in the news (142)

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july 2013 | by megan whitaker

In short: a sign with a colored background with a raised graphics. The key to success is an involved process with carefull planning between the painter and artist.

Before any lettering is laid down, I make measurement and spacing decisions. 
I check with our painter to clarify which paint he intends to paint first, no sense putting any lettering down if he doesn't have paint in the queue as I have a small window of time before it is impossible to cleanly pull off the lettering. Lettering is applied after each coat of paint until the final coat and then all lettering is pulled off and topped with a gloss coat. It is here that perhaps the secondary meaning of the word intaglio is the best description - A gem with an incised design.

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june 2013 | by ben speidel | show project

One of the truly great things about working at Sea Reach is getting to install our exhibits. We encourage and make room in our busy schedules for all staff members to get out into the field to experience what we do and to see where our art exists in the world. I hadn't grasped the power of this myself until very recently.

As the general manager and a new father, I was not enthusiastic about leaving my post - my inbox is always full, there is a steady stream of calls, and a shop full of fabricators needing materials. On top of it all, for those who have raised a little one, you know that your partner needs all the help you can give. Funny how all of these reasons seemed to disappear when my boss smiled and said, "you're going."

I was sent off to Multnomah Falls to do a "simple" exhibit panel replacement. I've seen the instructions countless times on how to do the process:

Step 1.
punch and drill out the existing rivets.

Step 2.
remove rail and slide in new panel.

Step 3.
hammer in new rivets.

I didn't master Step 1 until rivet number 14. There were 15 rivets. Rivet 15? Perfectly executed! I can now describe to a client fourteen ways to fail at removing a rivet and the one way to it successfully!

When all was said and done, I'm certain this was the lesson I was to learn. Whatever frustration I experienced that day, paled in comparison to the beauty of the falls and the memories it brought back. My wife and I traveled to the falls early in our relationship and as I looked up it struck me how lucky I am both personally and professionally.

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june 2013 | by ben speidel

We are just finishing installing signs at Metro Central and South Garbage Transfer Stations. This a collaborative effort combining the talent of Metro's sign plan and designs with Traffic Safety Supply's expertise producing retro-reflective signs and Sea Reach's "can-do approach" - retrofitting existing bases, assembling impact resistant posts, fabricating parts, and installing.

Our first days on site were a bit overwhelming - the constant stream of cars, trailers, and trucks, the volume of trash being processed, and the smell of "organics," - but all taken in stride by the incredibly polite staff running this place.

At the end of the day I can happily say that Metro, Traffic Safety Supply, and Sea Reach improved the overall appearance and functionality of the sites but we had zero impact on the "organics."

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may 2013 | by peter reedijk | show project

Temperatures below freezing, snow up to our thighs, bone-chilling winds, and fifteen dark buildings greeted us as we rolled into the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge campus. Even though it was May, record low temperatures had kept the lovely site locked in a winter deep freeze. With a team of four, we were prepared for the worst, but when it hits you in the face, you wonder if maybe you should have packed one more layer of clothing.

Our next ten days would be spent installing 665 room signs, 21 building signs, 120 pedestrian directionals, and map kiosks. We would tread across the frozen landscape, peel layers of clothing as the sun warmed the air, and eat... and eat (there's something about cold weather that gives you a voracious appetite).

Installation in the bitter cold has its own challenges. Because most adhesives need room-temperature conditions to cure - and conditions at our installation sites were far from room-temperature - we had to redesign our installation method on the fly. We began by conducting a series of "cure" tests. The first were done in optimal conditions, with tools, materials, and adhesives at at least 60 degrees for eight hours before subjecting them to the outdoors. Next we tested them in less than desirable (but more realistic) conditions: materials and adhesives placed outside for six hours and then adhered and "cured" in below-freezing temperatures for another 24 hours.

The results: our caulk-based construction adhesives (which turned into solid cylindrical bricks when left outside) needed indoor temperatures to cure successfully. But specialty acrylic adhesive tapes cured outdoors, even in freezing temperatures - a pleasant surprise, and a good solution to a big challenge.

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april 2013 | by melissa boettcher

Working with our client at Franklin Creek Natural Area in Illinois, I was entranced by his vivid descriptions of his experiences walking the trail at different seasons. "Coyotes work the edges of habitats, I have seen them several times leaping out of the tall trees onto the trail for a snack." Each exhibit draws your attention to something along the path. We worked with the client to design fourteen trail stops, and in each one, the text is written in the first person as if you have a personal guide. These exhibits followed an interpretive plan developed by John Veverka.

