow through Speaker Scrim is the perfect choice for colorful branding, and building buzz!

The centerpiece for this particular stage was over 36′ H x 50′ W and applied as strips of clear decal material around a custom-shaped projection screen.

Thank You

We sincerely appreciate you and your patronage and wish you the very best!



Paul’s Corner | May 2015

by Paul Britten  

Branding for Hospitals & Health Care

Britten has several partners in the world of retail and nearly all of them offer some form of large format advertising.

Of course the range of fashion retailers who advertise in-mall is considerable, but we’ve also noticed that it is very common for the children’s Play Area to be sponsored by the local hospital or health care provider.

The marketing team for this hospital took an interesting approach and created a seating area inviting people to “Relax and Have a Healthy Conversation” (see below).



Decor Plaques from Reclaimed Materials

Britten’s Décor division recently completed a project at this College’s “Sustainability Center” (shown above) using reclaimed materials for the back of the plaques.

Feedback from our customer was positive: “Just completed the walking tour and wanted to send a few shots of installed signs. They look really lovely and the path for the tour does an excellent job of bringing folks through the whole space. Thanks again.”


Branding for College Sports

Britten’s service team recently returned to campus to add more banner hardware (large format BannerStretch frames and BannerSaver light pole brackets) in addition to wrapping the fences around the tennis courts, baseball field wall and the back of grand stands. Decals were added to the back of the dug out.

Bringing “blue” to the field of play (and also great photos of athletes in action) has been helpful in building team identity as the Titans continue to build on their sporting tradition.



Backlit Branding for Retail

Britten Hardware continues to engineer custom solutions using the best LED technology in the marketplace.

Shown above, this project is our first ever curved BriteWall display, using a specifically engineered rolled radius OVIO™ large format frame with our own BriteStrip LED technology.

The overall display measures 15′ H x 22.5′ W and is featured prominently at the entrance of one of the highest end malls in the country!


Fabric Banners & Display Systems

Britten’s newest display system is called the Infinity™ Standee, so-called for its virtually borderless appearance. Fitted with a beautiful 6′ H x 3′ W fabric print, we think this is the classiest floor stand you’ll see anywhere!

Thank You

We sincerely appreciate you and your patronage and wish you the very best!



Baseball and Advertising

by Mike Dudek  

The opening game of the 2015 Major League Baseball season was played recently as the St. Louis Cardinals faced the Chicago Cubs on a chilly spring evening at Wrigley Field, and this was to be every fans’ first glimpse of the $575 million dollar, 4-year renovation underway at the century-old ballpark.

This was the only game of the night on Sunday in early April, and millions of baseball enthusiasts across the country were eager to see the season finally started.


As it would happen, brutally cold winter temperatures and legal complications had disrupted construction on the ballpark and caused delay, leaving the bleachers unfinished for Cubs fans and the national television audience. Huge mesh banners covered the bleachers in portions of left, center and right field.

The Cubs organization used this opportunity to honor the legendary Ernie Banks who played his entire 19-year major league career with the Cubs. “Mr. Sunshine” was a perennial all star, won the National League MVP vote twice, and passed away on January 23rd, 2015 at the age of 84. He was beloved by Cubs fans, active in the Chicago community and even President Barack Obama called Banks “an incredible ambassador for baseball, and for the city of Chicago.”


And as I was watching the broadcast and admiring the Banks tribute banners that we’d produced here at Britten Studios, a friend of mine sent me a message about “advertising pollution being everywhere, convincing people to buy things they don’t need” (expletives removed for the faint of heart).  Which got me thinking, doesn’t Major League Baseball and advertising go hand in hand… every bit as much as baseball and apple pie?

Baseball’s origins in North America can be traced back as far as the 1850s, with a craze for the sport breaking out in the New York metropolitan area with several area teams competing in makeshift baseball parks, and “our national pastime” was officially born.

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,” goes the song.  But even prior to 1908 (the year that “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was penned), baseball and advertising have been quite entrenched since its earliest days.

I did a little research and was surprised to find how little has changed!


Baseball Trading Cards

Whereas kids from my generation will probably always associate baseball and bubble gum, the original trading cards were originally created as a value-added incentive for any variety of products (most notably, tobacco). And the cards weren’t just for baseball, either. The advances in color printing during the mid-19th century coincided with baseball and photography’s growing popularity, which made trading cards a pastime enjoyed by many in the days before television or color newspapers. These sets typically consisted of 25 or 50 related subjects including famous actresses and models, military heroes, flags, even flower & bird species. Typically, a trade card of the time featured an image on one side and information advertising the business on the other.

