FESPA transforms American school bus to promote the possibilities of print

When FESPA wanted to continue its engagement with potential buyers of print, they approached Contra Vision, as  originators of see-through graphics to become an official print partner for the launch of the FESPA Print Inspiration Rally, an initiative to connect interior designers, architects and creative professionals with innovative examples of wide format print to inspire them to see print as a creative and effective solution to many briefs.

The bus prior to wrapping !
The bus prior to wrapping !

Print Inspiration Rally takes the form of an American school bus, with artwork designed by decorated by Spanish interior design agency Egue y Seta using wide format print examples to demonstrate the surprising and exciting effects achievable with print. Applications shown will include printing on glass, wood and metal, textile, soft furnishings, ceramics and many more. A host of manufacturers have contributed to the project including: EFI, Epson, Roland, Agfa and CMA imaging, as well as printers such as ARC.

FESPA approached Contra Vision in September 2014 for assistance and we have been delighted to donate the material, Contra Vision ® Performance™ in 40% transparency which has been used on the bus windows, the printing was done by long established print partners, Flying Monk.

Contra Vision supplied the material which allows for the graphics to be carried over the windows of the bus, ensuring the images are wrapped around the vehicle while maintaining vision out.

The bus transformed !
The bus transformed !

Importantly this promotes the power of see-through graphics and the role printers can play in offering innovative ways of assisting clients to promote their messages, not just across traditional formats but on whole vehicle or building wraps.

Print Inspiration Rally’s first stop will be ESMA’s Printed Interior Decoration event, from 26-27 November 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Here, Sean Holt, FESPA General Secretary, will host a presentation to launch the initiative, setting out the rationale behind it and how interior decoration is a growth area for printers. Visitors to the event will be able to join FESPA on board for a tour of the bus to explore the different printed applications.

After Printed Interior Decoration, FESPA’s Print Inspiration Rally will continue to tour various interior and creative events before culminating in Cologne, Germany for FESPA 2015, 18-22 May 2015.

Duncan MacOwan, Head of Events and New Media, FESPA, who spearheaded the project, comments: “Print Inspiration Rally is a fantastic visual illustration of print used to decorate materials and surfaces in ways designers and their clients may not have previously considered to transform any environment. As an exhibition organiser we know that the best way to see innovative opportunities and applications is up front and personal. Seeing is believing!

“We deepened our relationship with specifiers of print at FESPA 2013 in London with Creative Corner and we aim to continue this engagement with Print Inspiration Rally by taking outstanding examples of print directly to designers. Incorporating print projects sourced from our global print community also provides PSPs with an opportunity to capture the attention of potential buyers and illustrate their best work.”

Print Inspiration Rally is made possible by FESPA’s Profit for Purpose programme, which reinvests profits from FESPA events to support its global print community by nurturing demand for print and educating specifiers to print’s creative possibilities.

Roger Hill, Managing Director of Contra Vision commented, ‘ The team at Contra Vision are delighted to support this initiative and proud that FESPA sought out our material for this initiative, ensuring the best possible results for this important promotional vehicle. ’

To discover more about the Print Inspiration Rally, visit:

See who’s won our Global Wrap Artists Competition!

Contra Vision announces the winners of our 4th Contra Vision International Wrap Artists™ Competition at SGIA Las Vegas.

Contra Vision sponsored an international competition to find the best see-through window graphics across our international markets and we are delighted to announce the winners.
We have had a range of exciting and creative entries which showcase how Contra Vision® Perforated Window Film or other see-through technology can be used across a range of media from creating stunning advertisements or signs to wrapping transit vehicles, entrance doors or partitions; effectively turning any area of glass into a giant billboard.
The entries covered five main categories, building wraps, vehicle wraps, transit advertising, best creative and a special category of innovative use, with an additional winner of the overall best application, chosen from the five category winners.
Our winners demonstrate the best applications worldwide and prove the truly international reach of the Contra Vision® range of products. Many thanks to all those who entered and our network of distributors and printers who enable us to keep developing and expanding the see-through graphics industry.

