There is a lot more to printing than the output itself. Several prepress and finishing steps are major components to a graphic’s success. Lamination is a popular form of finishing, especially for wide format output meant for long-term or outdoor use. Some form of lamination equipment is common to print service providers of all types—from quick printers and sign shops to in-house print service departments.
As an insurance business, Erie Insurance understands the importance of protection. Established in 1925, the Fortune 500 Company offers auto, home, commercial, and life insurance. The company relies on an array of in-house printing equipment to serve the needs of its headquarters and 23 branch locations across 11 states and the District of Columbia.
Erie Insurance staffs more than 4,300 employees, including a team dedicated to printing and design services for the headquarters as well as its branch offices. Services range from marketing collateral to wide format banners. Durable, high-quality graphics favorably promote the company’s brand, whether it’s in a conference room or at a trade show.
The company’s headquarters, located in Erie, PA, houses several output devices, including a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet Z5200 and a Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG SM 52. Additionally, its printing and design team operate a Xyron Inc. XM4400 wide format cold laminator. The device is able to single- or double-side laminate wide format prints that come off of the HP. The investment in a wide format laminator has enabled the company to keep more work in house.
Nancy Gloekler, creative services coordinator, strategic marketing division, Erie Insurance, says the company relies on the HP plotter daily, and often laminates outdoor jobs. “We create printed materials for numerous corporate-sponsored community events as well as an assortment of in-house promotions. Depending on the application, we determine whether or not it should be laminated.”
Although not all of its wide format graphics the team produces are laminated, the service is requested more frequently. Gloekler credits this to the enhanced output quality as well as the durability it provides.
The HP plotter was installed approximately six years ago. It is a workhorse for the company and is often used several times a day. At certain times of the year, the printing services department of Erie Insurance runs non-stop as it prepares materials for various events and promotions.
Erie Insurance sponsors and hosts a variety of community events for different charities throughout the year. The company participates and sponsors events for notable non-profits including Relay for Life and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
Last September, the company hosted its inaugural Erie Insurance Charity Challenge golf tournament. To participate, businesses were invited to contribute $2,000 and a foursome of their best players to hit the links on behalf of a charity of the sponsor’s choosing. Based on team standings, charities could earn prizes from $500 to $8,000, with every charity going home with a donation. In total, 21 nonprofit organizations benefited from the $38,000 purse generated from the first annual tournament. Erie plans to hold its second annual Charity Challenge on September 12, 2011.
The event required various signage, which was efficiently produced in-house. Each of the 18 holes was sponsored by a local business. Erie Insurance’s creative services department printed using the HP Designjet Z5200 and laminated with the Xyron. Each golf hole sign was 18x24 inches. A sturdy print was required to withstand the UV rays and wind commonly associated with golf courses.