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Sign Language Provides Branding for Special Olympics

A massive undertaking of hundreds of graphics.




Since 1968, the Special Olympics World Games have celebrated the talents of people with intellectual disabilities; the event has grown to the second-largest sporting event in the world, behind the Olympic Games. Its participants are no ordinary athletes, and with 42 venues requiring 1794 individual graphics, the signage for its 2015 event posed a challenge for print provider Sign Language XL (SLXL).

Working remotely from Denver to provide signage for the nine-day Los Angeles event, SLXL’s team of 60 employees coordinated with California-based partners CR&A Custom and AAA Flag & Banner to supply branded tents, banners, wall and window graphics, as well as oversized 23 x 250-foot graphics. Materials, printed in Denver on Vutek UV and latex printers, included Ultraflex mesh, Coroplast, 3M perforated window film, 3M IJ180-10 Cv3 vinyl, and Gatorboard.

The graphics prominently display the Special Olympics logo, whose 19 colors are derived from flags of the 177 countries this year’s athletes represent. A circle surrounding the triumphant central figure represents inclusion for the games’ disabled competitors.

With just 48 hours to process the job before the July 25 opening ceremony, SLXL operated 24 hours a day. They teamed with a counter-to-counter expedited freight partner to ship the final graphics to an installation team of 20, who installed the final pieces in less than 72 hours across a half dozen zip codes.

When asked what job management software the shop used to handle the logistics of the project, Scott Cohen, president of retail, says, “We used an Excel spreadsheet, and we did a lot of nail-biting. We did it old school, but we did it. I was texting with people at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Despite the nail-biting, however, Cohen adds that it was one of the most “noble” projects he has been a part of.


Read more from our January/February 2016 issue here.




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