A Larger-Than-Life Impact
Case Study 1.2
Gettysburg College Wows Visitors and Celebrates Student-Athletes with National Championship Display
Gettysburg College is a private, four-year liberal arts college in Gettysburg, Pa. Since its founding in 1832, the College has earned a strong academic reputation and upheld a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts. Here, students prepare for leadership through experiential learning opportunities, an extensive career network, and countless co-curricular, service, and off-campus study initiatives.
The College hosts 24 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s athletic teams, known as the Bullets. Five student-athletes and two teams have claimed the highest honor available in their playing fields with four national team titles. This is a big deal to the College and its community, but especially important as a selling point for the athletics department as they recruit new student-athletes.
The College’s AIAW Division III trophy captured by the women’s field hockey team in 1980 and the three NCAA Division III trophies awarded to the women’s lacrosse teams in 2011, 2017, and 2018 were placed in outdated cases. These drew little attention from passersby as they were away from the main line of traffic that flowed through the campus Fieldhouse and Jaeger Center athletic complexes.
In addition, the Jaeger Center housed an athletics timeline display that was too small for the space and featured very few details on the individual student-athletes who won national championships. It needed a renovation. The Gettysburg College athletics department turned to Graphcom to conceptualize, design, and install an environmental graphics display that would showcase both the national champions and their accomplishments in a modern, awe-inspiring way. The environmental graphics would be used to motivate current athletes and inspire future ones to join the Bullets teams.
The Graphcom team met with the College’s athletics department for a mind-meld of ideas. We learned the history of the athletes and their accomplishments, we heard stories of their victories, and we felt the emotion and determination behind each one. We listened to each member of the team speak of their wish list items for the display. We saw the trophies in person and imagined what it was like when the championship games concluded, and they were placed in the hands of the players.
Armed with this background knowledge, we researched and strategized unique and creative ways to showcase not just the four team trophies but also the five individual champions. We decided on just one display in one location, instead of two as they were currently. Having one impressive display in the newest and most heavily-traveled part of the athletic complex was a sure way to garner the most attention. The lobby area of the Jaeger Center was the perfect place for the display, as we had 40 feet x 12 feet of space available. Prospective student-athletes, current student-athletes, students, staff, and spectators travel through this area for all activities being held in the athletic complex.
We presented the athletics department with three design concept options: calm, creative, and courageous. Each option highlighted the individual and team title winners but employed different methods and treatments. Collaboratively, the Gettysburg College athletics staff chose the creative version because it adhered to their brand nicely and told their stories in an innovative and awe-inspiring manner that would resonate with the audience.
We installed the environmental graphics display in the summer of 2018. This dynamic display is both opaque and transparent and mounted over vinyl with modern stand-offs that tell the stories of the individual champions. Custom-made, clear acrylic boxes were mounted directly to the wall with no visible fasteners and in colors that adhere to Gettysburg College’s brand standards, and additional UV-printed rigid pieces give the history of each championship team. All pieces were applied to the wall in varying dimensions for added depth and interest.
Unique lighting draws attention to these accomplishments. Graphcom designed the display to allow for an electronic messaging system or monitor to be added at any time. When the Bullets win more championships, those stories can be easily added using similar materials and techniques. It is a cohesive and fascinating display with a mixture of environmental graphic design elements, materials, and textures.
Gettysburg College and Graphcom continue to have an ongoing, solid relationship. In addition to a range of materials from print collateral and signage to magazine publishing and more, Graphcom soon will design and install vinyl graphics on two walls parallel to the national championships display. With these additions, the Jaeger Center’s main lobby will become a cohesive, visually dynamic space that further highlights the tremendous accomplishments of the College’s student-athletes.
“I continually show people the great work you have done with our facility graphics.”
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