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A Touch of ER2 Magic Transforms the Halls at the University of Chicago Medical Center

It’s no secret that we love a good challenge. So, when a prestigious Chicago icon such as the University of Chicago Medical Center came to us with a project that called for some technical innovation, we jumped at the chance.

The first part was a piece of cake. UC wanted a custom colorful wall mural with a clear acrylic panel on which awards would be hung. The twist came when we were told that they wanted to be able to change out the plaques at a moment’s notice, and yet hide the mechanisms so the plaques look permanent. Challenge accepted. Our good friends at Studio/lab in Chicago created the conceptual design and called on us to provide solutions on materials and functionality.

The Team

Alan Schellerer and Michelle Weber led the project, assisted by Scott Studt, Gabi Stec-Bogunia and Neil Huffman in the Hanover Park shop. Gabi helped with much of the application and project management. Neil was the designer who did all the pre-press work. Scott was the person who came up with a method of making the plaques changeable…using magnets!

Installation was handled by our long-time union partners, B5 Installations.

The Components

The project required 800 square feet of wall covering, 14 large hanging acrylics and 90 small plaques. We selected Dreamscapes Terralon Smooth finish, with clear vinyl overlays in specific locations, for the wallpaper. The large acrylics were cleat mounted to the wall with a printed white fade on the back surface. Both dimensional and vinyl lettering were mounted to the front. The changeable awards and photos of awardees were printed on clear PETG and sandwiched between the plaques and background.

Now for the magic part –the fast change plaques. Scott’s solution was to attach magnets to the back of the plaques. Hidden magnetics were also countersunk into the face of the acrylic. When it’s time for a change, the plaques simply “snap” into place. Genius.


R & D took nearly a month and the installation was done over 2 days. The initial reaction of everyone who saw the finished hallway was one of awe. University of Chicago Medical Center officials said that their objectives (both aesthetic and practical) were met beyond their expectations. When you look at the photos that accompany this post, we think you’ll agree.

How about you? Have a graphics display challenge that could use our magic touch? From store signage to exhibits to building-sized graphics, we have the expertise to handle any graphic project. The bigger the challenge the better. Please contact us and give our team the opportunity to make your vision come to life.

Want to see more? Watch the whole installation from start to finish in only 30 seconds.

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