Joe Menth of Fine Balance Imaging Studios in Langley, Washington, was looking for a way to show his support and celebration of Earth Day last spring. After mulling over a couple of ideas, he decided an 81-square-foot banner featuring a photo of the Earth and hanging below the exterior front windows of his shop’s second-floor studio would do nicely. The building itself already had an Earth Day message: it’s eco-friendly, being constructed of locally reclaimed and recycled materials.
Menth sourced the Earth image, a public-domain photo, from NASA’s website. Using Adobe Photoshop coupled with onOne’s Genuine Fractals Photoshop plug-in, he was able to enlarge the photo to a size and resolution suitable for print reproduction. Otherwise, the image was clean. “Color correction wasn’t really necessary, though I did give it a slight saturation boost in Photoshop, and then ran Nik SharpenerPro to tighten it up a bit,” Menth says.
Menth knew that large banners such as this are typically printed in sections and seamed together, but it’s not something he handles in-house. So, he opted for an alternative: a classic “triptych” or three-sectioned treatment.
He output the image in three 9 x 3-foot panels onto Lexjet ToughCoat polypropylene film using his shop’s Epson Stylus Pro 9800 with Ultrachrome pigment inks and Colorbyte ImagePrint RIP. Total print time was about 40-50 minutes for each panel, Menth says, or about 2.5 hours for all three. Because of the media used, he says, no laminating or graphic protection was needed.
Installation was straightforward: Banner tape for hemming and grommets at all four corners; the banner was hung off of screws in the windowsill and cup hooks screwed into the window frame at the bottom.
The banner remained installed for a few months following Earth Day. Over the recent holidays, Menth installed “three banners promoting a holiday open house for the all the tenants in the building, and then replaced these with a wreath triptych done in the same style as the Earth banners.Advertisement
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