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Case Studies

Flashpoint Graphix Battles the Elements

A midnight transit install presents an array of challenges.




The Client Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority

The Players Flashpoint Graphix, Los Angeles-based artists, J Perez

Tools & Supplies Durst Rho 500R UV printer, 3M Scotchcal Graphic Film Series 50 calendered vinyl

The Job Following annual tradition, Los Angeles artists competed to embellish four Metro Transit Authority (MTA) stations along the Harbor Gateway line. Burbank-based print shop Flashpoint Graphix embraced the job of converting digitized versions of the winning artwork into approximately 11,000 square feet of graphics – a challenge that included rebuilding templates, completing site testing, and following stringent public safety rules required by the MTA.

Production Flashpoint printed the work of the four chosen artists on a Durst Rho 500R UV superwide printer using a calendered vinyl from 3M. So far, so good, but the Manchester station install, with a surface area spanning more than 3600 square feet, was where the roadblocks began.

The rounded shelter that protects travelers from the elements was not so friendly to its installation team, which included the J Perez company. “When we first started,” says Flashpoint’s VP of sales, Stacy Bach, “we were installing in the middle of the night. The condensation was a real problem, making it difficult for the graphics to adhere to the glass.” As they installed each window pane, commuters began to stream into the station below, turning a job site into a crowded stage.


There was no relief as the team reached the perimeter of the station. “The install was difficult: An arched canopy with spikes around the edges to discourage bird nests,” says Bach. “The birds didn’t seem to mind them, but the installers sure did.” One can only hope that the bumps and bruises felt like a small price to pay for this expression of local artistry.

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