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Manchester Printworks recently underwent a comprehensive transformation to the exterior signage of the building comprising of tenant and venue signs to reveal the architectural character of the Grade II listed venue.

To meet the main objective of exposing the stonework of the listed building, all signs were relocated from the middle and lower sections of the Printworks’ façade to a single band of signage running at high level to the top of the building.

Michael Crotch, Applelec’s signage sales team manager said: ‘The new location for the signage at the top of the building meant the individual signs were now more difficult to reach, to overcome this each now has its own labelled power box by Applelec on the roof of the venue where drivers are located making maintenance and problem solving more straightforward. The power enclosures can be easily accessed via a lift to the roof of the venue.’

As part of the project, for the Hard Rock Café, isGroup created the most impactful feature of the new scheme with a replica of Les Paul Gibson’s guitar, which was inspired by the brand’s iconic Las Vegas sign. The 8m wide guitar structure was first built as a shaped fabricated sign tray, with the body of the guitar featuring a bespoke graphic print that was designed exclusively for the project and features a textured wood pattern and fret board detail.

Paul Dyke, isGroup’s sales director said: ‘The guitar’s classic six strings were formed in golden light using SloanLED FlexiBRITE LED tubing from Applelec to create a neon style look. The flexibility of the architectural product enabled us to use this seamlessly to illuminate the perimeter outline of the sign to ensure the guitar is highly visible after dark.’

Sitting within the guitar’s sound hole, the Hard Rock Café logo was created in red LED illuminated built-up letters. Providing depth to the sign, the word ‘Café’ and the circle around the logo were built at 200mm while the words ‘Hard Rock’ were built at 300mm. The different letter depths produce three layers to the overall structure of the sign, adding impact at street-level.

isGroup managed the project from initial client briefs, phasing plans, technical drawings, manufacture and installation.

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