An incredible 50 rolls of vinyl, 5 500m2 of printing, ?? hours of overtime, and 24-7printing for two weeks, is a mere precis of what went into making sure all the temporary branding at the Mall of Africa was up when the centre opened in April. Initially appointed by the center’s brand communications agency Purple Plumm to produce hoarding and branding for two stores, when the doors finally opened to the public, the GRAFFITI INDOOR & OUTDOOR BRANDING division had branded 57 different shop windows.

As SA’s largest shopping mall ever built in a single phase, with 130 000m2 of retail space available, The Mall of Africa is home to over 300 shops, many of which are flagship stores. According to Graffiti National Retail Solutions Manager Richard Wood, not all these stores opened on 28 April and instead of having empty shells with scaffolding and building materials visible, his team was contracted to print and apply oversized lifestyle images on all these window frontages.

“The scope and nature of the project grew by the day and what started out as a relatively small project quickly became one of the biggest our division has undertaken within such tight timelines. For this reason our project management had to be really efficient to ensure no balls were dropped – particularly because we had shifts working through the night and throughout the weekend ahead of the opening,” says Wood.

With 30 applicators on site, three site managers, printers on standby and suppliers delivering substrates and materials on the Sunday prior to the grand opening, the entire job became an incredible example of cohesive partnerships and collaborations.

With every deadline met, some with just minutes to spare and in some cases with improvisation and creative problem solving, no window was left unclad. Instead beautifully creative lifestyle images – mostly ? x ? m in size, covered all the “offending” windows.

“With timelines being what they were, we installed some of the signage, including the two 40m x 2.4m hoarding, printed on PVC and attached to a structure we had to build in just three days, at 6am on opening day. Fortunately our team is committed and understands the meaning of the client comes first and pulled together in ways that made me exceptionally proud,” says Wood.

As the project morphed, additional responsibilities briefed in to Graffiti included producing directional and parking road signs. With 16 108 cars passing through the parking and more than 122 000 people flocking to the opening – the mall could not have done without this support. Internal media displays were also briefed in as were some fabric frames. Wood says that if it wasn’t for the company’s investment into its new state of the art EFI Vutek GS525OLXr Printer, the only one of its kind in South Africa, it would never have had the capacity and capabilities for the scope of this project.

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