The winners are:
Best Vehicle Wrap

7 Eleven Tram, wrap artist winner

GSP Print Pty Ltd, Australia, for a complete tram wrap for 7 Eleven stores (space advertiser: APN Outdoor).
Best Creative Use

IMEDIAS, Belgium, for a stunning building wrap of a tower which carried images of trees across a modern building. Entered by Vink NV, Belgian distributor of the Contra Vision® range of perforated window film.
Best Innovative Use

GNR 2014 Ben Hines Sage ( permission )
AAA Signs, UK, who used Contra Vision® BACKLITE™ to provide the perfect screen for a digital projection of the opening ceremony onto The Sage building for the BUPA Great North Run in the UK. Entered by William Smith, UK distributor of the Contra Vision® range of perforated window film.
Best Building Wrap

Media City Projection 8 wwi forgotten
Craig Morrison, designer, for a building wrap at Media City Salford Quays UK, which enabled projected images of the World War One centenary commemorations (Customer – Quays Culture/Media City).

Best Transit Advertising Wrap

VGL heathrow pod
VGL, UK, for wrapping the transit pods at Heathrow Terminal Five with brand images relating to Marriott Hotels’ sponsorship of the transit system.
Overall winner.
From the above winners, the judges have chosen The Sage building projection as the best overall example of a wrap completed using Contra Vision® material. Congratulations to AAA Signs.
Each category winner receives a fabulous limited edition glass sculpture and the overall winner also receives a cash prize.
Thank you to all of our distributors, printers and clients who entered and our judges, Val Hirst, Managing Editor of Sign Directions and Sabrina Cant, internationally renowned glass sculptor.

Contra Vision Lights up the Tyne!

Ben Hines Sage              Great external shot of the Sage.

This year the Bupa Great North Run will see its one millionth finisher cross the line, a world first for an event of this kind.
To celebrate this milestone, on Thursday 4th September the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside and the River Tyne was transformed into a giant outdoor arena for the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony, marking the official countdown to the 1millionth finish of the race on Sunday 7th September.The spectacular opening ceremony featured live performances from Dire Straits legend and local hero Mark Knopfler, Sting, the Unthanks and Chase and Status.

The event was a multi-media spectacular, with fireworks, animations, giant sculptures and video mapping onto the iconic Sage building as captured in this stunning image by photographer Ben Hines. This is where Contra Vision® came in as The Sage has been wrapped in our material to allow for image projection on the night but also ensuring the building was usable during the run up to the event, by maintaining vision out. The installation was particularly challenging as the windows of The Sage are not rectangular and each one differs, planning was also essential due to extremely tight deadlines.

The site was surveyed by AAA Signs Ltd of Gateshead who also project managed production and delivery of the pre-packed kits for each individual window. The material was specified by AAA Signs who chose to work with distributor William Smith because of their extensive capabilities and material support.This was an extremely creative application of our material linking the benefits of see-through graphic technology with a dynamic visual and musical event.

The Newcastle Gateshead Quayside came to life with spectacular set pieces designed by Jon Bausor, a specially commissioned film and animation by BAFTA award-winning artist Tal Rosner, music composed by Ivor Novello-winning Dan Jones and performed by Northern Sinfonia, and performances by hundreds of volunteer performers choreographed by Nathan Curry; all combining to tell the spectacular story of the North East. Contra Vision is proud to have played a part in this. Tickets for the concert and event sold out weeks ago, however you can catch it on YouTube and also on BBC 2 on the evening of Sunday 7th Sept on the Bupa Great North Run highlights coverage. We will also post film of the digital projections shortly.

Below is an interior view of through vision maintained when the material was installed.

inside Sage with application  Sage with crowd


Contra Vision dazzles on the Thames

Contra Vision® has been used as part of the 14-18 NOW special commissions programme to mark the centenary of World War One. Contra Vision® helped turn a WW1 warship, a floating venue moored on the Thames, back into a wartime ‘ Dazzle’ ship.
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HMS President, now a conference venue, floating bar and restaurant moored at Victoria Embankment in London was once HMS Saxifrage, an anti-submarine warship, completed in 1918 and one of the last three surviving warships of the Royal Navy built during WW1.

As part of the nationwide commemorations of the beginning of WW1, the ship has been covered in Dazzle graphics. Dazzle patterns were the first attempt to camouflage warships, not by offering concealment but by using complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours which interrupted and intersected each other. This makes it difficult for an enemy to estimate the range, speed and direction of a target.

