Building Wrap with Colorful Film

The Challenge

As part of an ongoing brand campaign, global science company 3M turned to their long-term printing partner, The Vomela Companies, to wrap their iconic headquarters building in St. Paul, Minnesota. The project was a part of 3M’s multi-year company campaign called the “Wonder” campaign, a global effort that demonstrates the variety of ways 3M Science impacts day-to-day life and showcases the culture of curiosity that is innate within 3M. The building wrap was designed to inspire people everywhere to examine the world around them and see that curiosity can lead to great discoveries.

As the largest single graphic that Vomela’s St. Paul location has printed to-date, the 3M building wrap presented a big opportunity as well as some unique considerations. The color gradation of the graphic, along with both opaque and tinted glass windows, created interesting challenges for the teams to problem solve. Additionally, the 20,000-square-feet of vinyl graphic needed to withstand the summer heat and Minnesota’s icy winter temperatures during its nearly one year required life span on the building.

The Solution

Creating a graphic of this size (nearly 1,000 total sections) and complexity required the best products available, and there’s no client who understands vinyl better than 3M. We collaborated
with their material experts to determine the best substrates and laminates for the job. The graphic required 100 hours of printing time on an HP Latex 3600 printer, plus laminating, cutting, boxing, and shipping the finished product.

To create a seamless color fade on a variety of surfaces, Vomela color matched with sections of the building to create a continuous gradation that disappears into the building. We wrapped
windows with perforated films to allow for natural light to still get through and to prevent obstructed views from the inside. Using
a swing stage, typically used for window cleaning, three shifts of experienced installers worked around the clock to complete the job in just four days.

The Result

3M successfully connected with both employees and the community to showcase the power of curiosity, passion and purpose. Vomela’s partnership with 3M has spanned more than half a century, and this project has been an excellent example of best-in-class application of 3M Science. By combining 3M products with Vomela’s expertise in printing and installation, Vomela was able to bring the design concepts to life in unique and inspiring ways.