Based here in the Pacific Northwest, Columbia Distributing is one of the country’s largest – and growing — beverage distributors. In an effort to modernize their business, scale appropriately for growth, and a desire to provide an up-leveled branded work environment for their employees, Columbia Distributing decided to tap into the creative forces of Tractor Design Co and Premier Press. Together, we converted the kitchen into a communal “Libation Station,” with custom wall graphics and dimensional lettering, updated wayfinding on over 30 conference rooms, and created an evergreen magnet-backed framed art wall that does double duty; it honors the family of products and recognizes employees. We also built an impressive 12-foot high art installation with more than 400 beer bottles, stood up an oversized Silicone Edge Graphics lightbox focal wall and created a postcard-perfect back-lit welcome sign for the lobby.
There were some tricky issues involved, but we know all the tricks.
When you enter the facility, you’re greeted by a curved “Wilsonville” sign mounted on a wall of reclaimed wood. It’s designed to look like a vintage “Welcome to…” postcard, with historical photos filling the letter shapes. It was already a cool idea, but we took it even further. Each letter has its own raised metal casing that holds a channel for the wiring to back-light the photos. We had to wire each letter, link them together, and then connect them all through the wood wall to the main electrical source.
The delicate font on the Libation Station signage was meant to be carved and dimensional, but that would have made an unstable structure, so we printed the fine lines in black ink over the white letters, and the illusion was complete. The text portions of the signage are made from sign foam with a rigid face, for a durable construction and a crisp, premium look. These raised portions are mounted on vinyl-laminated surfaces.
For the conference walls, we created privacy and elegance by sandwiching glass between white vinyl, each with a custom name and icon knocked out and backed by dusted crystal.
But none of that tops the tour de force in the waiting area: the bottle wall. It’s an art installation that’s a nod to the beverage distributing industry, using an expected element of their business and treating it in an unexpected way. The dimensional piece soars 12 feet high, with more than 400 beer bottles embedded at different depths, making a wave pattern that looks different from every angle as you walk by. This was a major logistics, engineering, and construction project that we built on-site. We ran steel beams from floor to ceiling to secure the MDF panels, cut precise holes for the bottles, and then glued, beaded, sanded, and custom-painted the now-seamless panel prior to installing the bottles. To protect and accommodate the other workers in the building, we built a paint tent and timed the project to minimize fumes. Whew!
All that said, you have to see it to believe it. Next time you’re in Wilsonville, be sure to stop by.