Off the Wall Co. Inc.
- Written by: Kelly Matlock
- Produced by: Christian Davis
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Off the Wall Co. Inc. (OTW) offers a complete, one-stop package – design, manufacturing and installation – for signage and interiors to customers in the retail and food industry. The team’s ability allows OTW to cover a range of needs from start to finish, including custom graphics, logo design, concept development, marketing strategy and brand development to space planning, interior finishes, lighting design and digital signage.
Located in Telford, Pa., with an additional millwork facility in Philadelphia, OTW got its start doing signage, lighting and interiors for supermarkets and home centers. These sectors made up the majority of the company’s work for many years before OTW began diversifying its customer base expanding into many new markets.
All in for the Business
Of course, there are tens of thousands of graphic designers, and thousands of fabricators and installers. Nonetheless, OTW brings something extra to the table. The team knows that what sets it apart in the industry is that OTW is one of only a handful of companies that does it all. “We offer the whole package,” says John Chittick, CEO and co-founder of OTW. “I wouldn’t be in the business if we didn’t do the whole ball of wax.”
Chittick left stock brokerage in the 1970s to open a business with a tangible end result that he could be proud of. “I love seeing the reality of the work,” says Chittick. “It’s incredible how much the end result mirrors the design drawings.” This consistency has contributed to OTW’s success over the last four decades.
Offering innovative solutions, OTW completes boutique high-end work and small to large jobs for retailers that range in size from 30,000 to 100,000 square feet. This range demands that OTW designs and fabricates in a cost-effective manner. “We design to a budget, not the other way around,” Chittick continues. And the company sticks to the quoted budget – without exception, guaranteed.
Inspired visual concepts start with engineering: CAD/drafting, plan development and site planning. Next, product fabrication is done using an incredible range of materials. Installation includes a variety of products, including millwork, signage, graphics and décor. As lighting design experts, OTW focuses on energy optimization, and is UL-approved and capable of dynamic fixture fabrication.
Spotlight on Signage
“We started out doing home centers and supermarkets,” Chittick explains. “We designed them and completed all the lighting and signage. It was more basic back in the day, 38 years ago. When Home Depot eliminated most of the independent home centers we turned strictly to supermarkets. Presently, we do many different types of specialty retail stores, as well as supermarkets and big box retailers.”
Balducci’s, a specialty food market established in Brooklyn in 1916, is a prime example of a specialty food industry customer. Balducci’s was a pioneer in New York and sold premium foods with a butcher, deli and seafood stand under one roof. The store became a model for specialty markets in New York. However, the grocer was bought out and left New York years ago.
“The Balducci’s project completed in 2012 was their reintroduction to the city,” explains Chittick. “It was one of our best.”
The location for Balducci’s reintroduction was of critical importance. “Our design was instrumental in securing the location,” continues Chittick. “There were four other companies gunning for the location. The owner of the building [the historic Heart Building] looked at our design and determined it was what they wanted.”
Located on the ground floor of the Hearst Building, on a prominent corner in Midtown at West 56th Street and 8th Avenue, Balducci’s Gourmet on the Go is a boutique space – 5,000 square feet in all – outfitted with classic décor, counters, lighting and signage completed by OTW.
Full-service in Food Industry
Food establishments, grocers and supermarkets with several individual departments – bakery, food court, floral, seafood, deli, produce and cheese departments – require multiple and catchy signage to direct and inform shoppers. OTW works to help drive sales and create an environment that encourages shoppers to develop a personal relationship with each supermarket.
A good example of this work, which makes up the bulk of OTW’s projects, is the job it completed for Key Foods in Whitestone, N.Y. This project entailed many things, including custom cabinetry and woodworking, kiosks, menu boards, interior lighting, LED signs, wall murals, awnings, metal and ornamental iron work, state-of-the-art computer enhanced graphics and café seating.
Whatever the project, OTW is committed to the green movement and tries when possible to manufacture in a sustainable, eco-friendly way. OTW is fully accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council and utilizes energy-efficient lighting. Furthermore, the company is careful to seamlessly coordinate with other contractors and vendors working on parallel projects at a jobsite.
It is an exciting time for OTW, and Chittick stresses that there is a great future for its employees in further career development. “We are gaining many new types of customers,” says Chittick, “We have everything we need in place now in order to execute many unique and cutting-edge programs to meet the needs of retail customers in 2014 and beyond.”
According to Chittick, all of OTW’s projects have brought him a tremendous amount of pride. “After 38 years, the work is still interesting,” he states. “I like being responsible from start to finish.”
In the end, seeing OTW drawings come to life and take up physical space in a retail environment drives Off the Wall Co. Inc. to keep creating, fabricating and installing innovative and visually inspired work.
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