The PA People brings the Australian Open’s logo to life
AUSTRALIA: The PA People was contracted by Tennis Australia to construct a 3m high 3D replication of the new Australian Open logo. The A/V consultancy has worked with Australia’s governing body for tennis on many occasions in the past.
Tennis Australia’s branding agency, Landor, had pitched a rebrand of the Australian Open for the 2017 edition, including a new logo. Part of the pitch included the idea for the physical version of the logo, which would feature a video screen on the front and be covered with LED pixels down the sides.
‘Our experience in designing bespoke mechanical solutions as part of A/V systems integration, coupled with our work around the world on large scale events, led us to believe we could create a viable and cost effective solution,’ explained managing director of The PA People Chris Dodds, who served as the lead designer on the AO logo project. ‘Our solution was based on a stainless steel space frame structure, similar to the construction of an airframe. Each of the 440 pieces of stainless steel was laser cut and folded from one of 230 separate patterns and then assembled in our workshop with a combination of bolts and rivets. The fabrication did not rely on a frame per se - rather, a combination of flat 3mm panels and lateral spokes or ribs provided the structural integrity required. We chose stainless steel to provide a durable and elegant surface for the logo over time.’
Grey tinted polycarbonate and a specially imported acrylic diffuser form the side surfaces, which were chosen to enhance the visual impact of the 1,900 triple chip LED pixels that surround the body of the structure. While server and interconnections are accessed through lockable rear hatches, the 3.9mm pitch outdoor LED screen is accessible from the front for maintenance.
Fully assembled, the screen is 3.2m high, nearly 7m long and 850mm deep, weighing 2.5 tonnes. It possesses its own media server and sound system and includes a stage.
‘We signed a contract in early October and delivered the unit in time for the Australian Open in January. It was a tight time line, but with the help of our specialist metal fabrication partners and screen supplier, we were able to deliver the package on time,’ confirmed Mr Dodds. ‘Tennis Australia arranged some exceptional content, through both Sydney-based animation agency Looper and Tennis Australia’s own media team, which brought the logo to life. Without the fantastic content the screen would have been an elegant sculpture. With the imagery, it became the focus of the entry to the Australian Open Festival in Birrarung Marr and gained a significant level of social media coverage in its own right.’
‘The PA People took a concept and brought it to life with an extraordinary feat of engineering. The AO installation became a cornerstone of our international brand roll out and it captivated our audiences with its sheer size and stunning imagery,’ said Jo Juler, head of marketing for the Australian Open. ‘The team at The PA People are to be commended for working with us on such a complex project in such a short timeframe; the evidence of its success is in the exposure the installation had during the tournament.’