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Backlit Makes a Mark

White Ink Defines One PSP

By Melissa Donovan

Merging companies can be trying, but if successful, the outcome is a powerhouse sign shop that provides customers with virtually anything.


Scott Cohen, CEO, Sign Language, celebrates 28 years in the point of sale (POS) business. Back in February 2010, his company, King Kolor, merged with Sign Language, a division of Radius Media Holdings. Radius is an integrated experiential sales, marketing, and production agency. Sign Language’s sister companies, also under Radius, include NRC Broadcasting, NRC Presents, and Proxy Partners.


The Denver, CO-based print service provider (PSP) offers banners, site signage, billboards, vehicle wraps, backlit, posters, decals, POS, building murals, floor/window/wall graphics, and more.


Impactful Imaging

Sign Language primarily serves the Rocky Mountain region and Western U.S., but Cohen says they are interested in establishing a national presence. A staff of 25 fits well in a recently purchased 50,000 square foot building.


The shop houses an array of high-profile workhorses including printers from EFI, Hewlett-Packard, and Roland DGA Corporation. Much of its UV equipment derives from EFI. In July 2009, Sign Language invested in an EFI VUTEk QS2000. The printer offers six-color plus white, which allowed the PSP to become the first in its town to print white.


“It was a significant technological advancement that differentiated us. We began producing static clings and backlit immediately,” explains Cohen.


Many of Sign Language’s customers request backlit projects, whether it be for fast food menu boards or posters in the Denver theater district. These range from short term, 30 to 90 days, or long term depending on the placement of the application.


Cohen believes backlit is the answer to impactful signage. "When you have people walking through a hallway, not knowing where to go, their eyes roam back and forth looking for a sign to direct them. You have a limited opportunity to make an impact on people. Backlit capiatlizes on this."


Bright White

With the success of the QS, the shop was more than ready to add two new EFI VUTEk GS3200 printers to its lineup. These devices offer eight colors plus white, with greater speed and higher print quality. With the GS3200s there is no banding.


Sign Language is able to offer a better cost per square foot. As opposed to running an aqueous printer and using specially coated film to produce white, this is done in a single step with layering on the QS and GS.


Another difference between traditional backlit and digital is double striking or creating a day/night application. Normally graphics are oversaturated to allow for proper viewing at night, and that same element does not translate well during the day. Layering with white ink on the GS3200 eliminates oversaturation and provides a backlit plausible for a full 24 hours.


Mile High Mark

Recently, Sign Language completed backlit signage that was part of a larger advertising campaign for Beam Global. The company is the executive spirits marketing partner of Denver’s division of theaters and arenas; this includes Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver Coliseum, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and Colorado Convention Center.


2010 was the first year in a long-term partnership between Radius Media Holdings and Beam Global. Assets include on-site signage, digital signage, on-site promotions, hospitality, and online media. For this project, backlits were made to advertise Maker’s Mark whisky and Effen Vodka in the Colorado Convention Center.


Four free-standing backlit displays, two for Maker’s Mark and two for Effen Vodka, were printed on the VUTEk GS3200. Final size was 36x60 inches. It took four days to complete, from production to install.


Placed in the convention center’s main corridor, referred to as the spine of the convention center by Sign Language staff, the area generates the most traffic during trade shows and other events. “The displays are in what would be considered a person’s line of sight, whereas a non-backlit would get lost in the clutter. Most, if not all, of the signage along the corridor is not backlit so the displays stand out,” he admits.


Effortless Backlit

Producing signage without worrying about viewability during both the day and night allows for quicker turnaround time and an impressed client. Sign Language is fortunate enough to be on the forefront of the white ink revolution and capitalized on effortlessly creating backlit displays.


Oct2010, Digital Output

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