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Starleaton supplies Uni Contravision

Wednesday, 12 December 2018
By Jake Nelson

vision at Newcastle Uni: Starleaton

The new ContraVision HD window film supplied by Starleaton allows one directional vision without compromising on print quality, as Newcastle University discovered.

When the University of Newcastle needed to line the windows of its heritage art deco University House to hide renovation works, it could have gone for black builders’ film. Instead, the university decided on a solution that would acknowledge the heritage of the building. Local printer SWS Signage, together with Starleaton, had just what 
was needed, in ContraVision HD.

University House, formerly Nesca House, was designed by architect Emil Sodersten and built in the late 1930s. Over the past two years, the university has been carefully restoring the building both inside and out, including updating the façade with hundreds of tonnes of new sandstone and reinstalling curved windows on the ground floor.

To hide the interior refurbishment works, the university turned to SWS Signage, based in nearby Sandgate. SWS printed archival photos from the 1920s and ‘30s onto Starleaton’s new ContraVision HD window film, designed for one-way viewing. “They wanted a solution that created some privacy for them, and also made sure that the artwork displayed in the windows reflected the heritage of the building,” says Jay Miller, sales executive at SWS.

According to Miller, ContraVision HD is a step up from previous one-way signage. “One of the issues with the material we were using before was that, due to the way it was produced and the width of the holes, the image quality was not as great as customers expected it to be,” he says. “The quality and colours we can now use in the artwork are not as limited as with previous materials.”

John Buitenkamp, product manager at Starleaton, agrees that ContraVision HD is a big improvement over other one-way films, with high-end brands like Gucci preferring it to its predecessors. “Upmarket brands complain that because of the perforations, their brands are not displayed properly,” he said. “The HD film is a new design which uses more holes of a smaller diameter. This makes the image more visible, while still permitting people inside to see out.”

The university has given the result the thumbs-up, with a spokesperson telling Print21 that SWS had delivered a high-quality project, on time and on budget. “The images, reproduced and installed by SWS Signage, make a charming feature of all the ground floor windows and doors, and have received much appreciation from the community,” the spokesperson said.

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