“In 1868, Peck and Snyder, a sporting goods store in New York, began producing trade cards featuring baseball teams. Peck and Snyder sold baseball equipment, and the cards were a natural advertising vehicle. The Peck and Snyder cards are sometimes considered the first baseball cards. By early 1886, images of baseball players were often included on cigarette cards with cigarette packs and other tobacco products. This was partly for promotional purposes and partly because the card helped protect the cigarettes from damage. By the end of the century, baseball had become so popular that production had spread well beyond the Americas and into the Pacific Isles.” (

But everyone knows that it’s really about the baseball cards, not the bubble gum!


Outfield Billboards

While many billboards promoted brands of tobacco, alcohol and soda, not all advertising fell into the category of “stuff we don’t need”.  Take for example Lifebuoy soap, introduced by Lever Brothers in 1895 in England. Their brand appears on outfield billboards of several East Coast ballparks during the 1920s & ’30s (shown above is Fenway Park).

In nearby Philadelphia, the Baker Bowl was initially built as a ballpark for the Phillies in 1887. The original fence was only 280 feet from home plate (relatively generous by today’s standards) and an easy home run target, so various extensions were added over time until a 60-foot barrier was erected. One of the largest billboards on record, this massive wall dwarfs the Green Monster at Fenway Park (only 37′ high by comparison, and 320 feet from home plate).

When the home team played at the Baker Bowl during the 1920s, an outfield wall advertisement for Lifebuoy stated, “The Phillies use Lifebuoy”.  At least one detractor of the losing club was known to have said, “And they still stink”.


Other advertisements for razor blades, suits, auto service or hardware stores were commonly found on baseball billboards. Delano Hat can be seen prominently in the photo below (and judging by the crowd in attendance, business was very good).

The ad next to it, however, appears to have been very political in nature. This billboard during the 1912 World Series read, “Thomas W. Lawson offers $250 to any batter who hits this sign. $1000 to the first who smashes The System’s Slate.” Thomas Lawson was a Bostonian businessman and proponent of financial reform. After his split with John D. Rockefeller he wrote extensively against Standard Oil, which was ordered in 1911 by the US Justice Department to breakup into separate companies under antitrust law. Lawson’s “The Remedy” was published that year in installments in Everybody’s Magazine, also mentioned on this billboard.

Modern billboards are still around, but if anything, they’ve been tamed down a bit!


A Brief History of Baseball in Japan

While there are very slight variations in the rules, baseball (or 野球 in Japanese, combining the characters for field and ball) dates back almost as far and is equally as beloved by the people of Japan.

The game was introduced in 1872 at the Kaisei School in Tokyo by an American professor named Horace Wilsonwho felt it would be a good source of exercise for students. The team sport caught on rapidly and as competition between universities increased, it was common for universities to send athletes to America to improve their game dating as far back as 1905.

It was routine for minor and major league players from America to play in exhibition games in Japan during the 1910′s and 1920′s, including one All Star team in 1934 that included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, among others.

Japan founded its first professional team in 1920 and grew big enough to divide into two leagues (known Nippon Professional Baseball, or NPB) in 1950. Whereas in America teams are identified with a city, in Japan they are owned by companies such as newspapers or railway providers (for example the Hashin Tigers).

Over 50 players from the NPB have joined the rosters of Major League Baseball, a trend which has increased steadily ever since Hideo Nomo came to play in the U.S. in 1995.

And now even Japanese language advertising is showing up in American ballparks; when Hideki Matsui joined the Yankees in 2003, certain companies purchased signage in right field (where Matsui played).


Perhaps the most coveted advertising location these days is the highly visible signage behind home plate. The overseas audience is evidently tuning in, and major brands like Nintendo have demonstrated their financial interest in reaching this audience. Shown above, Dandy House is a chain of men’s spas and their advertisement is seen at Safeco Field in Seattle, circa 2009.

And what’s truly remarkable to me is the history and global appeal of this sport.

Whether it’s besbol, or 野球 , or just good ol’ fashioned hardball, advertising has been there since virtually day one.

Baseball advertising is big business, and it continues to reach an impassioned audience at the ballpark, or on the radio, or on your television set (even on your computer, or handheld device).

Fast forward to 2015, and in today’s global economy, a banner is printed in Traverse City, Michigan. Where it appears behind home plate in a rotational display at a ballpark in Seattle. Where it reaches an audience in Japan.

To all the teams in all the lands… Best of luck to your team this season, and please pass the peanuts and Cracker Jack!


Photo Credits

Special thanks to Bart Shore, Danita Browne, the Boston Public Library and Washington State University for use of their great ballpark photos!