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Setting Green Records

Pyramid Visuals creates a green street graphic.




What better way to gain some “green street cred” than by partnering with Greenpeace, the international environmental organization?

In December of last year, Greenpeace International and Avaaz, an international civic organization, wanted to deliver a message bearing one million signatures to the European Commission – the executive body of the European Union (EU) – in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the first-ever Citizens’ Charter against genetically modified crops.

That message from one-million European citizens, however, would not be in the form of a simple letter delivered via the postal service. Instead, the organizations wanted the message to have a big impact on the EU and the European press corps.

With the help of Pyramid Visuals in the UK, the message would do just that – as an environmentally friendly, circular banner that would be unveiled at the European Commission headquarters in front of the world’s press. And for icing on the cake, the job would break two Guinness Book world records along the way: one for the largest image of its kind drawn by a single person, and, two, as the largest image ever printed on an eco-friendly canvas.

The artwork for the banner was created in the US by American artist Kurt Wenner, a street painter famous for his realistic 3D street paintings. Wenner initially drew the image in his studio, replicating his infamous street art, drawing it in sections before scanning and compositing the artwork (final image size was 11 gigabytes) and delivering it to Pyramid Visuals.

“The files were so big that they had to be sent panel by panel, and we then had to piece it all back together in the UK,” says Pyramid Visuals director Justin Murray.


After Pyramid’s inhouse designers had reformatted the images into printable sections, the files went to the shop’s output department, specifically to its HP Scitex XL1200 and XL1500 machines. The graphics were output using HP XL200 inks onto environmentally friendly Dickson Jet 220 fabric, part of that company’s EverGreen line. Pyramid output the graphics panels in sizes ranging from 10 x 10 to 10 x 39 feet; the signature panels were 3 x 10 feet approximately.

Once all sections had been output, the banner was subsequently sewn and hot-air welded together using a Miller Weldmaster 112, matching up each section in accordance with the artwork to form one complete large scale, circular fabric banner measuring approximately 72 x 72 feet.

The completed banner (see image at left) was unveiled on the doorstep of the European Commission in Brussels in December 2010, in front of reporters from around the globe as part of the Citizens' Charter against genetically modified crops.

“We've had a lot of experience producing large scale projects before, such as when we wrapped the Monument in London for its restoration,” says Murray, “but this took on a whole new dimension not only having to coordinate a client in Europe, an artist in America, and ourselves situated just outside London, but also making sure that we adhered to the environmentally friendly requirements that Greenpeace had specified from the outset and that we delivered the end product on time, but as ever, we relish a challenge.”



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