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FinishLine Signs


Metallics Race Forward


By Melissa Donovan


FinishLine Signs, located in Bakersfield, CA, ensures a high level of quality and service, thanks in part to its printers from Roland DGA Corporation. Currently, the shop houses a VersaCAMM SP-540 and VersaCAMM VS-640.  “We started in the digital printing business and continue to grow. With two printers in-house, we keep up with the growing demand for our products,” shares David Mayhew, owner, FinishLine Signs.


Established six years ago, the one-man-owned shop operates in 1,200 square feet of space. Mayhew admits FinishLine Signs services clients as far away as NC, but mainly focuses on the Western U.S. A full-service sign and print shop, they specialize in racing graphics for cars and trailers.


A passion for racing and actual competition experience in NASCAR prepared Mayhew for the transition into digitally printing vehicle wraps. He was introduced to Roland and its printers by Ordway Sign Supply, Inc., based in Van Nuys, CA. Initially, he decided on the VersaCAMM SP-540 for the convenience of an all-in-one printer/cutter.


When the VersaCAMM VS-640 printer/cutter debuted earlier this year, it coincided with Mayhew’s timeline to expand his equipment base. “It was just about time for another printer to keep up with demand and with how well VersaCAMM SP-540 operates, it was a no brainer to purchase another,” he adds.


Each printer runs with Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software. In addition, the company’s ECO-SOL MAX inks run constantly in both machines. “I have had great luck and excellent colors with the Roland ink, and never thought about using another brand. The ink costs with both machines are minimal, and I wouldn’t want to take a chance with anything else,” says Mayhew.


Bring On the Bling

Besides being a bit wider than his first printer—the VS-640 is 64 inches in width, the SP-540 is 54 inches, the VS-640’s ability to print metallic as a spot color using Metallic Silver ECO-SOL MAX ink influenced Mayhew’s purchase. Metallics are eye-catching when used on any type of signage, but with FinishLine Sign’s primary service—vehicle and trailer wraps—they add a special kick. Or, a little bling to them, as Mayhew says.


Benefits aren’t strictly cosmetic, printing metallic as a spot color is a time saver. Before using the VersaCAMM VS-640, vinyl was overlaid on top of wraps to create certain effects, now the metallic is incorporated directly into the design.


To date, Mayhew has only utilized the silver feature, but knows that a number of other colors can be created, including gold, bronze, and more when combining Metallic Silver ECO-SOL MAX ink with CMYK. “When I get the time I would really like to play with it and see what things we can come up with,” he explains.


Off-Road Wrap

Many of FinishLine Signs’ customers opt to add silver to projects. For example, a repeat client who used the shop to wrap a racecar also wanted to wrap a sandrail—a lightweight vehicle used for off-roading on the sand. The catch, the silver needed to match the silver flames on the client’s previously wrapped car. Mayhew says this was only possible with the ECO-SOL MAX metallic ink option on the VersaCAMM VS-640.


Printed on Arlon, Inc.’s DPF 6000XRP cast film, it took about eight hours from design to install. Mayhew installed the wrap himself. He admits that they don’t do a lot of sandrails, so it was a unique project. Wrapping around the rear curve and keeping everything lined up was challenging, but something he was able to overcome.


The client was pleased with the final product, especially how bright and shiny it appeared thanks to the metallic ink.


Promote and Drive

Mayhew’s FinishLine Signs offers niche services, fully supported by Roland’s printers, RIP software, and inks. With the addition of the VersaCAMM VS-640, vehicle and trailer wraps created in the shop are only going to get flashier—attracting customers for miles.


 As any experienced vehicle wrap provider knows, these types of applications promote skills and drive customers to your door. FinishLine Signs continues to heighten its presence in the market by investing in the newest technologies, which play a great part in their current success.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Sep2010, Digital OutputDOFLS910

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