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An Attractive Tease

Magnetic Vehicle Signage

By Melissa Donovan

Wide format magnetic signage is a cost-effective way to engage customers. A quick and easy application, especially now that many flatbed devices handle printing directly onto magnetic sheeting, this type of signage is a perfect stepping stone to vehicle wraps.

Due to the flexibility of these substrates, magnets are used in advertising, retail, and restaurant markets and not just as vehicle wrap signage.

There are countless advantages to magnetic signage, for example easy installation. “No adhesives or fasteners are required for installation. Additionally, magnets are flexible and conform to most metal surfaces,” explains Joe Stout, director of marketing and product development and Bruce Wunderlich, graphic designer, Magnum Magnetics.

Innovate to Succeed
SpeedGraphics, based in Asheville, NC is one of Magnum Magnetics’ many customers. In business since 2001, the company offers a range of applications to their customers including vinyl graphics, magnetic signs, vehicle wraps, trade show displays, POP, and posters. Many of the shop’s magnetic applications involve vehicle signage. SpeedGraphics’ shop is 2,400 square feet and serves customers nationwide.

The sign shop is no stranger to vehicle applications. In the beginning of its career, SpeedGraphics developed digital artwork to customize vehicles—SlamWrap, and continues to do so to this day. Due to advancements in digital technology, they are now able to print designs on adhesive-backed vinyl while keeping costs down. “We continue to innovate in the vehicle signage field and bring new designs to market each year,” shares Michael Dickman, president, SpeedGraphics.

SpeedGraphics offers magnetic signage for a variety of reasons, including affordability, ease of installation, and removal. They favor magnetic products from Magnum Magnetics that are in the 30-mil range. The 30-mil product features a strong magnetic pull that adheres to most surfaces for an extended period of time.

Printing on Magnets
Stout and Wunderlich credit magnetics’ popularity in wide format to its versatility. The substrate can be printed onto directly using a digital flatbed printer or a print can be applied to a plain magnet as well. SpeedGraphics does not print directly onto magnetic sheeting, proving there is more than one way to create a successful magnetic graphic.

“We do not image directly to the magnetic sheeting. We print onto adhesive-backed vinyl and then install it onto the magnet,” explains Dickman.

The shop uses a Seiko I Infotech ColorPainter H-104s printer to produce magnetic signage. Prior to the purchase, the shop outsourced their work and the print provider they worked with owned a 64-inch Seiko device. Familiar with the quality of the output, SpeedGraphics pursued Seiko when the time came to purchase their own printer. “We went with the 100-inch machine because we felt comfortable wholesaling out to other shops that may not possess the capability,” he admits.

Speed is always an issue when it comes to sign creation and assembly. Quick turnaround is essential to a satisfied customer. It also factors into a shop’s ability to take on more work to generate a higher return on investment. The entire magnetic printing process, including finishing, for most 18x24-inch signs, takes about 50 minutes for SpeedGraphics.

A large part of the process entails finishing. Many of the magnetic signs that SpeedGraphics creates call for trimming with either a straightedge or a razor knife. Dickman says they typically round the corners on magnetic vehicle signage to enhance appearance and durability.

Gone Fishing
Many customers looking for magnetic vehicle signage want a short, simple message that people will be able to read and instantly understand.

SpeedGraphics offers an example of magnetic vehicle signage created for an online customer in WI. Requirements included the letters measuring one inch or larger in height and the word “fish” measuring four inches in height. Also, the customer did not want to use any other colors besides black and white, which met code requirements for the company’s vehicles. For the finishing touch, the signs were rounded with a corner rounder.

Simple Stays the Course
Magnets offer customers an alternative to the more expensive and intricate vehicle wrap. Providing a service that fulfills promotional needs on a low-budget displays a willingness to work with clients.

Sep2009, Digital Output

 

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