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Look to the Floor

Floor Graphics Increase POP Options

In a retail environment there are multiple locations suitable for advertising. Windows graphics ranging from perforated films to banners and displays lure consumers into stores. Interactive displays, standalone kiosks, and posters direct in-store traffic and increase sales by pushing products and promotional deals. Graphics hang from ceilings and are applied to walls and floors.

Floor graphics are a directional tool that lead consumers to a desired location in a fun, safe, and interactive way. Today’s media vendors provide short- or long-term products—depending on the length of a promotion—designed to withstand heavy foot traffic. Overlaminates used in conjunction with this media strengthen durability and protect against potential slips and falls. Non-skid characteristics are featured on many media products.

Value-Add Service
Oshkosh, WI-based OEC Graphics Inc., established in 1912, began as a progressive prepress company. In the mid ’90s OEC Display Group developed in response to the rapid growth in popularity of wide format printing. OEC recognized the technology’s potential as a value-added service to its existing customer base and beyond. “Our expertise in digital color and prepress gave us a quick head start in offering the highest quality to our clients,” explains John Sweeterman, sales manager, OEC.

Today OEC services all of North America, with a focus on the Midwestern U.S. In addition to its 55,000 square foot Oshkosh, WI headquarters, two 30,000 square foot facilities are also based in Chicago, IL and Appleton, WI. These three buildings hold 75, 40, and 35 employees, respectively.

80 to 90 percent of the display group division’s business consists of wide format applications, but the company also offers branding and marketing, creative design and prepress, custom information technology and programming, flexographic plate making, screenprinting, finishing, and fulfillment services.

An Open Canvas
In 2002, OEC began offering floor graphics. The advantages of using this application struck a chord with both buyers and the employees in the print facilities. “Floor graphics help make the most of high-traffic areas like lobbies and entrances, and can even lead customers to a desired location. Floors are an open canvas that definitely grab attention,” shares Sweeterman.

Lately OEC’s customers’ floor graphics requests have increased, especially for short-term applications. Due to competition between media suppliers, a reduction in the cost of materials has occurred. Sweeterman predicts that heightened awareness of floor graphics in the marketplace will spur overall growth in the future.

OEC regularly uses media from General Formulations and Ritrama Inc., based on great customer service, competitively priced products, and excellent performance. Ritrama’s 3-2899 embossed vinyl top laminate is a favorite. Mainly for short- to medium-term point of purchase applications, Sweeterman cites the product’s non-skid properties as a crucial characteristic. Not only does it protect against slips and falls, which could result in an unnecessary lawsuit, the chemical composition does not affect the clarity of the image. He also notes the media is economical and performs well.

Beverage Promotion
Common floor graphic requests received by OEC are for trade shows and special events. Not only are these graphics used as a directional tool, but also for “aesthetic value and advertisement/sponsorship opportunities,” says Sweeterman.

OEC had worked for five years with an international producer/marketer of alcoholic beverage products creating floor graphics. The applications are placed near temporary or permanent displays and are generally in use for no more than six months. Depending on the brand, production runs range from 200 to 500 finished pieces. Most of the floor graphics are within 24x36-inch dimensions.

It generally only takes three to seven days for OEC to fulfill an order for the beverage customer. Using JV5-160S and JV5-130S aqueous-based printers from Mimaki USA, Inc. or a SOLJET PRO III XJ-740 printer from Roland DGA Corporation, the applications are primarily produced on General Formulations’ media and finished with Ritrama overlaminate.

An Efficient Cycle
Years of experience allows OEC to enjoy repeat business from this beverage client in particular. “We have a great relationship based on quality, excellent customer service, and competitively priced products,” adds Sweeterman.

With the success of General Formulations’ products coupled with Ritrama’s overlaminate, the beverage company finds a durable product in OEC’s floor graphics. Additionally, ease of installation allows OEC to save time and money by avoiding going out into the field to apply the graphics. Instead, a beverage merchandising team handles installation with the help of Ritrama’s floor graphic installation instructions. This enables OEC to focus on getting the next project out the door as efficiently as possible. The timeliness allows the company to offer a competitively priced product—a win-win for everyone.  

Dec2009, Digital Output

By DO Staff

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