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To capture both the allure of yesteryear and the success of tomorrow, Warren Associates partnered with U.S. Steel in revamping its Learning Center, developing cutting-edge imagery that celebrates the steel provider as a leader of the industry while also displaying its iconic, sophisticated vision.

The renovation’s decorative elements, designed by our team here at Warren Associates, includes picturesque vinyl wall graphics, fabricated signage, and our unique touch on illuminated signage. In just one week’s time our team created the materials, swiftly and carefully, installing each unit and completing the project with Warren Associates’ trademark style and precision.

For U.S. Steel, this project was much more than just a renovation. Our goal was to capture U.S. Steel’s industrial essence, bottle it, and give the illusion of active displays —no easy feat when you’re dealing with print! The trick was keeping it simple, meaningful, and most importantly, geared towards quality and advancement.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what tied each of these unique units into one world- class theme and design style.

 

GRAPHICS

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In this cityscape wall graphic spreading across the canvas overlooking Pittsburgh the U.S. Steel Building towers over its neighboring skyscrapers; all before a steel-pressed horizon cut overhead. The design is simple yet indicative of U.S. Steel and its relationship to the City of Steel. Headquartered in Pittsburgh since 1970, U.S. Steel has become synonymous with the city’s identity, even going so far as sharing a similar logo with the Pittsburgh Steelers, all the while providing growth and prosperity to its many citizens throughout the decades. 

Since we’re an eco-friendly company, we used PVC-free sustainable wallpaper which uses superior alternatives instead of ink which possesses toxic chemicals. And for ultimate clarity and exactitude, the steel-inked cityscape was printed on a large format latex printer, furnishing the image with incredibly sensitive shading down to the finest detail. 

We approached the molten steel graphic in much the same way as the cityscape. Again, we printed this crisp steel-inspired image on our state-of-the-art large format latex printer and put some extra emphasis on the MOLTEN. With glowing orangish- yellow steel spilling over the greyscale image, the graphic displays how working with steel is a force to be reckoned with. 

And we tied it all together with an awe-inspiring quote from one of Pittsburgh’s greatest innovators. As the great Andrew Carnegie once said: “Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors... Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory.” 

 

WORD WALL

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Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership, Customer Focused, Teamwork, Safety, Grit — these are the tenants U.S. Steel not only identifies itself with, but these terms also serve as fundamental principles that inspire the employees who frequent the corridors everyday. It’s a reminder to strive to be the best versions of ourselves while also positively engaging our coworkers and customers, leading by virtue in order to better us all.

These inspirational key terms and phrases cover the Learning Center’s hallways with our signature vinyl wall wrap backdrop, spreading from floor to ceiling. We designed this graphic with a grey backdrop to best separate wall from words. Now, the blue and white actively pops off from the surrounding wall with a gloss vinyl and 1⁄2” thick custom painted PVC letters, giving it that extra umph! We cut the letters with our cnc router, generating slippery smooth and digitally perfected edges. And most importantly, we printed the design on our large format printer for industry-leading precision.

 

 XPRESSO SIGN

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 As part of the employee’s lounge area in the Learning Center, our designers conceived a concept of retro proportions! The Xpresso sign is fashioned from repurposed steel from U.S. Steel’s Irvin Works Plant. This is particularly significant as the integrity of the steel produced is from one of Pittsburgh’s most famous steel mills. 

For added futuristic splendor, the steel was laser cut for accuracy, so the electric blue words sizzle like a sign straight out of your favorite Sci-Fi movie. For this design, since we were working with electricity, our team designed, constructed, and painted a light 

box to power the sign. This was installed by our in-house certified electrician who expertly wired the sign into an existing light circuit for ease of use. 

 

 

CORNER GUARDS

Part of what makes each of our displays so unique is our attention to detail. At the Learning Center our designers carried out the theme of our original concepts, lacing up our steely theme into a singular conjoining space. 

Like with our Xpresso sign, we utilized U.S. Steel’s home-pressed steel from their Irvin Works Plant. The corner guards matched the steel from our signs signifying a lush congruity of the space and uniformity of materials. The guards are fashioned of bent steel at 90-degree angles, which act as accented pieces and, from a design perspective, continue the ‘steel’ motif throughout the rest of the space of the Learning Center. 

We were pleased to discover how our signs and graphics encapsulated U.S. Steel’s strong and storied personality, and its joint identity with Pittsburgh. The Learning Center now embodies the Steel City’s rich cultural heritage and decades-spanning history, while pointing to a bright and optimistic future.


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When WTAE 4 Pittsburgh was looking to brand their news studio and offices wall to wall, Warren Image Works provided the expertise and innovation to make it happen. Tune in to their newscast to see anchors and reporters broadcasting the news in front of our work!


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