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hospital-floor-decal

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).

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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.”


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Branding for College Sports

Britten’s service team recently returned to campus to add more banner hardware (large format BannerStretch frames and wind-spilling light pole brackets), also wrapped the fences around the tennis courts, baseball field wall and the back of grand stands. Decal was 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.

EFSC-Baseball-BannerStretch-Frame


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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!


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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!

Cordially,
Paul

Wrigley-Field-Marquee-photo-credit-courtesy-of-Bart-Shore

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.

Baseball-Advertising-Concrete-Decal-Wrigley-Field-Cover

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.”

Wrigley-Field-Ernie-Banks-Tribute-Outfield-Banners-photo-credit-courtesy-of-Danita-Browne

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-Advertising-Cards-Then-Now

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.” (wikipedia.org)

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


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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”.

Baker-Bowl-Wall-Vintage-Advertisement

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!

Fenway-Park-Outfield-Billboards-Vintage-Advertising-4


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 in showing up in American ballparks; when Hideki Matsui joined the Yankees in 2003, certain companies purchased signage in right field (where Matsui played).

baseball-advertising-home-plate-rotational-signage

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!


Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Banks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_card
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Me_Out_to_the_Ball_Game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_W._Lawson_%28businessman%29
http://www.psacard.com/Articles/ArticleView/2836/a-short-history-of-japanese-baseball-part-1
http://www.tofugu.com/2013/03/26/japanese-baseball-history-beginning/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_in_Japan
http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/History_of_baseball_in_Japan
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-18793577
https://news.wsu.edu/2009/10/01/study-looks-at-impact-of-japanese-ads-in-america-2/#.VTqHIhPF8YI

Photo Credits

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

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Paul’s Corner | April 2015

by Paul Britten  

Bigger, Brighter Advertisements

BriteWall continues to shine. Perfect for building brand awareness (or just illuminating a great image for ambiance), we are pushing the size to new heights with this 20′ x 20′ LED backlit system.

Much thanks to our retail customers who continue to show interest in Britten’s popular BriteWall series!


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Fabric Banner on Round Frame

Since its debut last December as new inventory, this 20′ diameter fabric frame continues to look great as new media is switched every month.

National advertisers are thrilled to command such prominent attention at the crossroads of two terminals in this major airport hub. This is a branding opportunity that doesn’t get lost in the crowd!


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Fabric Wallscapes

Another option for large format advertisement is the Infinity™ wallscape, shown above in a transportation setting. The fabric print which is used for the media is gaining in popularity due to its light weight, vivid color and wrinkle-free appearance.

The Infinity frame is virtually borderless (only a 1/16″ edge) and the backing comes in 3 depths (as little as 3/4″ or as much as 3″ deep, anodized aluminum comes standard).


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Out-of-Home Advertising on the Rise

At malls and shopping centers nationwide, retail developers are bringing the message to marketplace.  Except, the advertisements aren’t always specific to retail.

Shown above, this professional soccer team drives ticket sales with a larger-than-life graphic that conveys the excitement and physicality of the sport.

Our customer said, “Amazing job. The complexity of this is obvious as is the fact that you totally nailed it. Thanks!”


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M22

Britten Threads is proud to be a partner of Broneah Kiteboarding and has been supplying imprinted hats, t-shirts and a variety of  garments to their M22 store since they opened their doors in 2004.

A recent addition to their downtown Traverse City store was a pair of BriteWall LED cabinets, one immediately to the right of the front entrance (4′ H x 3′ W shown above), and another one behind the front counter (4′ H x 8′ W shown below).

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Thank You

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

Cordially,
Paul

large-format-artwork-header

Setting up Artwork

by Britten Studios  

Creating artwork for large format print can be a little different than setting up a brochure or a business card. Here are some tips for artists and designers!

Color Profile

We always print with 4 colors of ink (plus spot color, in some instances), so regardless of what program art is being created in, make sure the file is set to a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) profile. Specific Pantone colors should be used when necessary. We have very calculated CMYK blends to match Pantones in the most accurate way – because, your color is important to your brand and your brand is important to us.

cmyk-color-mode


 Images

Our prints are huge and awesome, so the images need to be as well. We print at 72 dpi (dots per inch) and although most magazines and other small format prints are printed at 300 dpi, they are viewed at a very close range. You’ll often see our prints from several feet away instead of inches, and the human eye cannot detect the difference between 72 and 300 dpi at further range. Our world-class machines, art team and technicians ensure the utmost vibrancy and quality of your large format print. To achieve the highest quality print, the images should be 72 dpi at 100% or 720 dpi at 10%. Images that aren’t properly set up will print blurry and the only person that might be happy with that is an ophthalmologist that’s trying to sell you a new prescription.

