When a billion-dollar global enterprise announces plans for a headquarter remodel, architects and designers from around the world clamor for the chance to get a bid on the project.
But, even with thousands of international firms and decorators at their disposal, Palo Alto-based technology giant Hewlett Packard opted instead to go the local route.
A Local Business Owner’s Place on the World Stage
Designing and producing graphics for an international industry leader’s headquarters is enough to intimidate any small-business owner, but Steve didn’t shy away from the challenge.
And months later, HP unveiled their wildly successful Welcome Center rebrand – with much of the credit shared between Steve and his project partner, Berlin-based creative agency Art Lab Studios.
“We approach all client projects with the intent to create an exceptional final product,” Steve said. “But when it came to working with an industry partner like HP, the stakes for perfection were even higher.”
The pursuit of perfection paid off for Steve when the elaborately-planned final product came together.
Planning, Progress and Perfection
Steve and his partner agency dedicated the first six months of the nine-month project solely to planning out the ornate details of each design. After the planning stages, Steve spent the remaining three months installing intricate and mesmerizing wall murals, oversized window graphics and multi-dimensional wall treatments, including a direct-print brushed metal aluminum composite.
“The space was being completely remodeled, which meant multiple site visits and measurements to ensure we factored in all the modification and obstructions that would impact the mural and installation,” explained Steve. “We also ran numerous color tests to get the best balance for orange and grey – those two colors can be some of the more difficult ones to hit in CMYK.”
In the end, Steve was able to match the colors perfectly, as well as exceed all expectations with his designs and installations. Here are a few of his standout pieces from the project:
Forest Wall Mural
Housed in the HP meeting room, this 38-ft. by 11-ft. mural completely transforms the environment. A secondary wall area is an inset window, allowing traces of direct light to illuminate the print from the back side.
Painted Ladies Dimensional Wall Treatment
This wall graphic – depicting the Painted Ladies, a famous set of homes in San Francisco – was the most complex piece of the project. It is comprised of wall-covering media and an overlay of 16 secondary prints, which Steve contour cut to create precise alignment and overlay.
The matte-laminate vision wall graphic included an adhesive vinyl application and white acrylic raised letters. Steve also contour cut these letters, in order to highlight their exact angles.
Meeting Room Windows
The oversized window graphics on the meeting room windows were printed and mounted outside the room. Steve reverse-printed the interior graphics, then mounted them precisely to match the exterior prints. This method allowed him to accomplish HP’s main objective for the meeting room – which was to showcase dynamic branding in a high-traffic customer area, while still providing some privacy for meetings.
Brushed Metal Aluminum Composite Wall Treatment
Since much of the redesign’s graphic and visual elements were printed (primarily using HP printers) wallpaper, Steve and the design team agreed they should create a more dynamic look in certain areas by using different materials. So, instead of using wallpaper, Steve installed a direct-print to a brushed metal aluminum composite in a long hallway. The wall treatment consisted of three different images, and angled cuts were added both ends of the treatment to highlight the raised wall’s unique features.
Creativity – Not Industry Experience – Is Key
In spite of his incredible graphics work – and resounding success with the HP project – Steve actually didn’t start his career in the print industry, though creativity has always been at the heart of his professional life. Before opening his SpeedPro franchise, Steve spent the majority of his career in sports marketing. But, after nearly two decades, he was looking for a change and wanted to open his own business.
Steve started researching other industries and companies, and came across the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity—and knew that was the direction he wanted to take.
“Every SpeedPro is owned by a former business manager or executive,” Steve said. “I really liked the model and the way it was positioning itself. The SpeedPro model puts a lot of emphasis on running the business.”
No matter your background or experience, as a SpeedPro Imaging franchisee, you’ll be armed with all the tools, guidance and expertise you need to run a successful and profitable business in the strong wide-format graphics industry. And, the opportunity to exercise your creativity while partnering with leading clients across industries isn’t bad, either.
For more information about the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity, contact us today!