We at MetWest love an ambitious vision – and the NFL and Gensler were certainly not lacking that with their designs for NFL Los Angeles. Their plans were truly a perfect example of what we like to call “WOWification” – creating a “wow” effect through creative and bold design. And taking a unique and exciting idea to actual execution is our specialty.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was tackling the tricky production challenges that arise with a complex vision. It took hours of discussion, perfection of specialized production techniques, and many samples – but we got there! MetWest was honored to help Gensler and the National Football League find the right solutions to execute their creative vision, and we’d like to share a little insight into that process.
Metallic Wall Coverings: The Heart of the Designs for NFL Los Angeles
Metallics were part of the conversation early on. Incorporating metallics was crucial to creating the next level “Wow” impact that Gensler was looking for. The problem however was that metallic inks were simply unable to achieve the dramatic impact the designers were looking for.
MetWest was able to source a variety of metallic wall coverings to achieve the desired effects instead. Compared to the metallic inks, the metallic options were like night and day.
By printing in different opacities on metallic wall coverings, the final graphics had a full range of effects from totally opaque printed sections to partially reflective details, to brightly reflected metallic reveals. Through this process, MetWest was able to allow the custom graphics to utilize the metallic effect of the wall covering in extremely complex ways.
Furthermore, because different areas needed different metallic effects, MetWest ended up using a couple different metallic wall coverings. This solution allowed for each individual graphic to have the very specific appearance the designers were looking for.
The process of arriving at the final artwork was long and required frequent samples in order to dial in how exactly the artwork take greatest advantage of the materials’ capabilities. However, the careful attention to detail paid off in a big way.
New Production Technique for Complex “Frost Graphics”
Many of the interior offices were walled off by glass. Because of this, the design plans called for custom surface film to add needed privacy. Each floor had a unique pattern of artwork celebrating football. Furthermore, there were two versions of each pattern allowing different levels of visibility. Less visibility for offices which required a greater amount of privacy and security.
The initial proposal was to custom cut the design on frosted film. However, this process is extremely labor intensive for detailed graphics such as the NFL’s intricate designs. The hours required to complete the dozens of rooms would mean months of work well past the NFL’s timeline to open. Between the high complexity of the graphics designed, with many small details as well the sheer square footage of the material being installed, it became clear very quickly a traditional approach would not work.
Through extensive experimentation and sampling, MetWest’s solution was to develop a new printing process that nearly perfectly replicated the exact look of the chosen frosted film.
The result was nearly identical to the original frosted film, but the streamlined process allowed for the fast-paced production and installation required to have the decorative glass film completed for NFL Los Angeles’ opening.
Multi-Process and Multi-Material Execution of Complex Glass Graphics
The conference rooms and executive offices required something special. Dramatic and colorful, the concepts by Gensler combined typography, photography, patterns and illustrative graphics. Each installation would be a unique piece of art. Not only did they combine a variety of graphical elements, they combined a variety of materials and opacities, which created some complexity for production.
Many of the offices reached another level of complexity by having a double-sided effect. This means viewers would see one image looking into the room, and a different image while looking out. Creating two separate but vivid images on either side of the glass required a three-layer printing process of CMYK and White inks.
This specialized printing method with the addition of other materials such as frost and vinyl decals meant that some offices were combining 4 different production processes and 3 different materials for a single glass wall.
The sampling process while bringing all of these factors together – plus normal color matching – was extensive to say the least. But in the end, we were able to bring to life Gensler’s ambitious vision, creating not just beautiful imagery but also a unique experience for everyone who uses those spaces.
Creative Visions and the Success of the Designs for NFL Los Angeles
Truly creative and design visions create unforgettable experiences. The NFL and Gensler achieved this with the incredible facilities at NFL Los Angeles. The final outcome was a monumental collaboration from many talented artists, designers, and tradespeople, and MetWest is thrilled to have been a part of executing that. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that occurred to give future visitors an awe-inspiring experience, and we hope this article’s inside look into a piece of that has been interesting.
If you’re interested in WOWifying visitors in your space, contact MetWest today and get your project in motion!