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1 document with 4 pages

april 2013 | by peter reedijk | show project

The Paiute at Mount Charleston have been coming to this site before recorded time, and they continuing to do so. This mountain provides shelter, food, medicine and a place to reenergize. As you travel up into the mountains, the temperature and moisture change and this creates varying environments for different plant and animal communities. In a relatively short distance going uphill there is tremendous variety.

The Paiute's history is intricately woven into this landscape. To help make visitors aware of this relationship, new exhibits will celebrate the Paiute's presence on the land with a series of full size steel silhouettes. The steel sculptures are designed from historic and contemporary photos of local tribe members. After artwork is generated, full scale mockups are created and tested in the field. Each silhouette is designed with layers providing a three-dimensional affect. Fabrication involves cutting each layer out of a steel plate and attaching them with in a way that is reminiscent of old fashioned sewing patterns.

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march 2013 | by alex ogle | show project

I can finally think back on the recent, final-final, installation of fourteen small plaques at the Chambers Covered Bridge and smile at all of the trouble they caused.

It was one of those moments when we experience the reciprocal relationship between what appears to be a perfect plan and the surprising difficulty of execution. The interpretive plaques at the Chamber's Bridge installation are a stellar example demonstrating this very relationship.

Sea Reach successfully produced five exhibits with handcrafted, beautifully painted wood headers, a life-size aluminum tube train skeleton embedded between the bridge trusses and the siding, and a train play structure. All required incredible levels of detail, fabrication excellence, and installation expertise. All went according to plan.

But the simplest aspect of the job completely derailed (pardon the pun). Fourteen small plaques screwed into wood? Ughhh! We ended up with six different sets of plaques - we experienced wandering holes, delamination, expansion and contraction, colors not matching, too much wood putty, frustration, and exasperation!

We began producing twice the number of signs needed - for each new installation. Finally a winner on the fourth try!

Sigh... In the end, we all agree that we are happier with the resulting final product and we gained valuable knowledge to take to the next project. We look at each other and ask, "Wouldn't it be nice NOT to learn so much on a project?"

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february 2013 | by linda repplinger | show project

We spread out through the snowy forest, walking from one exposed patch of ground to another. Hunters and gatherers.

"You've got to see this over here!" Nancy calls. "Hold that spot!" Susan shouts back as she gathers one more handful of pinecones into her box before making her way over to Nancy. As we wander, searching for interesting patterns and colors, we see the ordinary with new eyes - orange colored puzzle pieces from ponderosa pine bark, feathery mountain mahogany seeds, silver scaled pinyon pine branches, dark loamy piles of decaying fir needles. As artists selecting paints in a palette, we fill our boxes with these treasures. We are preparing to use these materials to create artwork from nature in an exhibit for the Spring Mountains outside Las Vegas.

Back at Sea Reach, the staff gathers together to play. We hope to inspire others to let go of modern entertainment for a while and become kids playing with twigs and pinecones!

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february 2013 | by alex ogle | show project

For months, our designers have been finessing the layouts for eighty-five (85) exhibit panels. These six-foot-long exhibits will be inlaid into concrete picnic tables in the newly renovated Cathedral Rock Picnic Area in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. When the project finally reaches print pre-press (my area), the general manager and I sit down to review the timeline. I can feel my blood pressure rise. Seemingly, no one was thinking about how long it would take to get 85 exhibits through production. We put the calendar in front of us: how much time do we need to run final color tests, prepare files for printing, print, proof prints, embed prints, QC embedments, tally and organize, package for shipping, ship, receive and install - as we forecast the tasks and we quickly realize, we do not have enough time to meet our installation date. Houston, we have a problem.

We gather the business together and re-examine our process. Each person identifies a more efficient way to perform a task. All together, we feel we can improve the timeline by a couple of weeks - giving us some wiggle room and ensuring that we can meet our deadline.

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february 2013 | by nicole adsit

Nestled along Highway 12 in the Dixie National Forest, Utah, Red Canyon is exactly that: red!. Huge red rock formations thrust from the ground creating a vibrant and dynamic landscape. Within Red Canyon visitors can mountain bike gravel trails, navigate the canyons on horseback, speed past scenery on OHVs, hike the ridges on foot, or seek solitude in a dispersed campsite. Sea Reach is creating a set of exhibits at the Red Canyon Visitor Center to help users navigate the area specific to the recreation of their choice.

With all the recreation available to visitors it was necessary for us to establish a visual hierarchy within each exhibit. Visual hierarchy refers to the organization of information through color, font size, and composition. We found it very important to incorporate a structured composition on each exhibit so that visitors would know where to find pertinent information, such as map, trail description and elevation graphs. A project like this is beyond exhibit design, it is Information Architecture.

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