British International School of Chicago

Graphics that Improve Safety and Inspire Spirit

The two campuses of British International School, a private K-12 institution, had significant capital expense and marketing funded security and beautification projects for which they sought our partnership.  The extent of the projects at each location were extensive and evolving, with a phased approach for installation to address internal funding and approval processes.

The Lincoln Park Campus entailed a refresh of the external window graphics.  Originally inspired by the school’s security consultant who recommended that the 60 window panels and nearly 2,000 square feet of glass where classrooms were exposed, be treated with a film to block outside peering eyes, SpeedPro Chicago Loop was engaged to see if there was a way to provide both privacy and impactful branding.  The school is in a highly trafficked and quickly growing area, both security and marketing are paramount objectives.   As in the initial installation, we worked with the school staff to select student artwork, which was then digitized, sized and printed on perforated vinyl to provide the protective screening as well as highly visible marketing statement to drawn in prospective new students.  The designer continued their efforts to brighten the interior with environmental graphics on both walls and floors in an effort to reinforce core values, academic partnerships, recognize students and communicate positivity to visiting parents.

Interior graphics consisted of a large professionally designed mural emphasizing the partnership with the acclaimed Juliard School, various whimsical murals for the early learning corridor, a 2-level contour cut stairwell graphic, several small murals to lift the energy in stairwell landings, two sets of floor graphics and a dimensional PVC sign treated with sparkled laminate.

The South Loop campus was also subject to similar security audit recommendations to provide privacy to their classrooms, but took a more conservative approach to the design, given their location in a more residential setting.   Covering over 4,700 square feet of exterior windows scaling two floors, accessing the second level required exceptional skill and balance given the obstruction of a large stairway below a major set of windows.  Coupled with the outside graphics, the school’s leadership sought to install three large interior murals, also touting core values and academic partnerships with Juliard and MIT.

Completing the recent building improvements, SpeedPro Chicago Loop was tapped to design a flexible room naming system at an affordable price point that would allow for simple installation without damage to surfaces, permitted easy changes that looked elegant and didn’t necessitate the help of the building custodian or engineer.  Tasked as such, we magnetized light weight aluminum plates that mounted to doors and walls with double sided adhesive and then printed magnet faces that could quickly be moved if a teacher changed room assignments or new ones printed as additional faculty came on board.

We believe that the British International School campuses 2018 initiatives are worthy of this recognition for several reasons:

  1. Complexity of digitizing children’s art files to scale and cohesively fit within window and wall limitations and the creativity of weaving them into a thoughtful design that fits the brand-able area
  2. The real world implications of providing a safe and secure school in an uncontrolled city environment – The ability to merge strict brand standards with flair that inspires student creativity – Utilization of multi-surface graphics and different materials.

The scope and complexity of this dual campus multi-faceted endeavor was nominated and won the national franchise’s Project of the Year and was prominently featured in national trade magazines.

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