And while we always prefer high resolution images to thumbnail photos you might pull off your Facebook page, they don’t need to be any more than a gigabyte (1GB) in file size. Any larger than that and you’re just putting extra pressure on your computer’s processor, and it will probably take a longer time for you to upload files to us!

image-size-and-resolution


Scale

We go big, but the art files are set up at a fraction of the size that they will print. And just because we print big, it doesn’t mean that the art files need to crash your computer. By setting up your art file at 10% scale with 720 dpi images, it ensures you can send it to us easily and we can print it quickly and precisely. Example: to set up a 20’ x 40’ banner, art should be set up at 24.0” x 48.0” (or 10%). Do this, and we guarantee 100% satisfaction.

Why do we set banners up at 10% scale, you ask?  The largest document size that you can set up in Adobe Illustrator is only 227″ in either direction.  And we often print banners that are much, much larger than that.  Our large format presses are the biggest in the world and typically print on a roll of material that’s 16′ wide and are sewn together for even larger banners… Therefore, we can set up a file at 24.0″ x 48.0″ and actually print it at full size (240″ x 480″).

10-percent-scale-huge-banners


Vector

Vector graphics are a general source of happiness in our art department. This is especially true when it comes to logos. Vector graphics are a series of mathematical curves that will print as crisply on a business card as they will on that 20’ x 40’ banner you’re about to order. A vector graphic is the lines, shapes and colors that make up an image as a mathematical formula and even an art major can appreciate that.

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Fonts

Not everyone uses Helvetica or even Helvetica Neue and that’s cool. We have a catalog of literally thousands of fonts, but we might not have the one you used and it might cost hundreds of dollars to download it. This is why it’s critical that you package your fonts with your art files (OTF and TTF files). It’s also helpful if you outline all fonts on your final art (Shift + Command + O!).

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File Formats

We use the most up-to-date version of Adobe’s Creative Suite. Programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign that are the gold standard in the art and design world. It’s a quality thing. While we prefer to receive files designed within the Adobe Creative Suite family as it gets files to press much faster for us (and for you), we can certainly handle files from just about any design program. Not everyone is an artist though; so if your idea is in pen on a napkin in your front pocket, don’t worry because we have a solution for that too…

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Design Services

About that napkin… We have a team of very creative, talented and experienced designers that can turn that napkin into the big idea that kept you awake half the night. We will work with you from concept to installation to ensure your up-most satisfaction with your custom design. For $75/hr, you’ll get custom creative solutions from designers that have created artwork for the biggest companies on the biggest stages across the world.

As always, we’re excited to speak with you about your next project.  Please contact us today if we can help in any way!

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truss-entrances-for-festivals

Paul’s Corner | March 2015

by Paul Britten  

Truss Entrances for Festivals

As most of the country is beginning to thaw out from record low February temperatures, southern Florida is kicking of the festival season with a week long celebration of Food & Wine on the sunny beaches of Miami.

The annual Festival took place late last month and once again featured internationally renowned talent and leaders of the hospitality industry at uniquely crafted events showcasing world-class wine, spirits, food, and fun.

The curved entrance above measures almost 24′ tall by 28′ wide overall. Britten’s installation crew assembled several of these location-defining structures as well as long runs of colorful fencing scrim.

truss-entrance-installation-and-fencing


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Snowboarding Championships

Meanwhile for the rest of the country, things remain snowy!  Snowboarders in Colorado were thrilled by the competition taking place on the slopes.

Britten contributed mesh banners for the half pipe start structure, camera platforms, concert stage and other colorful displays used for event branding and sponsorship graphics.

snowboarding-championships-start-structure


Banners for Grocery Stores

We recently sent a pair of BannerDrop and PosterDrop ceiling hoists to a grocery chain which currently has two different models on display in store (shown below).

BannerDrop and PosterDrop are very similar in concept; they both use remote control to raise and lower a display article from the ceiling for easy change out of advertising.  BannerDrop comes in several models and the standard unit can lift up to 40 lbs.  The heavy duty model can raise up to 160 lbs, and multiple machines can operate in tandem to handle even heavier payloads.  BannerDrop plugs into a 120V / 60hz AC outlet, but can be retrofitted for international outlets or solar powered.

The inverted PosterDrop actually raises and lowers with the display, which inserts into the unit by means of a pole pocket and dowel rod.  PosterDrop runs on a AA batteries.

bannerdrop-posterdrop-grocery-store-banners-with-labels


Baseball is (almost) Back!

Cabin fever continues in America with sports fans eagerly awaiting the beginning of baseball season. Britten has several partners at all levels of competition, from the youth leagues to the Big Leagues.

Britten prints banners for rotational displays seen behind home plate, huge banners on the back of grand stands, light pole banners along the boulevards, and decals on the windows of the gift shops at ballparks across the country.

Shown below, this university’s dugouts are covered with a special kind of outdoor decal. Britten also printed pennant flags that line the infield walls.

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Parking Deck Wallscape

Situated on the interstate border, this huge display is built to be seen from a considerable distance.  Whereas the typical billboard is 14′ H x 40′ W, this massive frame measures over 22′ H by 100′ W, which is really making a statement, even from so far away!

parking-deck-wallscapes


Thank You

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

Cordially,
Paul