Featured Project: Glantz, 3M and Showtime Sign & Design Redesign Iconic Water Tower

This is the first time since the tower's construction in 1936 that it was wrapped, rather than painted.

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Louisville, Kentucky-based N. Glantz & Son, a sign and graphic supplies distributor, teamed up with St. Paul, Minnesota-based graphic films designer 3M and Louisville’s own Showtime Sign & Design to upgrade an iconic Louisville water tower.

The Old Forester water tower sits atop the headquarters of Brown-Forman, the owners of Old Forester, Jack Daniels, and other noteworthy brands of spirits and wine. Originally constructed in 1936, the bourbon bottle-shaped tower is more than 62′ tall and 20′ in diameter. The top of the cap reaches 218′ off the ground, and it was once the fourth-tallest structure in Kentucky.

Showtime Sign & Design produced and installed the wrap. This was the first time since the tower was built that its outside was wrapped, rather than painted. Forty-two layers of paint had to be removed before the digital wrap could be applied.

The updates, which included a new shape, cap, and label design, needed to match the branding of today’s Old Forester bottles.

N. Glantz & Son and 3M worked diligently with Showtime Sign & Design to select the right products and ensure the new branding specifications were met. Art Gamsky of N. Glantz & Son and Justin Brown of 3M began running adhesion tests on the water tank. Multiple tests were performed on the 81-year-old water tower to certify numerous graphic products and keep the credibility of the new branding elements including the blue band at the top of the bottle.

Along with the tests on the tower, samples of primer were sent to 3M for internal testing, and its 180MC film was deemed the best product and verified on-site. Along with it, Showtime also used 3M 8900-G Mystic silver lam, 8549-L Envision lam, and 180c peacock blue.

This was the first-time Derrick Duncanson, installer at Showtime Sign & Design, used 3M 180MC, and he says “it worked like a dream. It’s the best material I have ever used.” Owner Bart Cohen, who has worked with Brown-Forman on the branding of the Old Forester  tower for more 20 years, also reiterated that 3M provided great service throughout the project and that 180MC was a remarkable product to use.

The tower, which has a capacity of 100,000 gallons, will be featured in the Hollywood film “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” set for release in September. It is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Channing Tatum.

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SDG Staff

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