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Seattle Welcomes You

BigInk turns to its Gandi Jeti to output an 80-foot skyline image at Sea-Tac.

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Any traveler who has had to spend one minute more than necessary in any airport angrily staring at blank walls during a layover will appreciate the art in the form of dazzling photography at the Seattle Tacoma International (aka “Sea-Tac”) Airport. The graphic, commissioned by the Port of Seattle and the city’s Visitor’s Bureau, features an 80-foot photo of the Seattle skyline accompanied by the word Welcome in 25 languages on either side of the image.

The two groups worked with Seattle photographer Michael Craft (michaelcraftphotography.com) and print provider BigInk, also based in the Emerald City, to bring the concept to life. Craft’s original skyline image was captured as a transparency using a Fuji GX617 panoramic camera system onto Fuji 100 transparency film. This posed its own challenges, necessitating more than 20 hours in the proofing and file-preparation stages. With help from Dick Busher at Seattle-based Cosgrove Editions (cosgroveweb.com), the original transparency was scanned with a Linotype-Hell Tango scanner at 10,000 dpi. Photoshop was used to manipulate the image’s composition for enlargement, and the graphic of the collective welcome message was created in Adobe Illustrator.

The files were then handed off to BigInk for output and lamination. Using its 130-inch Gandinnovations Jeti 3324 RTR printer in conjunction with Gandi UV fade-resistant inks, the shop produced 62 48-inch panels onto 3M Controltac IJ180C-V2 vinyl as well as three panels onto 3M Window Perforated Vinyl panels (to allow for visibility through one of Sea-Tac’s security windows). Laminating was done with the shop’s Seal Image 600md laminator. In all, printing and lamination took more than 32 hours. In order to minimize interruption to bustling travelers, the installation team at BigInk completed the job at night, a task that took the crew five nights and more than 72 graveyard-shift hours when all was said and done.

The Port of Seattle chose Craft’s skyline image because it fit perfectly with its Metronatural Campaign, which attracts visitors by blending Seattle’s urban attractions with the city’s natural attractions. “We knew this beautiful shot would be the perfect way to warmly welcome international visitors to Seattle,” says Elias Calderon, director of marketing

and creative services for Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And the folks at BigInk really made it come to life.”

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