When the Office of Quality Initiatives (OQI) recently redesigned their Service Excellence Awards logo, Melanie Dow, Quality Advisor in OQI, saw an opportunity. The redesign meant the awards given out to recipients would need an update as well – why not also tweak them to be more legible in photos?
Enter the Science Technology Centre (STC).
The Science Technology Centre is a custom fabrication workshop that specializes in bringing their clients’ visions to life from conception to final product, and has been involved with designing the awards since 2002. With their successful history of collaboration, it was only natural for Melanie to call on their expertise once more. “We have a great relationship with both Graham [Beard, CAD/CAM Supervisor] and Steve [Tremblay, Mechanical Supervisor],” says Dow. “They listen and also offer advice to make sure that we get what we want. They always deliver.”
The look of the Service Excellence Awards has evolved a number of times throughout the years, from a plaque in 2002 to a metal, wood and acrylic statue in 2015. This year, Dow presented a new challenge to the STC team: to create an award that was not only visually stunning in person, but also when viewed in photographs.
With the client’s specifications in mind, the STC began brainstorming possibilities. They knew that The Print Shop, a fellow department in University Services, had recently acquired a large format printer that could offer them new ways to create unique designs. With this printer in mind, the STC reached out to The Print Shop to see what they could come up with together.
“Graham from the STC came to see us ahead of time, saying that they had an idea for a new look for the award, and they were aware of our new device,” says Tyler King, Production Coordinator at TPS. “So we got together with them and came up with the idea.”
In previous years the STC had the award logo, title, and recipient name laser etched into the acrylic with the help of Carleton’s Architecture department. This year, the large format printer’s ability to print high quality images directly onto acrylic would prove to be the perfect solution to the challenge at hand. An aerial image of Carleton’s campus would be printed on the back of the awards’ acrylic portion so the award would be visible in photos, then the logo and recipient’s name would be printed on the front to give the award a sense of depth.
With Dow’s stamp of approval on the design, the two teams went ahead with the manufacturing and printing process.
The thick acrylic plaques that make up the body of the award were first milled to size and shape at the STC. When this was finished, they passed the baton (and the plaques!) on to TPS. Using a triple-pass process, the background, award name, logo, and recipient’s name were all printed directly on the plastic.
While TPS worked on the plastic, the STC manufactured the awards’ black walnut bases as well as the waterjet cut stainless steel Carleton University logo. Once the individual elements were ready, the awards were assembled.
The finished awards were presented to deserving recipients at the Service Excellence Awards celebration luncheon on February 28, 2019. The STC’s collaborative efforts proved to be extremely successful – the finished products fulfilled each of their client’s requirements, and provided recipients with a beautiful keepsake to honour their noteworthy achievements. “The awards are beautiful and turned out very well. It was seamless!” says Dow.
The awards’ use of acrylic, metal, and wood perfectly demonstrate the multi-material capabilities that the STC has when completing custom designs. The project also serves as testament to the innovative and creative solutions that the STC regularly dream up to meet their clients’ needs. With the help of technologies like the large format printer, the STC can now offer a whole new range of services and capabilities.
Do you have a challenge or idea you’d like to bring to life? Contact STC today!