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From the Ground Up

Floor Graphics Capitalize on a Unique Medium

By Cassandra Carnes

Advertising and promotion is often about generating attention and leaving a lasting impression. The utilization of wide format graphics enables marketers to go big. Advances in hardware, software, media, and inks allow for customization beyond banners and signs. Vehicle graphics, wallscapes, and building wraps are all excellent examples of unique canvases for wide format advertising. More often, print providers add floor graphics to the mix, providing a well rounded, winning combination for branding and promotional signage.

 

Joyce Csanady, owner, Signs By Tomorrow (SBT) of Morton, PA, is no stranger to seeking out new opportunities. She ventured into the graphic arts after leaving a corporate world beset with shutdowns and layoffs.

 

She enlisted the help of FranNet, an organization that provides education and support to individuals interested in self employment. The firm helped match her background and skills to available opportunities. After a thorough evaluation Csanady opened a SBT franchise, which is celebrating 12 years in operation.

 

SBT franchisees are composed of a diverse group of business professionals. Most come with a background of one or several management careers before becoming SBT entrepreneurs. All undergo a rigorous training program and thorough screening before entering the SBT retailer family.

 

Csanady and her team of three additional employees operate a full-service SBT sign shop, producing everything from banners and yard signs to vehicle graphics, storefront signage, business cards, and rubber stamps. They also utilize the SBT vendor system to outsource projects not completed in house, such as carved and ADA signs.

 

The shop currently operates a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet L25500 printer for wide format jobs. It is designed to produce a variety of outdoor and indoor large format applications. Featuring HP Latex Printing Technologies, it offers the shop a durable, eco-friendly printing solution.

Additionally, the shop operates an EDGE from Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. (GSP). For finishing, SBT Morton relies on a Daige, Inc. laminator and 15- and 30-inch GSP enVision plotters.

 

Look to the Floor

SBT Morton’s equipment list, combined with a talented design, production, and sales team, offer endless capabilities. They continually look for new and innovative products to attract new clients and introduce to a strong customer base.

 

Csanady saw an opportunity to use MACtac Graphic Products’ StreetRAP vinyl film to generate buzz outside of the store. The shop’s designer and production manager decided to use the application as part of a multi-media display on the sidewalk. It consisted of a paint can that appears to be spilling its contents. The vinyl was cut into pieces that resembled paint-covered footprints leading to the store’s doorway.

 

StreetRAP, a 3.4-mil vinyl film, features an aggressive, high-tack adhesive designed for short-term application to unsealed, indoor, and outdoor pedestrian concrete, asphalt, or cinder block surfaces. The graphics used in the SBT project were overlaminated with MACtac PERMACOLOR PF6300.

 

Footprint and paint spill images were imaged onto the vinyl using a Mimaki USA, Inc. JV3 printer with Mimaki solvent inks. The shop has since replaced the Mimaki with the HP Designjet L25500, but still has the capability to produce floor graphics.

 

The display remained outside of the store for about a month. It was taken in every night and put out again in the morning. Csanady notes that exposure to elements was not a problem, but vandals eventually destroyed the display. “We had many customers comment on how good it looked as they came into the store and reached the final footprint,” says Csanady.

 

Adding floor graphics to the shop’s service offerings was ideal, since it did not take much of an investment or require significant workflow changes. The shop was able to use the same design and production processes to create the footprint and paint spill graphics, print on the wide format device, cut, and install. “The install was very easy. It is adhesive backed, so it goes down on the sidewalk similar to a sticker,” explains Csanady.


Looking Forward

In the case of the spilled can display, SBT Morton tested new technologies while attracting attention to their shop. The company is actively pursuing new floor graphics opportunities. Csanady sees a big opportunity for floor graphics within retail environments such as local malls and other venues. “There’s definitely an outlet for floor graphics, and we’re out to find it,” she concludes.

Dec2010, Digital Output

 
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