It's one thing to talk to a wall, but quite another to have a wall communicate to you.
Such is the case at 444 Jefferson St., at the office of Festival International de Louisiane, where its 2012 schedule speaks to you in vibrant colors and with pertinent information.
If, by chance, come April 25-29 and Festival is in full swing, and you lost your schedule or forget who's on what stage and when that might be, just saunter on over to the corner of Congress and Jefferson streets.
But there's more to a schedule smack dab on the front of attorney Tommy Guilbeau's downtown office building that he shares with Festival.
"It's exposure. It's letting people know that we are here," says Dana Baker, executive director of Festival. "We've had more people walk by, stop in and want to know more information about the festival. People have been impressed by it."
It was an opportunity that only came with the new site of Festival's office.
"We never had a storefront before," Baker says, adding the Festival's former home in Le Centre just up the street was greatly appreciated, however: "This is a fine, fine location."
Not too long ago, Baker and Diane Harris, production coordinator, were standing on the brick sidewalk in front of their office discussing ways to enhance the building.
"We were standing out here one day - we don't smoke, but we were taking a smoke break and enjoying the weather - and thought wow, wouldn't it be cool …," says Baker,
The two considered utilizing something like the screens Lowry Sign Shop did on the windows facing Congress. They also tossed around having banners hang from their building like they did when their offices were in the Le Centre building during Festival.
"Wouldn't it be cool if we could hang them from here," Baker says and they kicked it around before considering the expense and the wind and other issues that come with hanging banners.
And that in turn brought them to a banner-like wrap process some businesses use for promotion.
They contacted Lowry Sign Shops, got the specs and then talked to Festival's graphic designers Anne and Curtis Darrah of Darrah Design & Marketing.
Last Friday, the schedule in four sections were adhered to the building. And when Baker exited the building after a meeting she was struck by the work.
"I swear to you they looked like they were hand-painted," she says. "The have a little bit of a sheen to them."
That's the idea. The signs are actually vinyl and those in question are specifically made for brick.
Claire Lowry, graphic artist at Lowry Sign Shop calls the finished product a Textured Wall Wrap.
"It's heat activated," says Lowry. "It's got an adhesive so you can put it up and then you go back with a heat gun and literally take a little squeegee and go through all the textures of the brick and mortar.
Lowry says it's the heat that activates the permanent adhesive.
It took about two hours to get the job done. And when it's time to remove it, the process is repeated.
"It's a new alternative to doing stuff like this and it doesn't damage the integrity of the building," Baker says. "You don't have to repaint and stuff like that."
Baker plans to use the technique for other informational purposes and for the promotion of other Festival events.
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