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Featured Project: There’s a First Time for Everything

From the company's Twitter feed: '"I don't think we can do that," said no one ever at ER2 Image Group.'  

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This featured project comes from Hanover Park, Illinois-based ER2 Image Group, a full-service grand-format printing company. The company had never made a custom tent before-never even thought about making one, it says-but that didn’t stop them from creating this beauty for the Christkindlmarket Festival in Milwaukee.

Glen Hansen of Marquee Event Rentals, also located in the Chicago area, approached ER2 and told them he had been contacted by representatives from German American Events LLC, which were looking for a giant tent that would replicate a German chalet. It would be one of the centerpieces of the upcoming Christkindlmarket Festival that German American Events was putting on in Milwaukee.

“We love any kind of party, so a little holiday research was in order,” writes ER2 Image Group on its website in its description of the project. “Here’s what we found out. Inspired by the original Christkindlmarket in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, this cherished tradition now brings its international flair and charm to Milwaukee, Chicago and Naperville, Illinois. Visitors to the annual event experience the delight of an authentic German festival and celebrate the season with festive shopping, delicious German and European delicacies, hand-crafted ornaments, entertainment, family fun and much more. Not to mention our favorites-hot spiced wine (Glühwein) and fine beers (looks like an ER2 road trip is in the making!).”

So ER2’s owner, Gary Schellerer Sr., creative director Neil Huffman, and Hansen sat down with the German American Events team to review their concept. Huffman did the design, and after just a few revisions the green light was given to make it.

Hansen set up a 40′ x 70′ tent frame and left ER2 some blank sidewalls and a gable to copy. The company says that print manager Adam Wagner was instrumental in sizing the sections and printing to the proper specs, and that project manager Scott Kellerman‘s years of experience in frame and fabric came in handy in determining the best installation method and finishing techniques.

The company used 18-ounce blockout vinyl for the sidewalls, gables and roof. Huffman designed the side walls to be printed double-sided with different graphics elements for the interior and exterior. To continue the Alpine theme, he incorporated clear windows with printed grilles to create the illusion of multiple glass panels. To protect against the weather, the windows would be welded to openings cut into the side wall material.

ER2 chose Revolution Performance Fabrics for its interior ceiling panels and printed it on its d.gen Grande D5 textile printer to resemble knotty pine wood paneling.

“A big kudos for the awesome job ER2 did on this project under the gun!” says Hansen. “ER2 went beyond my expectations and worked hard to make this new venture a success.”

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Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is the former digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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