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Paul’s Corner, February 2017

by Paul Britten  

This year has been off to a racing start, thanks to an abundance of great projects in a variety of industries!

We’ve had the opportunity to flex our creative muscle for athletic programs, home improvement stores, shopping centers, and even printed custom coasters for a notable artist (Traverse City’s own Paul Welch).

Thanks for sharing your time and your special projects with us.

Stadium Décor

Michigan State University was interested in a way to highlight their former players currently playing in the NFL. They wanted a solution that would allow graphics to be easily changed and moved around as new players enter the league every year and others retire or change teams.

The graphics are digitally printed on magnetic sheets, while the text & logos are all LED backlit. Britten Décor‘s design team coined the phrase “IT ALL STARTS HERE” used in the empty frames to reinforce the idea to any potential recruit that their picture could be on display there some day, and also speak to the developmental nature of the  program.

MSU’s Director of Football Operations told us that they had high expectations for this project working with Britten Décor, and we exceeded them.


Banners for Home Improvement Stores

Banners & Signs for Home Improvement Stores

In addition to printing category signs and point-of-purchase materials found everywhere in home improvement stores, Britten also specializes in several types of hardware systems to improve the look and ease of in-store signage.

This ongoing project is shipping to over 1,700 different home improvement stores!

Custom Coasters by local artist Paul Welsh

Custom Imprinted Tile

Utilizing recycled materials, Betona Tile by Britten is committed to sustainable manufacturing practices and environmental responsibility. Collaborating with world-class designers and artists, Betona’s collections will lead you to rethinking surfaces.

We hooked up with local artist, Paul Welsh, to create a series of custom coasters that will look pretty incredible, sitting underneath your favorite libation of choice!

Large Format Backlit Displays

Large Format Backlit Displays

This banner is paneled on a specialty backlit vinyl (18′ H x 45′ W) and is certified for outdoor use. Britten’s large format BriteWall display system is illuminated by energy efficient LED lighting.

It’s currently on display at the largest mall on the west coast (Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, CA) where it is seen by an average daily audience of over 30,000 people every day!

 Havana Nights holiday party at Britten Studios

Everyone Loves a Good Party!

Havana Nights was the theme of Britten’s holiday party at the end of 2016, and we had so much fun planning and celebrating that we’d love to keep that momentum rolling. Can we help plan and bring to life your next event?

Everything from planning, lighting, staging and live music can be themed by Britten Studios.

The buildings that served as the colorful backdrop were hand drawn and then scanned, and printed at actual scale with our large format digital presses. Mosaic tile printed on non-slip decal covered the tables and dance floor, while vintage cars and tropical flora added a touch of Cuban charm.

Great food, great music, and great fun for the holidays. Here’s hoping we can collaborate on your upcoming gig!

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



Top 10 Epic Projects of 2016

by Britten Studios  

From local vineyards to professional sports teams across the country, Britten Studios handled a wide range of projects this year. But out everything we touched upon in 2016, we felt that these ten projects highlight Britten’s extraordinarily wide range of capabilities. We had the privilege of working with hundreds of the world’s biggest brands on some pretty darn cool projects (and we sincerely loved every minute of it)!

As we all look to new beginnings in 2017, we’d like to take a look back at a handful of our most epic projects from the past year. We want to sincerely thank all of our customers that helped make 2016 our very best year to date!


No. 10 — Mari Vineyards (Traverse City, MI)

Britten Metalworks and Britten Woodworks recently contributed several special projects to the highly anticipated opening of Mari Vineyards.

At the center of the wine caves is the “Oculus” which boasts a circular opening at the center of its domed ceiling which allows light to shine down from above ground. At the focal point of this light and the center of the Oculus is a large compass rose which points at the sun’s position during the solstice.

The “Oculus” and the other elements shown below combine the many talents of several divisions of Britten Studios!