The ship has been transformed by leading artist Tobias Rehberger, who covered it entirely in a ‘dazzle’ camouflage print. Tobias commented, ‘Dazzle painting to me perfectly represents the idea of ‘ not seeing something’ as these camouflage patterns were designed to hide objects.’
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Close up of the Dazzle Ship
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Dazzle Ship Interior
Contra Vision® provided the perfect solution to covering the whole of the ship as our materials allow artists and others to play with many different options for managing what is both seen and not seen. The images were printed by PressOn printers in Kent.

Dazzle has an interesting artistic history. Picasso claimed the cubists invented it and now HMS President has been ‘wrapped’ with Contra Vision® Performance™ perforated material on the windows to provide a modern version of how an original ‘ Dazzle’ ship might have looked. The large picture windows which were added to the ship when it became a floating venue, provided the perfect vehicle for applying Contra Vision® see- through graphics which allowed the whole ship to be covered by the ‘dazzle’ design.

This is also an excellent example of how Contra Vision® can be used on artistic projects, something Contra Vision is keen to promote. Roland Hill, Chairman and Managing Director, sits on the board of the Liverpool Biennial and there is also a Dazzle ship moored in Albert Dock in Liverpool to link the WW1 Centenary with the Liverpool Biennial and some of the events happening nationwide.

The project was co commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Liverpool Biennial in association with University of the Arts London Chelsea College of Arts, HMS President (1918) and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with Merseyside Maritime Museum, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Dazzle Ship London is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Goethe-Institut London.

Hair today……..Harvey Nichols choose Contra Vision®

Manchester’s home to all things designer got a make-over of its own this month.

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Umberto Giannini’s salon at Harvey Nichols is a favourite for celebrities, but the first floor location meant it wasn’t easy to promote the new store to a wider audience. Service Graphics, wanted to produce striking images of glossy haired models which are visible for 24 hours a day, and really showcase the new salon, so they chose Contra Vision Performance® BACKLITE™ in clear 30% transparency and applied it internally. As the photographs demonstrate the impact at street-level was clearly achieved with the added benefit that the images are seen both day and night. The salon opened in March and this installation really puts it on the map.
Harvey Nichols is now one of several Manchester landmarks which uses our see-through graphics for eye-catching promotions.

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Contra Vision delivers the canvas for WW1 commemoration

Media City Projection 10

Contra Vision was delighted to play a part in HONOUR, a stunning outdoor event inspired by WW1 poets and the memories of men and women from the North West affected by the conflict of 1914 to 1918 which featured hundreds of choral singers and a large scale digital projection on The Quays, Greater Manchester’s waterfront on Saturday 2nd August 2014.

The centrepiece was an emotionally-charged performance by a ‘Super Choir’ of hundreds of amateur singers, who performed a specially written piece by acclaimed composer Andy Smith and conducted by renowned Choral Director, Jeff Borradaile. Choirs from across the region and individual volunteers assembled to perform the largest outdoor event of its kind this year.

The contribution played by Contra Vision was that the design agency, The Creative Place, used Contra Vision® BACKLITE™ perforated window film to transform the MediaCity buildings into a giant projection screen, with images visible from both inside and outside the building. The images led audiences through the experience of war, from young men signing up to serve in battle, to the feeling of claustrophobic damp in the trenches, the fears of the families left behind and the fear of going over the top. A blaze of fireworks transported audiences from the tranquillity of peacetime to the battlefields of the Western Front to remember the millions of military and civilian lives lost.

Artists including Creative Director, Craig Morrison, German duo Hartung Trenz and Wales-based animator Sean Vicary were invited to use projected text and carefully curated imagery to tell the story in a way which engaged people of all ages and provided a communal reflection on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One .

Media City Projection 8

Media City Projection 6

The blank canvas at The Studios, Media City, UK

The balloon that didn’t go up!

There was great excitement at Contra Vision when we heard our material, Contra Vision® BACKLITE™ translucent perforated material had been used to wrap a large balloon which would be flying over the FIFA World Cup Final in Rio last week. This meant most of the t.v. watching  world would see our material in use and it would provide real ballast (!) to our promotional activity.
However even though the material was successfully applied in America, engine certification issues meant that the balloon didn’t go up!
We look forward to seeing this flying soon over another global sporting event, suitably wrapped with Contra Vision® materials.
To whet your appetites, here’s a photo of what it looked like on the ground!
FIFA balloon