By Melissa Donovan
Part 1 of 2
Every August we run our annual Application of the Year awards and are inundated with some of the most unique and exciting applications from top print service providers (PSPs) in the industry. After over 20 entries and a lot of voting, we are proud to announce the 2017 winners by profiling their winning projects in this two-part series. To view the applications, pick up a copy of the August issue of Digital Output or visit the digital edition by clicking here.
Ahead of the Stampede
Our first place winner is Westwind Design Group (WWDG) based in Calgary, AB, Canada. The company began in 1979 and today operates with ten employees out of one 16,000 square foot location. It offers design and installation of everything from retail displays, wayfinding signs, vinyl wraps, and museum work to mall kiosks, show homes, traveling exhibits, and interactive elements.
The PSP’s work for the Calgary Stampede, Promotions Committee, Community Stages Group won them first place in the 2017 Application of the Year awards. A first time client, The Calgary Stampede reached out to WWDG and hired them based on its previous portfolio of work.
The Calgary Stampede requested graphics that would be easily identifiable, inspirational, and engage audiences. It hoped to showcase its involvement in the community 365 days a year with the use of a mobile sound stage. The final graphics were to be seen on all exterior sides of a trailer and incorporated into the exterior design of an open stage area backdrop.
“The goal was to create a standout piece with significant visual impact going down the road, and also create an engaging presence when the trailer was opened up as a sound stage,” says Ryan Pearse, graphic designer, WWDG.
For imagery, the graphics incorporated a modern Western theme along with The Calgary Stampede brand. In addition, it included the Calgary skyline and elements of the Canadian flag to encourage community spirit. To bring this to life, WWDG relied on Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions’ MPI 1105 cast vinyl with DOL 1360 laminate. The vinyl was printed on a Roland DGA Corporation TrueVIS VG-540 printer using Roland TrueVIS ink.
“The printer and colors looked bright and vivid, while the vinyl had a great look as far as white point and glossiness, which made the trailer shine,” explains Pearse.
In total, over 40 pieces were produced for the final wrap—enough to install media on the sides, front, back, roof, and interior of a 50-foot trailer.
According to Pearse, the only challenges of the job revolved around logistics. The trailer was located two hours away, and instead of bringing it to Calgary, an installer for WWDG traveled offsite to wrap it. It took three days to finish the install.
While the project was a first of its kind for the PSP, the experience was certainly rewarding. Thanks to high visibility of The Calgary Stampede, WWDG was chosen for two other similar design jobs.
In second place is Carisma Large Format Printing located in Brooklyn, NY. Established in 1999, the company’s founder, Mosher Gil, immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in the early 1990s. Originally, he set up a body shop business and once he decided to create the shop’s signage, he realized the potential of print and Carisma Body Shop became Carisma Large Format Printing.
In 2010, the business moved from its original location to a new facility, where it stayed until 2013. Hurricane Sandy hit and although the PSP survived four feet of water, it once again decided to move to the location it finds itself in today. The 15,000 square foot building is home to 20 professionals and a fleet of 12 printers.
Its hardware portfolio includes wide format ColorPainter devices from OKI Data Americas in addition to a Massivit 3D 1800 large format 3D printer. Carisma credits the combination of the capabilities of the 3D printer and traditional digital printers as allowing them to win jobs for such high-profile companies like Netflix, Sony Studios, Starz, and Universal.
Speaking of which, the work it recently completed for Netflix earned Carisma second place in this year’s Application of the Year awards. Marketing agency Vector Media approached the PSP in early 2017 about graphics for a bus that would promote Marvel’s Iron Fist, a new series on Netflix, around the streets of Los Angeles, CA.
In response, designs were passed back and forth illustrating a traditional wrap and specific parts of the graphic embellished with 3D printing and illumination. Once final layout was approved, Carisma got to work. It went from concept to execution—for a client across the country—in three weeks.
The graphic incorporated a 3D fist, which was created using the Massivit 1800. The process began with a 3D model of the fist and then it was printed in one day. Then the team spent time researching, developing, and perfecting the light effects—which included simulating a pulse in the veins of the fist with pulsing lights. After these pieces were approved, the company then printed the background vinyl wrap with a 74-inch ColorPainter printer on 3M Commercial Solutions media, 3M Controltac Changeable Graphic Film with Comply Adhesive 3552C.
Once the elements were completed, they were shipped to Los Angeles and Carisma’s installers soon followed. First they wrapped the bus with the printed vinyl, then the 3D fist and wrist were added. These were wrapped with a translucent 3M Scotchcal Translucent Graphic Film IJ3630 to allow light to penetrate through. LED lights were laid under the fist and hooked to a unit that controlled the sequence and speed to resemble a human pulse. Lastly, the illuminated cut acrylic title and embers were added and also covered with 3M Scotchcal Translucent Graphic Film IJ3630. The title remained illuminated at all times and embers burned with varying intensities.
Netflix was thrilled with the final result and the bus received a lot of attention throughout downtown Los Angeles. “This project is a great representation of all that the digital print world can offer. By combining standard digital 2D print with large format 3D print we offer advertisers something new—something unique and clearly something they love,” shares Fran Gidalowitz, director of marketing, Carisma.
Long Live Vehicle Wraps
Both our first and second place winners created grand projects that earned them recognition from their peers. Both involved wrapping vehicles, perhaps reaffirming the continued allure of this application. To learn more about our third and honorable mention winners read the second part in this series.
Aug2017, Digital Output