Mari Vineyards Custom Woodworking and Metalsmithing


No. 9 — Daytona Rising

The crew at Britten Services were excited to travel to southern Florida in January to assist with a $400M makeover at Daytona International Speedway.  Britten installed dozens of BannerStretch frames in the concourses and long runs of colorful mesh material in the bays underneath the grand stands, some measuring over 17’ tall and over 125’ in length.

Five expanded entrances, or “injectors,” lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long front stretch.



No. 8 — Meijer Holiday Décor (Multiple Locations)

Hundreds of Meijer stores were decked out for the holidays with point-of-purchase displays cut in the shapes of ornaments and snowflakes.

Over 242,000 square feet of material and 68,000 individual pieces were printed and installed in the weeks leading up to the holidays.  Festive and fun, we really love the colorful designs created by their art team!


No. 7 — Home of the Cruze (Lordstown, OH)

In April 2016, Britten Services replaced a huge banner showing the new model of Chevy Cruze which is seen by an estimated 33,000 Ohio Turnpike drivers who pass by the General Motors plant every day.

The mesh covering is over 60′ tall and nearly 260′ wide (printed in three massive sections) and covers the side of the plant where 5,000 men and women have been making the small, fuel efficient car since 2008.  The Cruze is Chevy’s best-selling car, surpassing 3.5 million global sales and can be found in over 115 countries.


No. 6 — BannerSaver’s European Vacation

Bay Media — our partner in the United Kingdom — has been significantly expanding their footprint in mainland Europe.

As an exclusive distributor of Britten’s patented wind-spilling BannerSaver brackets, they’ve been dressing the streets for such high profile events as the London 2012 Olympics (“Look kids!  There’s Big Ben!”) and the Tour de France.

Shown above, BannerSaver stands proudly in front of the former residence of the Pope in Avignon, France.



No. 5 —  George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, TX)

Our customer first contacted us regarding this project over two years ago, when an initial site survey was scheduled in Houston. Britten Services conducted a follow up survey last October, and the order became official in early 2016. The units were built and sat on the floor for 3 months waiting for airport authority.

To complete this job it took over a dozen people, professional stamps for engineering and airport approval, plus multiple pages of paperwork. Britten Hardware had to adjust the 20′ frame, because the banner turned out to be heavier than anticipated, yet was hoisted by a Heavy Duty BannerDrop® system capable of lifting 160 lbs.

All hardware and the banner had to go through airport security, including a dog sniff! The Installation team had to have an escort at all times, and brought in a specialty lift (known in the industry as “Leo 69”), which is able to reach high enough, yet able to fit through the doors, and bearing minimal weight on the floor.

BannerDrop hoists a fabric cone at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX

Britten Studios aimed to design a portable, interactive exhibit

No. 4 — Feetz Pop Up Shop for Activate, Inc.

What on earth is Feetz, you ask? This amazing new technology utilizes 3D printers to make shoes in hours, custom fitted to your feet, using materials that are good for you and the planet.

With this in mind, Britten Studios aimed to design a portable, interactive exhibit every bit as unique as this innovative product.

Customers received a custom pair 3D printed shoes at the Feetz Pop Up Shop at DSW.  Technicians using state of the art scanners measure participants’ feet in order to create the perfect pair of flats.  The pop up shop toured in October through Columbus, New York, and San Francisco.

Design of the space, logistics, programming, and fabrication were coordinated by Activate, Inc., a Ferndale-based event marketing company.

This special project brought together the combined talents of multiple divisions within Britten Studios, including custom wood counters, an LED backlit logo and iron footstools powder coated in bright orange.

This special project brought together the combined talents of multiple divisions within Britten Studios, including custom wood counters, an LED backlit logo and iron footstools powder coated in bright orange.


No. 3 — High End Fashion on New York’s Long Island

As part of a luxury rebranding campaign, Roosevelt Field, the ninth largest mall in the country, needed a new type of advertising display that would promote their luxury offerings in an elegant and impressive way.

