CR&A Custom’s large format graphics project for Metropolis LA is featured on the September 2020 cover of Big Picture, a leading publication focused on the wide format printing industry.
CR&A’s work for the residential and retail complex in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles is praised as “dazzling,” “masterful,” and “intensely customized.”
The project combines window graphics, wall graphics, floor graphics, and double-sided street pole banners to convey different messages (wayfinding directions, branding, and contact information) in a single, coherent graphic concept.
The skill that CR&A displayed in solving this complex task has attracted nationwide attention from the large format printing industry.
The Technical Challenges
Talking with Big Picture, the company expanded upon some of the finer points of the project, whose main challenge was achieving the specific look Metropolis wanted for the graphics.
The client’s original idea was printing the graphics on a reflective, mirror-like surface, but the plan was set aside due to safety concerns, as there are major roads and freeway entrances nearby. Still, Metropolis felt the graphics should evoke the appearance of metal.
Everything pointed to brushed aluminum as the ideal printing substrate to produce a metallic effect. However, this material creases easily and ink doesn’t adhere to it as effectively as it does to white vinyl.
After several tests, CR&A arrived at a solution that combines the metallic feel of brushed aluminum with the robustness and printing precision that more sturdy substrates provide.
The company first laid down a base layer of white ink onto Hexis brushed aluminum vinyl wrap. This step allowed them to reproduce in sharp detail the graphics that combine portraits, cityscapes, animals, and plants.
All the printing was done using CR&A’s HP Latex R2000 Plus printer, one of the most advanced of its kind.
Finally, to enhance durability and avoid creasing, the graphics were laminated with 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8509.
Work That Exceeds Expectations
“I thought (the lamination) would kind of kill the brushed aluminum look,” says Scott Kurosaki, CR&A’s VP of sales. “But you were still able to see the brush strokes in the brushed aluminum.”
Laminating the graphics also made the installation process a lot easier.
“If we didn’t laminate it, it would have caused major creases and all kinds of folds. It’s almost like installing a gold foil,” adds Kurosaki.
The aim of the project was to enhance Metropolis’ visibility in Downtown LA, and the impact of CR&A’s work has exceeded expectations.
“The client is over-the-moon happy about it,” says Kurosaki. “With the pandemic going on, getting eyes on your product is tough, but here you’ve got a lot of drive-by traffic, and a lot of people walking by the development and taking pictures in front of the elevator.”
About CR&A Custom
CR&A Custom is a Los Angeles-based large format printing company specializing in creative visual solutions for businesses of all sizes.
From custom yard signs and vinyl banners to imposing building wraps and everything in between, the company has a proven track record in coming up with innovative visual solutions that help brands take their message to new heights.
CR&A is located at 312 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, California and can be reached for business inquiries by telephone (213-749-4440), email (email@example.com), o social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube).