Agio Imaging Helps University Honor Moms With Large-Scale Gatorplast, Dibond Displays

Gatorplast, Notre, Dame, Moms, 2016, Agio, Imaging, Photo, by, The, University, of, Notre, DameFor many of us, there just aren’t enough ways to thank and honor our mothers for their loving care and support. Students at The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., have been honoring moms even before the first official Mother’s Day was celebrated more than a century ago – following Notre Dame alum Frank Herring’s advocacy for the holiday.

During the past two years, The University of Notre Dame’s Alumni Association has provided students with unique opportunities to honor their mothers during Mother’s Day events highlighted with large-format graphic displays and has turned to Portage, Mich-based Agio Imaging both years to execute these designs.

In 2015, Agio Imaging, a large-format custom print solution provider, created a 29-foot by 21-foot interlocking “ND” university logo within a giant heart featuring exterior dimensions of 41-feet by 50-feet. Both display pieces appeared to be free floating in the university’s Hesburgh Reflecting Pool.

Dibond, Notre, Dame, Moms, 2016, Agio, Imaging, Photo, by, The, University, of, Notre, DameAgio Imaging chose 3A Composites’ Gatorplast graphic display board in the white color and 1-inch thickness – supplied by the Grand Rapids, Mich., branch of distributor Laird Plastics – for direct printing display graphics with a super-wide format UV printer. The display pieces were CNC routed to shape.

(Gatorplast consists of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between two high-impact polystyrene cap sheets. The polystyrene foam density and cell structure in combination with moisture-resistant styrene facers allows Gatorplast to float for extended durations.)

The heart and logo display pieces were attached with custom-milled plates and screws specially engineered by Agio Imaging’s production team and fabricated with Dibond aluminum composite material by 3A Composites USA. To create the appearance of a free-floating display, Agio Imaging used black sandbags and clear nylon line to anchor the floating shapes in place without being visible in the pool. The Dibond plates were attached to the undersides of the heart and logo and screwed through Gatorplast’s styrene facer and foam center onsite.

Dibond, Notre, Dame, Moms, 2016, Agio, Imaging, Photo, by, The, University, of, Notre, DameThe floating Gatorplast display was so well received that Agio Imaging was contacted to print graphics for Notre Dame’s Mother’s Day event the following year. Agio Imaging also was recognized for this unique Gatorplast application in Digital Output magazine’s “2016 Application of the Year Awards.”

In 2016, the university’s alumni association offered Notre Dame students the opportunity to write their thoughts and prayers for their mothers on colorful pastel ribbons that would be attached to a “Mother’s Honor and Remembrance Wall”– a free-standing outdoor display installed outside the university’s Eck Visitors Center.

The remembrance wall – which measured 18-feet wide by 8-feet tall – consisted of 15 open box-like hinged display areas constructed by university carpenters from white-painted wood. In addition to six display areas designed to hang student ribbons, the remembrance wall also featured nine open-box areas designed to display two-sided printed graphics. The graphics were attached with architectural hardware that allowed them to swivel 360 degrees, offering the audience views of different graphics printed on reverse sides. The graphics featured a series of both text and images honoring moms.

Dibond, Notre, Dame, Moms, 2016, Agio, Imaging, Photo, by, The, University, of, Notre, Dame“This display was designed to be interactive, hands-on and customizable,” according to Logan. “The graphics panels are completely replaceable.”

Agio Imaging recommended 3mm Dibond in the white color for eight of the printed graphics, including seven 26.5-inch by 42-inch panels and one 71.5-inch by 9-inch header panel – all direct-printed in four-color process with a super-wide format UV printer and then CNC routed. A ninth panel featured the university’s “ND” logo in metallic gold highlighted against an eye-catching white background design on acrylic.

Dibond, Notre, Dame, Moms, 2016, Agio, Imaging, Photo, by, The, University, of, Notre, Dame“This display needed to hold up to the weather because you never know what’s going to happen here at that time of year,” said Logan, of the display that was designed to be outdoors for a week this spring.

“We recommended Dibond for its unsurpassed durability outdoors and its ability to be printed on both sides,” said Logan. “As an added benefit, because Dibond is masked, it gave us a second clean side to print. Dibond also is extremely rigid. Some acrylics and PVC boards can bend. If there was any wind, we knew Dibond wouldn’t bow or flex. Dibond printed with nice even-saturated colors. And, it cut immaculately on our CNC router. There was no flaking around the edges.”

photography courtesy of Agio Imaging and The University of Notre Dame