Sintra PVC Board Helps Create Historical Displays with Staying Power

The Richmond, Virginia-based International Mission Board (IMB), an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, was formed in 1845 as the Foreign Mission Board and today serves virtually every country in the world. The IMB’s rich history and global reach are apparent in the décor of the headquarters offices, which feature several permanent displays.

Mickey Moore, president and designer, Mickey Moore Design Associates, of Charlottesville, Virginia, designed the displays as part of a multi-year interior design update begun in 2002. PhotoWorksGroup Inc., a large format graphic solutions provider based in Charlottesville, fabricated and installed the displays, often turning to Sintra® graphic display board by 3A Composites USA as a preferred rigid substrate for graphics mounting.

Designed to reflect the IMB’s multi-century history and global outreach as well as to recognize the selfless service of its missionaries, these displays also had to hold up to heavy traffic—including close examination by the youngest of IMB visitors.

“The IMB is a tourist destination for thousands of Southern Baptists,” said Moore. “Headquarters tours are conducted on an almost-daily basis.”

One of the most popular IMB historical displays focuses on the life and missionary service of Charlotte Digges “Lottie” Moon (1840-1912), who spent 39 years living and working in China. Southern Baptists have contributed more than $3.5 billion to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, whose namesake inspired the first collection of gifts in 1888.

Children are drawn to the Lottie Moon wall display featuring a life-sized cutout of the petite four-foot-three-inch missionary mounted on 6mm black Sintra graphic display board. While the only existing photos of Moon were headshots, Moore and PhotoWorksGroup were able to create a full-body image by combining Moon’s headshot with the body of a period-costumed model.

An Océ LightJet 430 photo laser imager was used to print the combined image onto a textured thermal laminate that was mounted to the Sintra PVC board. The image was contour cut with a jigsaw and attached to the full wall display with an aggressive foam tape.

The Lottie Moon display also features several historical photographs and letters mounted on 3mm black Sintra positioned above a historical timeline. This timeline is mounted to a 12-inch-by-96.5-inch curved shelf fabricated from 3/4-inch plywood. The historical timeline image was mounted to 3mm black Sintra, which was cold-formed to accommodate the shelf’s radius.

(Note: Sintra is a lightweight-yet-rigid expanded PVC material. Durable Sintra is easy to fabricate with wood or foam board techniques. It cuts cleanly, creating smooth edges; and it can be direct printed and accept vinyl graphics. Sintra fabricates easily without special tools and can be formed and laminated to other materials. )

Sintra LottieMoon Timeline Two“This display is positioned in a reception area that leads to a dining hall, so the curved shelf was designed to functionally dissuade individuals from putting food on it,” said Moore. “The wood, Sintra and photo images worked well together. I’m personally very proud of this exhibit. The IMB is also pleased. It’s held up really well.”

PhotoWorksGroup utilized similar fabrication techniques with 3mm black Sintra to create a 16-inch-by-228-inch IMB historical timeline as a curved window-ledge display. Above it, a window header was installed with the message: “International Mission Board: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” The window header was printed in a fashion similar to exterior graphics with a full-solvent Mimaki JV3 Series inkjet printer on vinyl and adhered with adhesive to 3mm black Sintra.

Additionally Sintra was utilized in a security wall-mounted memorial triptych featuring three 36-inch-by-48-inch plywood panels laminated with fabric so that memorial missionary nametags could be attached with fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. A photographic image was spread across the three panels, with each 12-inch-by-44-inch image mounted on 3mm black Sintra.

“We rely on Sintra for a lot of interior displays because it’s versatile and dependable,” said Geoff Kilmer, president, PhotoWorksGroup. “You can form a radius with it as well as put it in frames. We’re confident it will hold up. We appreciate how easy it is to contour-cut Sintra with either a jigsaw or CNC router. It’s lightweight and durable. This material is consistent in its surface characteristics.”

PhotoWorksGroup turned to Sintra for a unique display designed by Moore to update the IMB’s Office of Overseas Operations’ waiting area. A series of fourteen four-foot-by-six-foot photo images representing the peoples and geographic regions served by the IMB throughout the world were designed to appear to “float” in the waiting area.

AAA Lottie Moon Waiting LobbyThe waiting room graphics were printed with an Océ LightJet 430 photo laser imager on thermally activated textured vinyl, then mounted back to back on 6mm black Sintra. The Sintra boards were cut to four-foot-by-six-foot sheets with a panel saw to produce standard straight edges. Some panels were laminated on the back side with Frontrunner fabric. These panels were suspended with a Nimlok stainless-steel tension wire system, which was fastened above the drop ceiling to the structural steel and directly to the concrete floor.

“PhotoWorksGroup is a fabulous partner,” said Moore. “They did a great job with this display. They met every installation challenge I threw at them. I like to try something new in every exhibit I design.”

Added Kilmer, “We install everything we produce. We’re very particular about the materials we utilize in an exhibit because we have to stand behind our work.”

The first of Moore’s IMB display designs was installed in 2002 and the latest in 2007. “These displays have been up for a number of years,” said Kilmer. “With interior applications, you can’t go wrong with Sintra.. We use Sintra on a regular basis for permanent displays. The lifetime of these IMB displays is permanent.

“We’re grateful to have played a part in building a body of work through the years to honor this client’s heritage. These displays have staying power.”

For more information about Sintra PVC board, contact 3A Composites USA by calling 800/626-3365, emailing info.usa@3AComposites.com, or visiting www.GraphicDisplay.com.


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