Océ, an international leader in digital document management and delivery solutions, was recently called upon to help create a stunning tablescape to support the DIFFA Chicago Chapter’s Dining by Design 2009 event held in the Chicago Merchandise Mart, November 5-7, 2009.
DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS), through fundraising events and grants, supports HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S. Founded in 1984, DIFFA has granted more than $38 million to hundreds of community-based organizations. The DIFFA Chicago chapter recently held its 8th annual Dining by Design event that showcases individuals in the Chicago design community and pairs them with generous table sponsors to create three-dimensional dining suites that are works of art.
NELSON, an international design and consulting firm based in Chicago, contacted the Océ Wide Format Printing Systems office to inquire about helping create an elemental piece for the tablescape. Jim Pelletier, Senior Project Designer at NELSON, had previously worked on the design and build-out of the new Océ Solution Studio in New York City. Seeing the capabilities of the Océ Arizona® 350 XT printer during that project, Jim thought it would be a good fit to create a one-of-a-kind tablecloth for the event. Jim and his team worked with Jeffrey Brito, Manager of the Display Graphics Knowledge Center at the Océ location in Itasca, IL, to print a full-size, round tablecloth with a birdseed image keeping with the “Birds of a Feather” theme of the dining suite. Because of the oversized table on the Océ Arizona 350 XT printer, the tablecloth could be produced in one piece, without seams.
Jeff and his team went to work on the project when they received a tightly-folded, white cotton tablecloth, which had been purchased at a local linens store. It was professionally cleaned and pressed, and the cleaner rolled it onto a large core for transport. The Océ Arizona 350 XT printer was prepared by placing self-adhesive vinyl (SAV), sticky-side up, on the vacuum table. The tablecloth was carefully placed on the SAV and a manual roller was used to smooth it out. The birdseed image was then printed directly onto the tablecloth.
“Océ’s effort, time and the Océ Arizona printer were a tremendous help with our design,” said James Pelletier. “It was a huge success, and our entry stood out among the others. A number of guests asked about the tablecloth and where we got it. When we explained that it was printed on an Océ Arizona printer, they were amazed and very impressed.”
The “Birds of a Feather” table was a collaboration between NELSON and Coalesse®, Inc. (Chicago), a supplier of lifestyle furniture for home and office. Three DIFFA events were held over three days: the first event, “Cocktails by Design” attracted more than 700 visitors. The second event was a private affair attended by 200 people. The third evening was the “Dining by Design” gala event where dinner was served to approximately 450 people in each sponsor’s dining suite. A total of more than 1,350 design professionals attended one or more of these events.
Beyond display graphics applications
The Océ Arizona 350 XT printer is ideal for producing a wide variety of display graphics such as event graphics, point-of-purchase displays, limited-term signage, banners, backlit and reflective rigid displays, transit advertising, and directional signage. But because of its ability to print on a range of materials not predetermined simply by “square, flat and thin” and its support of white ink, the Océ Arizona 350 XT printer can produce applications beyond the norm including custom furniture, glasswork, tablecloths, fixture enhancement, fine art, or nearly anything that the imagination can conceive.
About the Océ Arizona 350 XT printer
The Océ Arizona 350 XT printer offers versatility to produce nearly any display graphics application. It can print onto a range of rigid and roll-based media and is ideal for producing a wide variety of display graphics such as event and exhibit graphics, point-of-purchase displays, limited-term signage, banners, posters, transit advertising, and directional signage. The Océ Arizona 350 XT printer uses UV curable inks and Océ VariaDot™ imaging technology to deliver near-photographic image quality for nearly any application.