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Covering Every Angle

BIG INK Gets the Message Across

By Melissa Donovan

Point of purchase (POP) displays express a brand’s message. Large, colorful, and even interactive signage is essential to grabbing a customer’s attention. Sometimes combining several POP applications to sell a product is one of the best ways to inundate a viewer. Floor graphics, ceiling signs, and banner displays catch a consumer from all angles, generating a positive experience.

Partnering with Clients
30 percent of BIG INK Display Graphics’ business is large format POP. The Eagan, MN-based shop opened in 1987. Created under a different name, it originally operated as multiple storefronts aimed at the commercial sign market.

Tom Trutna purchased the company in 1999, renamed it BIG INK, and moved into the wide format print segment. “I come from a marketing, promotions, and advertising background. With this knowledge I developed BIG INK as a business partner for clients, not a graphics vendor,” explains Trutna, president, BIG INK. This philosophy encourages customers to approach the shop with the confidence that final projects reflect original ideas.

The 12,000 square foot shop staffs 20 employees and serves the upper Midwest. However, BIG INK does ship nationally to some clients.

Brand Repetition
BIG INK creates POP for retailers in many industries. “These customers choose POP because it allows them to communicate with the audience easily, effectively, and inexpensively,” explains Trutna.

The shop recently created multiple POP applications for new customer Nutrena. The animal feed and supplement company manufactures nutritional products for horses, livestock, and pets. Referred to as store-within-a-store kits, Nutrena’s POP displays are used in farm and fleet stores throughout the upper Midwest.

Nutrena’s initial goal was to establish its brand with POP. They also requested that the applications last at minimum of a year. Products include floor graphics, over aisle headers, ceiling danglers, and aisle invaders. Aisle invaders—a common term in the retail industry—are half-oval pieces that attach to shelving and stick out into a store aisle.

Creating a brand is a labor intensive process. Color and artwork is only a portion of the equation. Repetition is key to ensuring consumers remember a product. Many vendors place promotional material throughout stores to peak interest. The multiple applications used in the Nutrena project is one example.

Each kit takes approximately two hours to print and cut. Every application is printed on an OcŽ North America Arizona 250 GT flatbed printer and digitally cut using a ZŸnd cutter. Floor graphics are made with 3M Graphics Center vinyl and overlaminate. Graphics for the over aisle headers are printed directly onto foam board and digitally cut and mounted to a custom aluminum frame. Both the ceiling danglers and aisle invaders are printed directly onto board, double-sided, and then digitally cut.

Varying Locations
At press time the project was in the process of rolling out to over 250 farm and fleet stores. The actual timeline from design to creation was six months.

The art and size of each application varies. Floor graphics remain the same, but differ by size depending on store layout. There are eight different aisle invaders and ceiling danglers that represent eight types of animal feed, depending on a store’s inventory.

Initial store set-ups are underway and BIG INK personnel are involved to work out any difficulties that arise during the process. In the future, each farm and fleet store will be responsible for installation.

One of the first store set-ups involved both Nutrena and BIG INK. Prior to building an over aisle header, part of the team took measurements of an aisle. Then measured the next aisle over as well. The second aisle was a different size. The team realized they needed to create an adjustable display frame, the result was an conformable pole spanning over an aisle. It enables in-store modifications, eliminating unnecessary trips to BIG INK’s facility.

Unified Identity
Trutna credits the comprehensive nature of the project to the client’s positive response. The concept of creating POP kits is certainly not new. Grouping several applications together and using similar graphics presents a unified message to the consumer.

Multiple displays from the floor to the ceiling allow Nutrena to convey a positive branding message and maintain an identity in the animal feed and supplement market. BIG INK’s involvement as a partner is integral to this process.

Jun2009, Digital Output

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