Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) wants to increase its visibility – and they’re doing it in a big way. About 27.5- by 33-feet big, to be exact.
When Al Kaniss, Software Engineering branch head, whose offices are in NAWCAD headquarters’ Building 2185, showed up for work early Monday, June 17, he knew nothing in advance of the large blue triangular NAWCAD logo now displayed in the windows above the building’s main entrance.
“I caught a glimpse of part of it and wondered what it was,” Kaniss said. “Then I went to see the whole thing and it was literally jaw dropping. It’s a great looking logo and the size really makes a statement. It makes me proud to work for NAWCAD.”
On June 14 and 15, a contracted two-man crew worked nearly 20 hours meticulously installing the enormous vinyl decal.
“The installation is part of an ongoing plan by Rear Adm. John Lemmon and Ms. Leslie Taylor to help build a stronger sense of identity among our workforce,” said Tim Boulay, NAWCAD corporate communications director. “And we thought Building 2185 would be a good place to start.”
The oversized logo was Boulay’s idea, and once approved, there were many questions to be answered, including just how big it could be, should it be inside or outside, and would it interfere with light entering the atrium within.
“The problem with translucent vinyl is that, without any type of white backer, it’s too translucent,” explained Josh Frauenfelder, general manager at Barefoot Graphics, the contractor who handled the project. “We had to identify a material that would act as a white backer for the printed clear decal that would still allow light to pass through.”
The result was a marriage of reverse printed clear vinyl with a white light-diffusing film applied to the logo’s printed space, with an applied adhesive that would stick to the window.
“We also chose a clear vinyl with air channels so that when installed, there’d be no trapped air creating bubbles,” Frauenfelder noted. “That was important because even though the decal is two stories tall, there are walkways behind it where employees can pass, and we wanted to make sure it looked flawless.”
Installation began at 6:30 a.m. Friday, June 14, when supplies and equipment were first carried in, but not before the pending work had been cleared well in advance through Research and Engineering Facility Manager Heather Borror, who oversaw all required safety and scheduling procedures.
“Prior to the installation, we alerted personnel by sending out building-wide emails, and we put up cones and signs out front directing personnel to other entrances where we had security guards positioned,” Borror said. “We purposely scheduled it on a CWS day to help minimize disruption, and since the work continued on Saturday, we needed to pull in support people and adjust their schedules to accompany the contractor coming on base.”
Although the logo – which is inside the building and expected to last unaltered for at least 10 years – looks like one large piece, the decal actually comprises smaller pieces tiled within the building’s windows.
“We made sure we did an edge-to-edge seam, which is common with wallpaper,” Frauenfelder said. “It allows the graphics to align with each other without overlapping, because if you overlap two translucent decals, you’ll get a dark strip and that wasn’t an option.”
There has been a lot of positive feedback regarding the logo, including from Greg Kennedy, NAWCAD Services Acquisition Team director.
“I have worked here since the inception of the NAWCAD, and at the time, there was a high degree of esprit de corps,” Kennedy noted. “This re-identification process is bringing back that same level of spirit that was here for AD plank owners like myself. Kudos to the team responsible for this significant milestone.”
NAWCAD leadership is also pleased with the new logo installation.
“As we look for ways to improve the support we provide to the fleet, this is a great visual reminder of who we are and how important our mission is,” said NAWCAD Commander Rear Adm. John Lemmon.
Other plans to further increase NAWCAD’s visibility include providing NAWCAD lanyards to new employees during orientation; overhauling the NAWCAD website for the first time since 2007; and producing high-profile videos, including a Naval Test Pilot School overview video released two weeks ago that includes a cameo from a TPS graduate who filmed her message from the International Space Station.
“We also plan to release a standardized business card template, email signature template, NAWCAD logos and a style guide for employee use,” Boulay added.