In February 2018, we were contacted by LCG, Inc., a general contractor out of Georgia to work with them on rebranding and remodeling the Stadium View apartments, an off-campus housing complex near the University of Minnesota. The new name was The Quad on Delaware, and it needed a new personality to compete with other apartments on campus.
Initially they only wanted some painted signs on a few walls. After meeting in person and discussing what KORT Sign Design could do for them, the scope of the project changed to meet their goals and our ideas for creating a fun living environment for their target audience.
We created the signage in phases since each project required different areas of the building to be finished at different times. We worked with them for over nine months to accommodate their construction timeline, and the Minnesota weather of course. Remodeling a huge complex means ‘stuff’ has to be moved and stored somewhere. So, when a wall is available, we had to act on it! We were very flexible in our schedule and available on short notice all summer and into the fall.
Typically, when we put graphics on walls, we use a paint mask cut from our plotter. In order to apply the paint mask onto a newly-painted wall, the paint should be completely cured, which takes about a month. We weren’t given that much time on The Quad project because each wall had to get done when it was available. Because the paint wasn’t fully cured, when we pulled the paint mask off it also pulled up some paint. This meant we had to go back and hand paint with an artist’s paint brush to tighten up the graphics.
We were also asked to paint the new name and logo on the exterior of the building fascia; specifically, custom graphics on the cinder block wall where bicycles are stored. For this type of very specialized application, we subcontracted to a local sign painter and artist – truly a dying breed. (We know when to back away and turn it over to a pro.)
Many of the hallways required custom wall murals. Some were from floor to ceiling and others were images used as art pieces on the walls. One of the wood framers working on the construction project framed up our wall mural, and then an electrician came by and installed lighting above it. It turned out great!
In the main entrance there are lots of windows on both sides; we added frosted cut vinyl to the inside of the glass using the designs given to us by the architect to create a sense of privacy but still let the light into the space.
Lastly, we had to figure out a solution for the exterior courtyard located in the middle of the complex. At first they wanted us to use a stain directly onto the concrete sidewalk to create a pattern that would bridge a track-like walking path around the courtyard. We decided to print on AlumiGraphics®GRIP material, a unique, non-skid surface and aluminum substrate, and apply to the sidewalk. This product can last for months outdoors. We encouraged them to apply a clear epoxy over this so that it would last a long time.
All projects are unique and fun in some way, but we really enjoy large, ongoing, multi-faceted projects that require creative solutions and flexibility – on both ends. The Quad on Delaware was definitely one of our most creative and interesting environmental branding projects of the year! Got a kid going off to college? Check out this inspiring place to live at the UofM: https://www.quadondelaware.com