Green and White Pride

Engineering Graphics illustrates Michigan St. Univ.'s history with a mural.
MSU wall 1A.jpg

Founded in 1855 in East Lansing, MI as the Michigan Agricultural College with an enrollment 63 students, Michigan State University (MSU) has grown to a school of more than 40,000 that’s now known for its biotechnology-research program as well as its agricultural and horticultural programs.

And, of course, as a member of the Big Ten conference since the 1940s, MSU is also known for its green-and-white Spartan squads. The team has won or shared six football national championships, most recently in 1966, and two basketball championships, won in 1979 and 2000, as well as eight Final Four appearances.

To honor these glories, the MSU Federal Credit Union approached the MSU Museum about creating a mural that honors Spartan tradition. In turn, the Museum hired Engineering Graphics (EGI), Lansing, MI, to create a 10 x 60-ft. mural – installed in the credit union’s cafeteria -- that incorporates more than 200 photos that capture icons from the school’s academic and athletic history. According to EGI’s Michael Lamond, the company – which has been in business since 1967 – has a 30-year-long relationship with the institution.
“We work closely with Juan Alvarez [the MSU Museum’s curator of exhibits] throughout the project,” he said. “Some of the more surprising elements include photos from the school’s first graduating close from around 150 years ago, and snapshots of everyday campus life through the years.”

Using the original layout and design the museum’s furnished design, EGI mapped the graphics using Adobe’s Creative Suite 4. Working with the facility’s architects, the shop obtained accurate measurements of the modular wall that received the graphics. Then, EGI formulated the panel graphics, which differed in size, using Adobe InDesign.

With the design intact, EGI began material testing. Lamond said, “About one month prior to install, we printed two test panels using MACtac’s IMAGin® B-Free™ JX5929BFDMQ media and Permacolor® RAYZor™ cast, matte-finish overlaminate. We placed them in front of windows and checked for shrinkage. It passed the test; no shrinkage occurred during the month.”

EGI printed the mural on the shop’s Roland DGA Corporation AdvancedJet AJ 1000 104-in. machine with EcoXtreme inks, which Lamond said offers the durability required for the project.

After the walls were prepped with denatured alcohol, Frank Sanborn, owner of Sanborn Signcrafters (Charlotte, MI) helped EGI with the mural’s installation.

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