Friday, March 30, 2012

Bishop Kelly Donor Wall

Bishop Kelly High School came to Trademark asking for a lot: they wanted a cool concept for a big project, and they wanted it fast. The school was wrapping up construction on their new student commons and atrium, and needed to recognize those who funded the project. With less than a month before the grand opening, Bishop Kelly asked Trademark to design, fabricate, and install the donor wall for the new building. Immediately Trademark's designers began brainstorming. They proposed the idea of making personalized plaques for each donor.

The plaques were made of clear laser-cut acrylic, laminated with black to provide contrast. Layers of metallic vinyl were applied on top. Each combination of colors corresponded to a donation level.

A donor wall should honor its contributors in a way befitting their generosity. These plaques would serve as a distinct and striking tribute. After the concept was approved by Bishop Kelly, Trademark's staff went into overdrive -- producing unique plaques for each of the four-hundred individual donors.

The plaques were to be mounted upon a large, beautiful, slightly concave wall. The second stage of the design process was to determine where the plaques should be placed. Bishop Kelly made it clear: those who donated more to the campaign should be recognized for the amount of their contribution, but the donors should not be ordered into a hierarchy.

Trademark's designers developed a nebulous cloud of plaques, one that increased in density towards the main information sign in the center. A key, which linked a given color combination to its corresponding donation level, was placed off to the side.

The plaques were permanently mounted to the wall using a special type of very-high-bond  (VHB) double sided tape. Extreme care had to be used early in the process -- a plaque mis-mounted by so much as a millimeter could throw off the rest of the installation.

John and Jason spent two days at Bishop Kelly, and captured some excellent shots of the process.

The project was time consuming, but the fruits of Trademark's labor was obvious. Bishop Kelly was rewarded with a gorgeous donor wall that does an excellent job of honoring those who contributed to their new building. The project was completed on time, and within Bishop Kelly's budget.

Two weeks after the completion of the project, Trademark received the following letter in the mail (click to enlarge):