Since its formation in 1917, the 1st Division has been the longest serving division in the United States Army and has seen combat in every major war this past century. To this day, the 1st Division continues to serve in peace-keeping and counter-terrorism operations around the globe. The First Division Museum at Cantigny honors the service of these brave men and women by documenting their history with their elaborate and highly detailed exhibits. With each exhibit portraying a different segment of the 1st Division’s timeline, they offer glimpses into the hardships the 1st Division faced in World War I and beyond.
Benchmark Imaging & Display is honored to have been able to assist Ravenswood Studio, a custom fabrication company that specializes in sets and exhibits, with outfitting the First Division Museum’s exhibits with new graphics. Benchmark was responsible for printing the didactic panels, museum labels, gallery photos, and flip books featured throughout the museum’s various exhibits.
Museum Labels & Didactic Panels
Museum labels and didactic panels are essential elements of any exhibit. Museum labels are crucial in identifying the items being exhibited while didactic panels tell the story of each exhibit.
Since these displays that tell of the sacrifices made by the 1st Division are viewed by hundreds of thousands of museum-goers each year, it was imperative that we produce the highest quality graphic prints possible. True museum quality printing for the text and photos could only be achieved by our Lambda printer.
These sharp images were printed on a polyester based material known as Lambda Flex. This material is significantly more durable than paper and does not tear or delaminate, ensuring a long-lasting and high-grade product. We then over-laminated each panel with a matte finish and mounted them to half-inch black sintra, a durable PVC foam board that’s great for mounting graphics.
If you visit the museum, and we hope you do, you’ll see these panels displayed prominently throughout the “First in War” exhibit either mounted directly to the wall, framed, or affixed to easels illuminated by lights. While these are on display in the museum’s permanent exhibits, their durability also makes them ideal for traveling exhibits.
Backlit Lightbox Graphics
For the darker exhibits, the museum chose to use lightbox displays. Printed on a transparent media called duratrans with the Lambda, these eye-popping illuminated graphics are vibrantly colored and easy-to-read. The duratrans transparencies are rendered on a polyester film with translucent diffusion backers to ensure clear, crisp images. These are the best backlit media prints available.
You’ll find these displays throughout both the “First in War” and “Duty First” exhibits.
Custom Flip Book
The museum’s new “Duty First” gallery occupies the 2,500 square foot space that was formerly home to their traveling exhibits. This gallery features interactive exhibits and videos of the veterans themselves sharing their stories. For this exhibit, we printed a replica “How to Fight” manual that would have been issued to soldiers of the 1st Division.
Because this book would be flipped through by numerous museum-goers, it had to be durable—much like everything else in the museum. Each page is composed of three different layers. The top and bottom layers are made of an opaque poly-coated fabric material called PhotoTex and are mounted to a middle layer of blockout vinyl. The pages are durable, but pliable for easy flipping.
The First Division Museum at Cantigny is one of the many museums we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years and we appreciate Ravenswood Studio for allowing us to assist in such a rewarding project to honor those who’ve fought to give us so much.
You can also read about how we helped the National Hellenic Museum refresh their core exhibit, “Greek Story in America.”
Didactic panels, museum labels, and gallery photos are just a few of the products we can offer museums and galleries. Benchmark is capable of producing many other sorts of signage and custom wall coverings to help bring any exhibit to life.
“See what Benchmark Imaging & Display can do for your image!”
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Thanks for all your work on this project. I appreciate your diligence to ensure successful delivery of a quality product. Brian tells me the graphic looks terrific.
Just wanted to let you know how much we absolutely love our banners! They are more beautiful than we ever imagined! We are so pleased with them. They had their debut at our Hearts of Valor Ball and they were spectacular!
We went to another company to create two banner displays. We only used them once before they fell apart. Needing the displays for an event in less than 3 business days, we received outstanding service right from the start. Their staff took the time to explain different options as well as show us examples of those options. Not only were they extremely helpful, providing regular updates via email and phone, Benchmark got the job done on time. Even with the rush, Benchmark’s pricing is very reasonable and we could not be more impressed with the quality of their work and amazing customer service. We were very happy with their efforts and we will definitely go back in the future.
Bill, I recieved the banner here in Iowa City, and I am very happy. Excellent look, and I am excited about how lightweight and easy to erect the apparatus is. I look forward to further collaboration between CTS and Benchmark in the future.
We were looking for a cost effective way to produce full color menu boards, and Benchmark had the answer. Their Flat Bed Printer delivered great color and detail, and, because the machine prints directly to the Styrene, we had no mounting or laminating expenses. We use these boards both indoors and out, and they really look sharp. To all this, add friendly service and fast turn-around, and you get a winning recipe with Benchmark.
Thanks for a great job. We go through handstands/cartwheels in the process, but you guys do great work! I like doing business with you and have recommended you to several people.
My experiences with Benchmark Imaging & Display have always been pleasant. I have used other companies in the past for my tradeshow booths, but Benchmark is now my first choice. The sales reps are extremely helpful and attentive, plus the quality of the product is excellent.
Our marketing firm suggested Benchmark. As soon as I saw the display panels, I could see why. The photos, even though they were blown up to a huge size, look crisp and clear; the colors are beautiful. Benchmark sent them quickly (they rushed to get them to us in time for an upcoming show) and the response we’ve gotten is extremely positive. I now will use only Benchmark – their quality is outstanding; their prices are reasonable..and they’re nice to work with!
I know I can rely on Benchmark to get the job done on time and on budget. It’s important for me to know that Benchmark keeps up with the latest technology and equipment to benefit my quality requirements and service needs. They are definitely my best source for graphics!
Thank you on behalf of the graphic designers at the Chicago History Museum for your integral part in bringing our graphics to life for the Abraham and Juárez exhibits. We couldn’t have done it with out you!