Introducing the latest edition to the Oat Foundry shop: a Picture Flap right in our front entrance!
This installation was a long time coming and we are so excited to show off our product… in a very meta way.
Oat Foundry moved to the Frankford Arsenal in January 2019. We installed one of our original 3 row x 15 column Split Flap displays at our front door right away when we moved in. It’s perfect for greeting clients, congratulating team members, and office inside jokes.
Over time, we’ve added a few modifications to this first edition Split Flap. One visible update is custom vinyl flaps with colors and symbols. On the programming side, we connected the sign to a retro keyboard so that you can type a message directly onto the sign. No modern device required – it’s truly analog.
Our team recently painted the entryway cabinet with our brand colors. The classic black sign pops against a red background!
Picture Flap development has come a long way over the past couple of years! Our R&D team started the design process back in 2017 and now we have installations across the US. We are finally hosting tours at our office again, so it’s about time we added a permanent Picture Flap fixture to our office space. With our own sign, we can really show off some of the core features of the product.
Goals for the Design:
- Visual Timeline of Oat Foundry’s History
- Highlight Our Clients
- Demonstrate Different Art Styles
- An Eye-Catching Statement Piece
CHOOSING A SIZE
Picture Flap modules are about 1 foot x 1 foot, so it’s very straightforward when it comes to determining the overall size of your sign and the number of modules you’ll need.
Determining the size of our Picture Flap was easy once we had the placement selected. We knew we wanted it in the front entryway, so we landed on our divider wall by our open floor plan office area. A few months earlier, we applied a grass wall treatment to this divider, which also looks great with a white Split Flap!
We considered a 6 ft x 6 ft sign for this wall, but ended up going with 4 ft for the height instead. Since we wanted to keep these chairs in the same position, we removed two rows in order to make sure no one would hit their head against the sign.
Curating the Art
Now that we’ve landed on a 4 ft x 6 ft Picture Flap, we can start setting up our art with a 4×6 module layout. Our production team has a simple Adobe Illustrator template that helps align your image grid, especially if you’re creating an artboard with multiple images (more on that later!)
When selecting imagery for the sign, we had two objectives:
- Show the history of Oat Foundry
- Mix & match our images
Most of our images depict the history of Oat Foundry as a timeline. These photos are the star of the show – it’s one image across all 24 modules. We added some text in the corners for years and events but kept these aligned with the bezel of the flaps.
Picture Flap works well for displaying headlines, not long amounts of text. You could always pair a Picture Flap with a Split Flap in order to have captions next to your imagery!
Image selection was more difficult for the early days of Oat Foundry because a lot of the photos from that time period were taken on 2012-2015 cell phones. In order to print images at this scale, our printing process requires very high image resolution.
Each module (12” x 12.125”) requires at least 1920 px by 1940 px.
For Split Flap, we always have one “blank” flap in the set, used for spaces in your sentences. It’s also the default for booting up your sign to not display any text. Picture Flap doesn’t have a blank flap (unless you intentionally leave one artboard as white or black).
For our sign, we have a huge copy of the Oat Foundry logo. That particular artboard also has a QR code printed in the bottom right corner. We’ve been wanting to test out a QR code printed on our flaps for a while now. Even though the QR code image is divided across two flaps, phones can still scan it! Visit our office to give it a try.
Our  Artboards, by the numbers:
-  XL Logo
-  Artboard with Company Values
-  History of Oat Foundry hero images
-  Artboards with Sectioned images
-  Artboards with Individual Module Photos
Picture Flap art gets the most fun when you can start mixing and matching your images together. In order for this to work, it helps to have artboards with images sectioned to a certain number of modules or artboards with one image per module.
Once the art selection is finalized, this is where the magic happens. Our usual lead time for Picture Flap is about 12 weeks once that art is locked in. During this time, the art is digitally printed for the flaps. It’s not your average home printer – this is some serious equipment! Our production team builds out the modules. We created 24 modules (4 ft x 6 ft) for this particular display. The sign completes a variety of QA tests before shipping to the installation location.
Our support team has a detailed guide with step-by-step instructions to follow for Picture Flap installations. It’s fairly straightforward, so any general contractor or generally handy person can install a sign.
You’ll need a level, a power drill, a power connection, and an ethernet connection.
At a high level, there are three steps for installing a Picture Flap.
- Mount the backplanes to the wall.
The backplanes are the flat panels, essentially creating shelving for your sign and connecting each module with electronics.
- Slide the modules onto the backplanes.
The modules have little hooks on the back. These slide right into place on the backplanes.
- Put your flaps into each module.
No tools required here. These snap right in.
The Final Product
In the end, we’ve got the beautiful, eye-catching display we were hoping for.
The grass wall pairs well with the Picture Flap, as does the recessed nature of this divider.
It’s a great compliment to the rest of our lobby area decor.
It’s way cooler than a static poster or decal.
It grabs attention. It is a statement piece.
It summarizes the history of Oat Foundry.