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DeNyse Signs Creates Yuletide Spirit for The World of Coca-Cola

Sculptures reinforce corporate titan’s Christmas legacy



Coca-Cola is probably Atlanta’s most defining attribute. As much as the nearly four million residents of the “city too busy to hate” may identify with the approximately 70 streets named Peachtree (you’ve got to venture a bit from the city to find an actual peach tree these days) or Hank Aaron’s legacy – or, on a bad day, its highly congested rush-hour traffic – John Pemberton’s 1886 creation of carbonated sugar water (He sold the formula to Atlanta businessman and pharmacist Asa Candler a year later for $2,300) remains Atlanta’s most iconic civic asset. And, the World of Coca-Cola, which has stood in downtown Atlanta since 1990 and thrived at its current location since 2007, has recounted the brand’s history and the story of its global growth to approximately 10 million visitors.

Obviously, given Coca-Cola’s sterling brand and legacy, any new iteration of its branding requires exacting attention to detail. DeNyse Signs (Douglasville, GA), which has fabricated architectural, monument and building signage since 1983, was chosen to construct a series of themed ornaments to celebrate this past holiday season. The 11 decorations range from 6 to 13 ft. in diameter, with the tallest towering at 14 ft. 8 in. tall.

“My wife, Jennifer, developed the ornament concept on a smaller scale at our house,” Allen DeNyse, the company’s co-founder and president, said. “Coca-Cola representatives were here for a walk-through, and observing the miniature ornaments sparked the idea.”

The World of Coca-Cola’s team collaborated with Smyrna, GA-based X3 Creative to develop the creative content. Allen loved their work, and said their designs were “engaging and interactive.”

Had the ornaments been fabricated from metal, wood or HDU, their weight would’ve been ponderous, with installation an onerous challenge. Instead, DeNyse’s fabrication team built them from layers of expanded-polystyrene (EPS) foam, which were sliced with a hot-wire cutter and coated with a polyurea hardcoat that ensured they would remain steadfast during volatile Yuletide weather. DeNyse said his project manager, Justin Shealey, worked with the creative team for six months to ensure seamless fabrication and installation.

“Our experience has taught us a great deal about selecting the appropriate materials for a given job,” Allen said. “Had we constructed the ornaments with, say, layers of routed and epoxied HDU, they would’ve each weighed 700 to 1,200 lbs. It would’ve been impractical to create heavy foundations for temporary environmental graphics.”


After the polyurea hardcoat had cured, and the ornaments had been sanded by hand to create a paint-receptive texture, DeNyse sprayed them with Akzo Nobel’s Grip-Gard® acrylic-polyurethane paint inside one of its five paint-booths. One of the ornaments bore a custom rendition of the iconic, cheery Coca-Cola Santa Claus, which was completed by noted Georgia artist Steve Penley.

While the fabrication team worked some holiday magic, DeNyse’s installation crew managed onsite logistics. The project required a survey to ensure secure, effective placement of the ornaments, and their support-footing configurations, while guaranteeing access for the necessary equipment.

The shop carefully transported the ornaments to the World of Coca-Cola on flatbed trailers. Once onsite, installers secured the ornaments to their footing bases using an Elliott HiReach crane with a 150-ft. reach and 32-ton capacity.

After the shop’s Christmas party, DeNyse employees attended the ornaments’ unveiling and toured the World of Coca-Cola. The project was a resounding success; Coca-Cola plans to bring back the ornaments next holiday season.




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