If you know us at all, you know it takes a lot to throw us. We just always assume we’ll figure out a way to get any custom graphic design project done…and done well. But the fact is, we never really thought about making a custom tent until Glen Hansen of Marquee Tents and Event Rentals came to us with a proposition. Glen has over 25 years in the industry and needless to say he’s extremely knowledgeable. We’ve had the opportunity to work with him on past projects so he knew where to go for help with an interesting challenge.
A Midwest Holiday Tradition
Representatives of German American Events, LLC. approached Glen about the possibility of creating a tent in the image of a German chalet for the Christkindlmarket celebration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We love any kind of party, so a little holiday research was in order. Here’s what we found out. Inspired by the original Christkindlmarket in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, this cherished tradition now brings its international flair and charm to Milwaukee, Chicago and Naperville, Illinois. Visitors to the annual event experience the delight of an authentic German festival and celebrate the season with festive shopping, delicious German and European delicacies, hand-crafted ornaments, entertainment, family fun and much more. Not to mention our favorites – hot spiced wine (Glühwein) and fine beers (looks like an ER2 road trip is in the making!),
Owner Gary Schellerer, Sr. and Creative Director Neil Huffman, along with Glen, sat down with the German American Events team to review the basic concept. Once we had a good understanding of everyone’s expectations, Neil got to work on the design.
Tent Tech 101
After a few revisions, Neil’s designs were approved and we got the green light to proceed with printing and fabrication of the materials that would form the chalet. This was our first tent, so we needed to learn the proper tent terminology, select the right hardware and establish best practices for the installation process. Glen set up a 40’ x 70’ tent frame and left us a few blank sidewalls and a gable to duplicate. Print Manager Adam Wagner was instrumental in sizing the sections and printing to the proper specs. Project Manager Scott Kellerman’s years of experience in frame & fabric came in handy in determining the best installation method and finishing techniques.
The Basic Build
We decided to use our house 18oz. blockout vinylfor the sidewalls, gables and roof. We’ve had a great deal of experience with this material and knew the print quality and durability were exactly what this project needed.
Neil wanted to maintain the chalet experience both inside and outside of the tent, so he designed the side walls to be printed double-sided with different graphics elements for the interior and exterior. To continue the Alpine theme, he incorporated clear windows with printed grilles to create the illusion of multiple glass panels. To protect against the weather, the windows would be welded to openings cut into the side wall material.
We chose Revolution Performance Fabrics for our interior ceiling panels and printed it on our d.gen Grande D5 textile printer to resemble knotty pine wood paneling.
A Touch of Germany in Wisconsin
The tent was picked up on time and installed in Milwaukee for the event. And that’s a wrap!
“A big KUDDOS for the awesome job ER2 did on this project under the gun! ”, said Glen Hansen, Senior Sales Executive, at Marquee Event Rentals. “ER2 went beyond my expectations and worked hard to make this new venture a success.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.
We. Love. A. Challenge.
…and whatever your graphics challenge, whether it’s a cozy tent or a skyscraper-sized display, please contact us and we’ll work out the solution. It’s what we do.