Welcome to the Britten Blog!
A worldwide leader in digital large-format banner printing, Britten's wide-format banners, event signage and other custom banner hanging systems can be seen throughout North America and beyond - promoting brands and organizations from virtually every industry. From the sidelines to the shopping mall, follow the Britten Blog to see our commercial banners in their environment and learn more about the story behind the signage.
The Plaza Hotel at First Glance
August 14, 2013, 2:08 pm
It was an early Friday afternoon as I descended the four flights of stairs from my New York apartment. My dog’s nails clicked on the steps behind me, creating a familiar soundtrack in the hollow hallway. On the last flight, while scrolling through emails on my phone, a particular subject line stood out, “Manhattan Building Wrap”.
The email was from my new employer, Britten, and spoke about an exciting new project at the Plaza Hotel—specifically, a building wrap larger than a football field and unlike anything I'd heard of. “Go see the Plaza,” the email urged. “Go take a look!”
It just so happened that the Plaza Hotel was a few blocks from my apartment. I took a scenic route through Central Park with my dogs trailing behind me and imagined what the building wrap might look like. Having a background in advertising, I’ve seen my fair share of outdoor boards and building wraps. Could this really be that different?
When I emerged from Central Park South, past a single file line of horses and buggies, there it stood: The Plaza Hotel.
It truly was unlike anything I'd ever seen. I stared up at the grandeur, studying the lines that made up windows, ledges, and ornate carvings— looking for the seams that didn’t seem to exist no matter how hard I squinted. From the email, I knew the building was covered in scaffolding, but to the naked eye, it appeared as new as the day it was built.
Now I understood. The ‘building wrap’ was so much more than a wrap, decal, or large-format outdoor board. It was Architectural Mesh, (I later learned), and it deserved a category all of its own. It printed in a way that exactly matched the perspective and architectural detail of the building.
So I did what anyone else would do—I Instagrammed it—and as I held up my phone, people curiously stopped and watched. They looked at me, looking at the Plaza. Pretty soon, they were all looking at the Plaza too.
It was like a light bulb went off in each of their heads.
"Oh! That's not a real building!" One woman declared in my direction, as if she were helping me out. And just like that, others turned and stared at the building, pointing it out to friends.
The Plaza Hotel was in no way my personal project, and yet somehow I felt a sense of accomplishment having shown them this “wrap.” This illusion. This piece of art. This trompe de l'oeil.
The act of looking up at the building caught on like wildfire and pretty soon the whole sidewalk had noticed the Plaza. When I finally walked away, two dogs still in my wake, I began to think. With all the outdoor boards, flashing displays, and just the general oversaturation of advertising, it’s incredibly hard for a brand to stand out.
In the case of the Plaza Hotel, blending in was even more surprising than standing out. By not screaming at people, it allowed onlookers to have a sense of discovery. And when it comes to memorable work, maybe the excitement in discovering is enough. I know it was for me.
Create Interactive Signage to Engage Viewers
May 23, 2013, 12:05 pm
When you hear someone say the term "interactive signage," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Interactive touch screen advertising? High-tech way-finding kiosks or weather tracking systems? Those examples of interactive digital signage are definitely cool, clever, and fun but aren’t necessarily budget “friendly”. But guess what - there are ways to integrate traditional signage with everyday technology that won’t break the bank, are interactive and engaging, and don’t require plugs or batteries.
Viewpoint: Visual Branding at Founders Brewing
November 29, 2012, 12:11 pm
Sarah Aldrich, Communications Manager at Founders Brewing Co., walks us through the impact of marketing and visual branding for a world-class brewery. In the case of a new beer launch, the visual channels in which the marketing department reaches their multi-level consumer base is extremely important.
5 Ways to Transform Your Retail Space
November 5, 2012, 3:11 pm
As the holiday season approaches, you're busy preparing for the flood of people that are about to embark on holiday shopping excursions. You have your inventory ordered and staffing arranged, but have you given a thought to the visual experience that each customer will have when they enter your shop? Have you transformed your retail space to draw customers in and give them the complete experience—the ultimate, visual WOW? Here's a few tips to really make your store POP!
Britten: Our Story
November 1, 2012, 11:11 am
A behind-the-scenes look at America's favorite banner company.