Neiman Marcus and other luxury retailers were looking to drive traffic to their latest stores, the first of their kind to open on Long Island.

After months of testing and prototyping, our engineers produced several new display systems that were up to the challenge. Britten introduced AdPanel and BriteWall (a pair of LED display systems) that compliment our portfolio of industry-leading banner frames and patented display solutions.

Roosevelt Field BriteWall Infinity Standee Neiman Marcus

 Little Caesars Arena Mesh Fencing Detroit Thanksgiving Parade

No. 2 — Little Caesars Arena (Detroit, MI)

Just in time for the Thanksgiving Day parade, the developer responsible for the new arena contacted us to produce over 17,000 square feet of mesh material. We had only four days from the approval of the artwork to print, fabricate and transport all of the banners down to Detroit for their installation team to have them in place.

The long runs of colorful scrim were seen along the parade route as floats, balloons and marching bands paraded in front of the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons, currently under construction and on schedule for the 2017 seasons.

Said Chris Ilitch (the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.), “We will be the only city in the country with all 4 major professional sports teams together in our city core.”

Little Caesars Arena Mesh Fencing Detroit Thanksgiving Parade

 Tennessee Titans Ultimate Fan Experience at Nissan Stadium

No. 1 — Ultimate Fan Experiences

Tennessee Titans fans headed to home games this season were delighted by the Ultimate Fan Experience at Nissan Stadium. There have been a number interactive displays for the enjoyment of fans both young and old! There were 7′ tall letters spelling out #TITANUP, photo backdrops for posing with the team, Size Me Up displays for player comparisons, and even a pair of gigantic swords that towered above the players as they rushed onto the field.

Britten Studios also worked with the Detroit Lions to re-design “Pride Plaza” before game days. Eight fan engagement concepts are setup before each game, including a 40-Yard Dash, Strongman Contest, Plinko Prize Board, and foosball tables with 3D-printed Lions for the game pieces.  All activations feature removable sponsor branding, staffing, and operational support.

Detroit Lions Pride Plaza Ultimate Fan Experience

Britten Havana Nights Party

And Here’s One More — Havana Nights

Britten Studios finished out the year with a Cuban-themed holiday party of our own.

Here in snowy northern Michigan, employees and their families were swept away to Cuba (at least, in spirit) — several fabric backdrops were hand-drawn by Paul Britten (our fearless President), digitally scanned and printed two stories tall.  The banners were suspended from a truss frame was assembled inside of the Park Place dome, along with a small fleet of classic cars and enough stage lighting to illuminate a small island nation.

The music and mojitos had the whole crowd dancing. Look forward to a “behind the scenes” video with a heartfelt message from Paul, which will be coming soon. (In the meantime, here’s a video clip from the DJ booth!)

Can we help plan your party in 2017? Let us know where and when, and if there’s an idea that we can help bring to life!

Britten Havana Nights Party

Betona TileMatch custom printed tile


by Britten Studios Can Match, Replace Any Commercial Tile

Market Leader Betona® Replacement Tile Launches New Service

Traverse City, MI, USA—When world-class venues like Carnival Cruise Lines, Walt Disney Hotels or Hard Rock Café need to replace broken ceramic or porcelain tile, they turn to Betona® Replacement Tile; now those companies and any other can take advantage of, a service to provide virtually identically matched replacement tiles of any size, color or texture, affordably and quickly.

Customers simply complete an online form to receive a free and postage-paid “Betona Box” to effortlessly send a sample of their tile directly to the factory. Once received, Betona’s advanced technology and craftsmanship go to work, matching the color, shape, and pattern of the tile using advanced imaging technology and scanners. The custom replacement tile is then created from scratch, using a patented mixture of Egyptian white cement, recycled glass, water and industrial colorants. A replicated glaze and UV coating complete the process, and provide a perfect match with virtually unlimited array of colors, patterns, and effects.

