Outdoor America Images (OAI) offers full-service print and digital graphics in Tampa, FL and is currently celebrating 20 years in business. The shop boasts a long line of achievements including the Tampa Bay Business Journal Manufacturing Business of the Year Award and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Blue Ribbon Award. OAI’s president currently serves on the board of the Suppliers Council for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
OAI offers customers services from concept to design, consultation to production, and installation. Indoor and outdoor applications range from a single graphic element to total facility transformations.
Digital technology increased the shop’s throughput by reducing manufacturing cycles and improving print quality. "20 years ago the industry was still hand painting; and what would take days to produce then now takes 30 minutes after design and setup is complete," explains Greg Schopmeyer, EVP, OAI.
Starting in the mid 1990s, OAI began utilizing INX Digital International ink products under the Triangle brand. Originally, the shop worked with Triangle Digital’s airbrush ink in conjunction with an EFI VUTEk 1660 printer. Today, they use VUV solvent-based pigment ink for their EFI VUTEk 5330, RHU UV-curable ink for a Durst Image Technology US LLC Rho printer, and ClearFlex matte version D310 liquid laminate—all from INX Digital.
"INX helped OAI be successful by providing a high-quality product at a competitive price, which helps us to deliver on quality while reducing our overhead. The airbrush ink we originally used worked great and the cost savings was a nice bonus," says Schopmeyer.
According to Schopmeyer, INX Digital’s customer service is excellent. OAI has never experienced a warranty issue, and when filling rush orders the ink company is always on time—INX Digital’s operations on the West Coast benefit OAI by being three hours ahead.
With a 40,000 square foot facility that holds 45 employees, OAI serves the U.S. nationwide and also works on international orders as far as Dubai. Many of the company’s customers are sports-related businesses including CBS Outdoor, the NFL, Pro Bowl, and college and professional athletic teams.
For example, in 2008 OAI worked with the University of South Florida to re-design the school’s track and field facility. According to Schopmeyer, "When the university contacted OAI, they had an older track and field facility that needed ‘new life’ to make it stand out, inspire the fans and teams, and promote school pride."
A total of 17 mesh and vinyl banners, 12 vinyl pole banners, 12 architectural signs, one window graphic, 33 bow flags, one wallscape, and 46 single face signs are now installed throughout the different areas of the venue. Locations include the field, stands, breezeways, entrance, ticket sales, concourses, concession areas, and restrooms. Most of the graphics reflected the school’s traditional green and promoted their mascot, the bull. Print and installation was completed in two weeks thanks to the shop’s VUTEk and Durst Rho printers, which both utilized INX Digital's Triangle inks—VUV and RHU, respectively.
The revamp project was inexpensive, compared to remodeling the entire facility or even knocking it down and building a new space. The process did not require making any structural changes. "Working as a one stop shop for the university’s athletics department, OAI completed the design, manufacture, and installation of the venue re-design. The job encompasses artwork, colors, placement, materials, and shapes to transform the architecture of the facility. During the design, OAI even recommended complementary paint colors and landscaping options," explains Schopmeyer.
The end result has motivated the university to conduct similar projects in other areas on the South Florida campus. The original project was completed on time and the University of South Florida debuted the new look in the Fall 2008 season. Schopmeyer says the school is ecstatic with the end result and INX Digital’s Triangle ink products helped OAI succeed in this endeavor.