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Uber Gets a Large-Format Makeover

From post office to office space, a digital printer completes a major branding endeavor.




This project won a 2022 Best of Wide Format Award from our sister publication, Big Picture. You can view all of the award-winning projects here.

BUILT IN 1921, the historic Old Chicago Main Post Office has undergone several transformations overlooking the Chicago Loop. With the rise of the mail-order industry, the Classical-influenced Art Deco structure underwent a colossal expansion in 1932, with up to 19 million pieces of mail passing through daily in its heyday. That hustle and bustle eventually died down when the building sat vacant for nearly 20 years starting in the late ’90s, getting brief use during the filming of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” before being renovated and reopened for multi-use office and event space in 2019.

Perhaps the most drastic transformation? Environmental graphics for Uber’s 461,000-square-foot space spanning three floors created by Hanover Park, Illinois-based ER2 Image Group. Between the complexity of the ask, partner quality expectations, and supply chain and pandemic-related issues, transforming the office space was one of the most challenging projects in the shop’s history – but also one of the most beautiful spaces executed in managing director of Applied Surfaces, a division of ER2 Image Group, Jason Dillas’ career.

ER2 Image created myriad bespoke branding using the shop’s EFI Vutek h5 presses, Direct Color System 1800s UV LED tactile printer, Direct Color Systems UV 53-DTS tactile printer, CNC, Zünd routers, and laser cutter and engraver. Highlights include DreamScape wallcoverings, window films and vinyl graphics, printed wheat-paste murals, acrylic and recycled aluminum letters and logos, custom neon and backlit applications, tailored main feature wall leveraging 3Form resin material, 200-foot truck mirror feature wall with more than 3600 semi truck mirrors, Richlite ADA and wayfinding signage, low-VOC custom-painted security walkway, and 20-foot-diameter cylindrical staircase with custom neon messaging encased in a large-scale two-way mirror.

“This project, in my opinion, has pushed the environmental graphics design world forward,” says Dillas. “I’m grateful we were able to give this beautiful building its voice back. It has a lot to say.”

Tools and Supplies: EFI Vutek h5 UV LED hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll printers, Direct Color System 1800s UV LED tactile printer, Direct Color Systems UV53-DTS tactile printer, DreamScape Satara Pearl and Terralon Smooth digital wallcoverings, 3M Scotchcal 7725SE Dusted Crystal Graphic Film, 3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ160 window films, Lintec Window Film, HP Poster Paper (wheat paste), 3Form Chromas resin panel, Richlite paper-based composite material, Zünd routers, laser cutter, and engraver


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