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SWS Signage and Starleaton bring Uni past to life

Friday, 28 September 2018
By Jake Nelson

Quality: Jay Miller, SWS Signage, shows off the window films at the University of Newcastle.

SWS Signage, together with media suppliler Starleaton, has created an innovative solution to hide building works inside the University of Newcastle, printing one way films with images that reflect the heritage of building.

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,” said 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 said. “The quality and colours we can now use in the artwork aren’t as limited as with previous materials.”

ContraVision HD was used to bring the archival photos to life without compromising on image quality.

New design: John Buitenkamp, Starleaton.

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,” they said.

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.

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