By teaming up with Coca-Cola, Hollywood Monster helped to guarantee a spectacular and colourful welcome to hundreds of thousands of visitors to the London Olympic Games. The Birmingham-based company created graphics to cover the entire length of a pedestrian bridge on behalf of the world's biggest beverage company. Hollywood Monster also worked alongside retail giants Westfield on many other graphics projects for the prestigious £1 million-plus scheme in the build up to, and during, the world’s greatest celebration of sport.
The 'Coca-Cola' bridge links Stratford rail station to the huge Westfield shopping mall directly adjacent to the Olympic Park. Dressing the link bridge was the most complex project ever completed by Hollywood Monster. On the project, the company's commercial director, Simon McKenzie, comments, “It has been amazing to work alongside Coca-Cola and Westfield on what has to be our most satisfying achievement to date. The project was first briefed into us in January and we had to come up with a plan to dress the entire bridge - from the Underground station into the Olympic Park - with graphics."
“The bridge is very unusual in the fact that it is predominantly glass but also has light boxes built into it, and on the one side of the bridge the glazing twists and falls away at an angle towards the Network Rail lines below. We print-tested five to six new fully sustainable materials and worked alongside Westfield’s design and construction team testing the material on the bridge, and carried out prolonged testing for thermal stress to the glazing,” he continues.
“We agreed on a suitable material, and now all 1,000 square metres of production is on a fully sustainable material that has no PVC content, with a scratch free laminate that is also PVC free. We looked at various methods including running a lightweight tension frame directly into the steel girders, only to be told that no drilling was allowed on the main structure, and there was nothing for us to clamp directly to," he adds.
“We then came up with plan B. This basically consisted of vinyl graphics with laminate to be applied directly to the bridge. This method had issues of its own as the bridge is on a gradient and rises from 2.8m high at each end to 4.4m high in the middle. To make things worse, the floor rises and slopes also, making it very difficult to align the graphics over two elevations spanning 125m each.
“We created a CAD drawing of each individual glass panel. This consisted of over 160 individual measurements. We then used laser technology to measure the gradient of the floor to come up with some solid plans to Coca-Cola’s agency in Atlanta to start creating the artwork. The artwork is basically following the torch relay across the country, with images of all the key places visited during the relay journey.”
The process from start to finish took nearly three months from initial surveys to full completion due to the complexity of the job and the restricted working times.
For more information on Hollywood Monster, please visit www.hollywoodmonster.co.uk.