By Digital Output Staff
Print service providers (PSPs) invested in wraps of all kinds from vehicle to floor are in a sweet spot when it comes to today’s marketing trends. Brand owners want to stand out from the crowd and innovative wraps using the correct combination of materials—hardware and media—do just that.
Above: Palmer Signs completed a wrap for Raptor Blasting Systems using media from 3M and a printer from HP. A total of 325 square feet of media was printed for this job.
A Week to a Day
Palmer Signs Inc. of San Jose, CA started out in the 400 square foot garage of Tony Palmer, president, Palmer Signs. Working with his brother, Palmer offered CAD cut vinyl and banners to a customer base within a ten mile area. Nearly 30 years later the business operates out of a 10,000 square foot facility with 16 employees serving customers located in all 50 U.S. states as well as Canada.
Expanding beyond its original services, Palmer Signs now offers vehicle, floor, and wall wraps; retail storefront graphics; trade show assets; signs; promotional products; brand and logo design; print and collateral; and screenprinted and embroidered apparel. In 2017, it added to its already impressive list with marketing services including social media, website development, advertising, and marketing strategy.
The PSP transitioned from CAD vinyl and banners to vehicle wraps in 2000. Several of its customers requested NASCAR graphics and the move to vehicle wraps seemed like a natural transition. “There was a bit of a learning curve, lots of trial and error. I think for the first year or so we made a lot of mistakes. I remember wrapping an H2 Hummer and it taking a week—now it takes a day,” admits Palmer.
Palmer Signs completes work for a range of clients—local to high-profile nationwide accounts. To reach them the company markets its wrapping capabilities in two ways. The first, each wrap completed incorporates the Palmer Signs logo. Palmer compares this to when an artist signs a painting. The second method involves social media, with the PSP’s marketing department creating high-end photos and videos of each project and promoting them on the various social channels.
Pushing to the Extreme
One of Palmer Signs’ most recent jobs was for a new client, Rick Hayes of Raptor Blasting Systems—an abrasive blasting equipment manufacturer. The company’s logo includes a dinosaur claw, and part of Hayes’ marketing involves providing stickers of that logo. “He realized that if he was receiving feedback on the small stickers, incorporating the look into a full vehicle wrap would bring more awareness,” explains Palmer.
Hayes provided the dinosaur claw image and chose the font style. Working with Justin Lee, designer, Palmer Signs, the goal was to make the claw appear to be tearing its way out of the vehicle. Lee took it a step further with a nod to the blasting industry and designed the graphic so the claw appears to tear through raw metal. On board with the design, Hayes suggested that the image also include reptile skin.
Once the design was finalized, production began. The graphic was RIPped with SA International Flexi software and printed on a 64-inch printer from HP Inc., the HP Latex 570. According to Palmer, the project benefited from the HP technology thanks to the vibrancy of the latex inks. Both the claw element and the reptile skin feature gained in advantages. “Getting the vibrant skin texture just right pushed the theme of this vehicle over the edge,” he adds.
Media was from 3M Commercial Solutions—3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3 and 3M Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8518. Palmer prefers media from 3M for its clean installation and ease of use.
A challenge associated with any vehicle wrap involves designing with a vehicle in mind. “For the Raptor Blasting Systems wrap, leaving the installer with extra material around the reptile skin graphic element made the job much easier,” shares Palmer.
The job took a little over a week to complete from submittal to install. “The materials and printers are so good that digital photos do not capture the amazing clarity and detail of the print,” explains Palmer.
On a Different Level
The team at Palmer Signs continues to leverage its expertise by working with standout, unique graphic materials like those from 3M. Its recent depiction of a reptile’s skin texture for Raptor Blasting Systems is an excellent example.
Sep2019, Digital Output