Anglepoise at the Design Museum

by Simon McClelland Morris
Galleries, Window, Design, Creativity, Vinyl

The story of a simple installation

Not all jobs are complicated. Some are simple, yet elegant. Refined even. Much like the 90 Mini Mini Table Lamp, we advertised for Anglepoise at London's Design Museum.

But even the simple needs care and attention. We take our time cutting the artwork from the vinyl. We take care of weeding the design from the vinyl sheet. And we install the final decals with the due attention they deserves. There's no point taking all that time and care if we fall at the final hurdle and fit the graphics wonky or with bubbles or creases. All our installers are experienced, having prepared and worked on myriad different types of installations during their careers. It's a skilled profession for sure.

A decal is simply when letters and shapes are cut from pre-coloured adhesive vinyl. It's much like using sheets of coloured paper, except that it comes on a roll up to 50m long and has a sticky reverse. The adhesive allows us to install the produced designs onto glass or other surfaces.

The vinyl is available in a wide range of colours including some metallics and fluorescents. We can reproduce any shape or pattern you require in theory. The material is cut to shape using a plotter which follows the vector path, supplied to us in .ai or .eps format. This means the finish is also clean and sharp - great for geometric designs and text like we have here for the Anglepoise job.

After cutting the design we then remove the parts of the vinyl not needed, called weeding. Lastly, the decal is applicated. This is when a sheet of film is applied to the vinyl, holding it in place for installation. Once stuck to the surface, the application film is removed, and presto – you have a vinyl decal for all the world to see.

On site the essential kit for an installer consists of a sharp blade, tape measure, water spray, vinyl applicator, masking tape, ladder, spirit level, patience and attention to detail. Anglepoise have worked with The Graphical Tree for quite a while now, and in all likelihood, because they trust us to produce and install graphics as well crafted as their own products. And fitting at the Design Museum, frequented by visitors of a keen eye for detail, means the job needs to be perfect.

An installer will often spend as much time measuring the windows to fit the graphics in the correct placement, and ensuring they are straight with a spirit level, as they will applying the decals to the glass. The last part of the job is removing the application film once all the elements of the graphic are in place in their final location. This needs to be done slowly and steadily to ensure no pieces of vinyl remain on the film, rather than in-situ.

Stepping back and seeing the creative take shape before your eyes is one of the most rewarding parts of our job. It's a pleasure to be on site and see the finished article, as we know that we're the final piece to an often long chain of events from the start of an idea through to the final application.

So of course, let us know if we can help produce your vinyl decals ready for the big reveal – poise, patience and all. You can contact us here ~