Imagine the fear and anxiety that children may experience when undergoing serious medical testing in a sterile hospital environment, surrounded by fast-moving, loud machinery. Now, picture the calming influence that bright, colorful, immersive graphics can have on these children.
Image360 Round Rock, located in Round Rock, Texas, successfully completed such a project, which earned them the prestigious First Place award in the Alliance Franchise Brands 2022 Project of the Year contest. This competition featured projects completed by eligible sign and graphics companies in 2022 that demonstrated remarkable creativity and impact.
For this particular project, Image360 Round Rock collaborated directly with Canon Imaging to transform the walls of a space within the Dell Children’s Medical Center at Ascension Seton in Austin, Texas, using vibrant and captivating graphics. They also applied their creative touch to the newly installed Canon Imaging CRT machine inside the room. The primary objective behind this imaginative design was to alleviate the stress experienced by the young patients.
Image360 Round Rock is a small operation run by owner Gordon Stehr and his wife, Makiko. Despite having been in operation for just a decade, they excel in producing a wide range of signs and graphics.
After relocating back to Texas from Japan, where they had lived for twenty years, the couple decided to open their Image360 franchise as a means of channeling their creativity. Located near Austin and close to the central headquarters of Dell Technologies, Round Rock offers a blend of high-tech allure.
The pediatric Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin is committed to the welfare of children and their families. Within the facility, the computerized tomography (CT) room is a crucial space for medical imaging. It recently acquired a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) machine from Canon Imaging. This particular machine is predominantly used for heart patients undergoing CRT scanning to diagnose heart defects, and it necessitates dye injections for the procedure to be effective.
Despite the quicker nature of CRTs compared to MRIs, patients still need to remain completely still during the process. The medical center recognized that by creating a colorful, story-like environment within the room and around the machine, they could provide a soothing experience for young patients, making the process both safer and more efficient.
Larry Anderson, a senior account executive at Canon Medical Imaging Systems USA, introduced this project to Gordon Stehr’s attention after facilitating the sale of the CRT machine to Dell Children’s Medical Center.
The design challenge for Image360 Round Rock was to develop graphics that not only maintained consistency and brightness within the room but also conveyed a captivating narrative.
Stehr readily acknowledges his background in business and enlisted the help of freelance graphic artist Robert Howell, with whom he had collaborated on several previous projects.
Howell presented initial design concepts, including a county fair theme with a Ferris wheel and another that incorporated futuristic elements. However, it was Howell’s jungle motif with cheerful animals that resonated most with the medical center staff. “They weren’t overly specific initially,” Stehr notes. “They simply requested the use of certain animals and bright colors. From there, we developed the concept.”
Howell collaborated with Dell Children’s, providing a series of design iterations until a final design featuring a cheerful jungle theme was agreed upon. Stehr emphasizes the hospital’s commitment to selecting images and colors that would resonate with the children, acknowledging that they responded better to vibrant and happy visuals.
Wrapping the CRT machine proved challenging due to its compact size and need to harmonize with the overall motif. Despite time constraints, as the machine was already set up and in use, Image360 Round Rock successfully completed the installation within a week.
The immersive vinyl jungle experience now encompasses all four walls of the room, creating a truly captivating environment for the young patients. Additionally, a “Welcome to CT” graphic featuring baby animals graces the exterior of the room, in line with the hospital’s thematic approach for each of its rooms.
To execute this project, Image360 Round Rock used two boxes of ORACAL non-PVC Pro-Slide material with a matching overlaminate. They faced the additional challenge of wrapping a free-standing cabinet in the room, ensuring visual alignment with the wall’s scenery.
Stehr credits the staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center for their support during the vinyl installation, which involved temporarily removing and repositioning objects on the walls. This allowed for a seamless application of the graphics. Wrapping the circular surfaces of the CRT machine while ensuring its functionality posed another technical challenge, but Image360 Round Rock overcame it with expert precision.
Gordon Stehr commends the support from Canon Medical Imaging Systems and Dell Children’s Medical Center, highlighting their commitment to creating a welcoming and reassuring experience for the young patients. The success of this project is a testament to the collaborative efforts of all involved.
Stehr takes pride in the completion of this remarkable project, which stands out as the one they wanted to submit for the Project of the Year contest. The team’s seamless execution and attention to detail ensured the project’s success and, most importantly, made a positive impact on the children’s healthcare experience.
Wrapped CRT machine.
Welcome graphic outside the room.