Creative Environments


  • marketing strategies
  • sequential timeline
  • showroom




  • Design and Engineering
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Graphics Production
  • Carpentry
  • Interactive Production
  • Logistics & On-site Operations
  • Video Production

Project Background

Founded in 1915 by Henry Timken and his two sons, Timken Steel began its century long history in Canton, Ohio, where it still resides today and is known for the production of the cleanest, special bar quality steel in the world. To highlight this centennial accomplishment, Timken Steel approached Communication Exhibits Inc. (CEI) for help in the design and production of a timeline exhibit highlighting 100 years of American production.


Our primary challenge was to repurpose an existing area within Timken Steel’s headquarters to create a visually compelling and educational timeline display. The location was less than ideal while providing several challenges for a successful outcome. Some of the challenges included several support columns and large windows that highlighted unflattering views of a parking lot outside. The entire exhibit also needed to be completed on time to coincide with several in person events and an online campaign.


The Design team quickly embraced the surrounding architecture, incorporating all of the physical challenges of the space directly into the design. Working alongside graphics production, materials and substrates were carefully chosen to best work within the environment while our engineers determined structural and electrical requirements of the space. Meanwhile, Timken Steel provided CEI an accurate timeline of events, including old photographs and newspaper clippings for high resolution scans.


CEI’s unique solution was to create both a visually compelling and educational sequential timeline. The central support column was wrapped in a high resolution, reflective print graphic of a glowing steel ember utilizing this as a segue between historic and modern events. Monochromatic, floor to ceiling photographic images were chosen to represent each era while taking advantage of the large windows natural lighting for dramatic effect. A full size, representational I-beam was introduced as a key element running horizontally between the existing columns and providing a chronological order to the display. A suspension cable system was chosen for attaching direct print plexiglass panels and provides the opportunity for future graphic expansion.

A custom vertical monitor kiosk with a tablet interface was also developed by CEI to highlight Timken Steel’s history, including video, graphic information and specially recorded face to face interviews. The kiosk is essential for both self-exploration of the brand and to address large groups with pre-embedded video presentations.


CEI provided a solution that both highlights Timken Steel’s importance in industrial America’s history and its significance within the modern economy. The Centennial Wall has provided Timken Steel both a successful platform for the launch of their new marketing strategies as well an educational resource for years to come. Since it’s induction, the environment has been used for introducing new clients/employees to the corporation, press and product launches while also providing a unique backdrop for leadership team interviews.

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