All Betona Replacement Tiles meet or exceed all ASTM International standards for durability, anti-fade and anti-slip. They also offer substantial benefits over traditional ceramic tile: they are lighter weight with equal strength and have sound-deadening acoustic properties.

Betona currently provides “attic-stock” replacement tile for one of the world’s largest coffee chain stores. General Contractors are directed to the site by the corporate office and receive negotiated pricing and shipments of precisely matched tile within one week of their orders. Betona CEO Paul Britten commented, “Betona is the only replacement tile option for facility managers interested in perfect color matching and fast delivery. We are very proud to be the exclusive global manufacturer of this very unique product line and of this easy-to-use service.”

Those interested in learning more can visit or call 866-248-8832 anytime.

About Betona

Betona has been producing custom tile products since 2009. The company’s tiles are created from recycled materials and are used in floors, walls, murals, and other commercial and residential applications worldwide. Betona Replacement Tiles are custom-matched replacements of virtually any existing ceramic or porcelain tile, available at Betona is wholly-owned by Britten, a national leader in large format digital printing and creative production services. Britten raises awareness for many of the world’s largest brands. Based in Traverse City, Mich., Britten employs 350 craftspeople. For more visit


Beating the Winter Blues

by Britten Studios  

Millions of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) once the trees are bare and the temperatures start dropping. Here in Northern Michigan, we have fairly long winters that can take tolls on full-time residents as we anxiously await our one week of summer (ok, we might be exaggerating a bit). Keep your mood high and boost your spirits with these 5 ways to beat the winter blues.

#1 Stay active and exercise

It’s scientifically proven that even moderate exercise (e.g., walking) can help improve symptoms of depression, including SAD. Here in Northern Michigan, snow can help get you active. Grab your skis, your snowboard, or your curling broom and get moving!

#2 Get outside 

Similarly, getting outdoors can lower stress levels, improve focus, and reduce symptoms of SAD. Bundle up and window shop downtown, hit up one of the region’s many cross country ski trails, or try a snowshoe hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes!

#3 Eat well

From Christmas cookies to hearty beers and rich soups, it’s not difficult to see why many people gain weight and feel unhealthy during the winter. It’s important to eat healthy to help keep your mood high.

#4 Rock out 

Research has shown that listening to happy music (Pharrell, anyone?) can significantly boost your overall mood.

#5 Fake it ‘til you make it 

We’ve all seen the daylight simulators at stores like Brookstone and they really do work. Researchers have determined that light therapy can alleviate or reduce symptoms of SAD in nearly 80% of cases! Take it to the next level with a dawn simulator alarm clock that slowly brightens the lights to help make waking up easier.

Whether it’s rockin’, movin’, eatin’, or fakin’, we hope these tips will help you stay cheerful during this winter season—and all year long!


Paul’s Corner, December 2016

by Paul Britten  

Special Holiday Projects

‘Tis the season, and our customers have been bringing the holiday cheer with some special projects that really spread the joy!


Seasonal Holiday Store Decor Point of Purchase

Seasonal Store Décor

In addition to printing category signs and point-of-purchase materials ubiquitously found in supermarkets, Britten works with this regional giant on seasonal displays for most every holiday over the course of each year.

With over 200 stores, that’s a lot of locations and a wide range of signs!

Our art team worked quickly to get all of these approved and into production in time for the holidays.


Large Format LED Backlit Displays

Why yes, that is a BriteWall™ LED frame that you just drove under… Try to keep your eyes on the road!

This huge display in Torrance, CA measures an impressive 18′ H x 44′ W.  BriteWall comes in several standard sizes, but huge custom projects like this one really make a grand statement.


Retail Advertisement during the Holiday Season

In-mall advertising began leading up to Black Friday, and here’s a nice example of a decal application on escalator glass.

Busmark is great for glass because it’s easy to apply and comes off cleanly, and can clearly be seen from outside by shoppers on both levels of this enclosed shopping center.

Below, this blank wall is made brighter with a large format decal that promotes a new product that will be showing up underneath a tree near you!


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