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On Cue: A CityScape Wrapped in Purple

Phoenix's future skyline unfurls.




For the grand-opening celebration of the CityScape project in downtown Phoenix-a 2.5-million-square-foot development combining residential, retail, hotel, office, and public park space that will span three city blocks-advertising and creative agency Bozell wanted event graphics. But not just any event graphics: The agency wanted the graphics to unfurl from the ceiling during the celebration on cue and drop dramatically into place, offering a real time/in-perspective view of what downtown Phoenix would look like once the project was complete.

After Bozell concepted and designed the graphics, the company needed a print provider. Bozell’s Michael Pitzer found Commerce Color via an Internet search and selected it after seeing the size and scope of the shop’s previous work.

Renderings of the CityScape project provided by Callison Architects were superimposed onto photos of the existing Phoenix skyline. These Adobe Illustrator files were sent to Commerce Color, which printed hard-copy proofs on the shop’s Epson printer.

Upon approval of the proofs, Commerce Color shifted into high gear to produce the three 25 x 40-ft banners, for a total of 3000 square feet. The shop chose its HP Scitex XL 1500 for the job, imaging in 16- and 10-foot sections onto Versidag seemee 13-ounce vinyl. Printing took 4 hours and heat welding the sections took another 2 hours.

Then the installer’s challenge was to mount the graphics near the ceiling in such a way as to ensure that the banners would unfurl at a specific moment of the party.


Additionally, Bozell contracted with an artist to do a “sidewalk chalk painting,” which Commerce Color printed as a vinyl floor graphic. It looked like a huge hole in the floor, with guests peering down into a view of the park being developed.

“Commerce Color got the event graphics done in an insane amount of time,” says Bozell’s Pitzer. “If anything, I was amazed at how inexpensive it was to do something so dramatic.”

The Players
Commerce Color, St. Louis (

Tools & Supplies
HP Scitex XL 1500, Versidag seemee 13-ounce vinyl

The Clients
Bozell (, RED Development, CDK Partners




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