When Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Western Australia, held their annual Open Week in July, they were committed to creating a week of truly memorable events and activities. Successful and engaging University Open Weeks are essential to attracting prospective students and Edith Cowan University sought to make their logo even more unforgettable by including an inflatable letter display as a backdrop for activities throughout the week.
The Event Mill, an event management company, were engaged by Edith Cowan University to be the main organisers for creating, procuring and implementing all the elements required for a successful Open Week. They contacted us about making an inflatable letter display that would reflect the university logo. The university market can be quite crowded and standing out and remaining memorable long after Open Week are crucial to increasing enrolments, so they really wanted to make the university logo a distinctive, eye-catching display. In the past we have worked directly with the university for other events, so working with The Event Mill was a new twist on a familiar experience that we at Inflatable Anything welcomed with enthusiasm.
The time constraints for producing a memorable inflatable letter display were quite short so as part of the concept development phase we offered options that would ensure delivery on-time and in-budget while still reflecting the university colours of red, blue and yellow, as well as the distinctive ECU letter shapes of the logo. Once the limitations from the time constraints were discussed, it was agreed that instead of printing custom materials for an exact colour match, which needs a longer lead-time than was available, we would use stock colours with no printing required to speed up the manufacturing process.
Another main advantage of using stock colours is that they are lower-priced than custom printed materials and of course the products can be manufactured within tighter time frames. With the concept consultations completed it was time for us to focus on how best to bring the inflatable letter display logo into fruition.
Once we finalised the concept to use stock colours of red, blue and yellow for the inflatable letter display logo, we focused on ensuring the design would replicate the distinctive letter shapes on the ECU logo sitting on a black base when creating the 2D artwork. Replicating an angular or straight letter shape can be quite challenging as inflatables will naturally round out due to air pressure. It was essential the art design corrected for this natural inclination for a rounder shape to accurately reflect the sharp edges on the ECU logo.
The PVC would be sewn to maintain the integrity of the design and ensure durability should stand the difficult weather conditions such as strong wind or heavy rain. The sewn design would also support the external blower that had been requested as part of the design for the inflatable letter display because that would allow for the type of portability needed for future events. All these elements need to be carefully considered in the artwork development stage when converting the 2D drawings to a 3D mock-up to ensure the final product will match the concept. Once the 3D mock up of the inflatable letter display was given full approval it was time to move on to the manufacturing stage.
Time constraints were a primary consideration during the entire manufacturing process. Many of those constraints were offset by using stock colours for the 100% PVC inflatable letter display. The cutting process needed very careful attention to detail as producing the exact shaping of the letters as designed relied on meticulous accuracy at this stage.
During sewing, special reinforcement techniques were used to ensure the letters would maintain their intended shape once facing the air pressure from being inflated. So much time was saved from using the stock colours instead of custom printed materials, we were able to complete manufacturing of the inflatable letter display of the ECU logo a full three weeks ahead of the event date. This gave us plenty of time to ensure delivery from Inflatable Anything in Melbourne, Victoria all the way across to its final destination in Perth, Western Australia.
Our inflatable letter display was a small but very impactful part of the overall Open Week activities and events at Edith Cowan University, and we found it was a fun and meaningful project for us to work on from the initial concept through to real life.
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