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Floored by the Possibilities

Floor Graphics Create Long-Term Profits

By Amber E. Watson

Savvy business owners, organizations, and marketing teams understand the benefits of wide format printed graphics in point of purchase, retail, commercial, special event, and trade show markets. Captivating visual presentations engage consumers. A visual display from floor to ceiling is effective from a marketing standpoint and produces greater return on investment. Floor graphics are the first step to drawing in a target audience.


They are influential in the trade show arena—guiding people around a booth and towards new products and useful for directing visitors through a public building such as a museum or library. In addition, floor graphics serve a decorative purpose for special events, and can be adhered to a stage, platform, or other large blank space.


While this application must be printed on media and with inks that withstand a significant amount of daily foot traffic, the jobs themselves are generally short term, and with the current state of the economy, these types of projects are gaining popularity.


Floor graphics are a popular application utilized by many businesses, organizations, and clubs. Communications Exhibits, Inc. (CEI) offers aqueous inkjet, direct UV, and eco-solvent for various output, including high-profile floor graphic print jobs.


A Printing Legacy

Founded in 1977, CEI specializes in trade show exhibits, permanent lobby installation, and museum displays. Capabilities include exhibit and event design, engineering, carpentry, metal fabrication, graphic design and production, and warehousing.


Chicago, IL-born trade show executive, Dick McLaughlin, founded the company in Canal Fulton, OH. CEI houses 76 employees in a 34,000 square foot space, with 180,000 square feet of warehousing.


The shop utilizes Roland DGA Corporation SOLJET Pro II V SJ-745 and SOLJET Pro II SC-540 printers to create floor graphics—a print service offered for over 15 years. “We output on MACtac Graphic Products IMAGin M Series EMR329 inkjet media, which adheres well and removes without leaving any residue,” explains Brian Walters, VP, creative solutions, CEI. “We also use the MACtac PermaFlex IP6200 Lustex 5 for the overlaminate due to its slip resistant properties, which make it easy to handle and apply.”


CEI’s floor graphics are commonly produced for applications in showrooms and trade shows to lead consumers to an event, product, or special promotion. “They provide a focal area in an exhibit that brings attention and messaging to a product,” says Walters. Most of CEI’s trade show exhibits are short term.


Local Collaboration

As a family-run business with roots in OH, CEI’s long-standing reputation and quality output positions them as experts in large format printing. Local and national companies—including American Greetings, Goodyear, and Nestlé—approach them for various print needs.


The print service provider (PSP) recently printed a large replica of the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction stage in Canton, OH. Logo color is crucial for this type of project, since the organization relies on consistent color matches for branding recognition. CEI used eco-solvent ink and MACtac media. The completed graphic was installed on the front of the stage for high visual impact and to draw the attention of the audience.


CEI also collaborated with the Cleveland Public Library to produce temporary wayfinding floor graphics within the building. Graphics designed by Karen Skunta & Company—located in downtown Cleveland, OH—were developed to create a temporary change in wayfinding while other sections of the library underwent renovation. Appearing in bright, eye-catching colors, the compass-like floor graphics guided visitors to the relocated popular and audio-video collections. UV printing on MACtac EMR329 made the graphics pop and provided the color durability to last over six months. 


Both projects were relatively simple and quick to complete. “They were printed and installed in less than five days and hand applied by CEI employees,” explains Walters. “As long as the floor is cleaned prior to installation, the graphics are easy to apply to the surface.”


Value in Short Term

PSPs such as CEI understand the long-term value in producing short-term projects such as floor graphics. Whether for a trade show hall, special event, or local public building, a floor graphic grabs the attention of the customer or audience, and consumers are likely to return in the future.


Dec2011, Digital Output

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