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Sky High

Building Wraps from Primary Color

By Melissa Donovan

Creating building wraps is a time-consuming process, one that takes man power. A print service provider (PSP) must be skilled in the art of file submission, design, required sizing specifications, color management, and general print know how to get the job done correctly.


Building wrap customers are generally high-profile companies, whether advertising agencies representing a buyer or the direct client. They require constant attention during all components of the print process and request jobs that must be completed quickly.


Help from Above

Primary Color, based in El Segundo, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, and Marietta, GA, specializes in building wraps. Launched in 1985, the PSP today has 247 employees working in 65,000 square feet of space in each location. Large format applications output in house include work for airports, backlits, banners, barricades, bulletins, custom fabrication, event graphics, outdoor signage, wallcoverings, vehicle wraps, and retail graphics.


23 large format printing devices are found in the shop, all are certified under the Gracol G7 standard. Flatbed work is created on the Agfa Graphics M-Press Tiger. Primary Color’s printer for building wraps is an EFI VUTEk GS5000r, which utilizes 3M Commercial Graphics UV ink.


The company began offering building wraps about eight years ago. Now they are capable of creating some of the largest wraps in the world. With international customers, Primary Color works with advertising agencies, movie studios, and corporate brands to create these large works of art.


Primary Color staff turns to FLEXcon’s 70/30 perforated window product and billboard material when it comes to building wraps. This is chosen, according to Dan Hirt, president, Primary Color, because of the necessity of fire certification in the Los Angeles, CA area—FLEXcon’s material is certified. Occasionally the company also uses Ultraflex Systems, Inc.’s UltraMesh Supreme.


Finishing plays a significant part in the building wrap process, as large panels of media need to be placed together seamlessly. Primary Color relies on a number of tools to get the job done. These include a Rosenthal Manufacturing, Inc. slitter, FIAB HF welder, Leister floor welders, and automatic grommet machines.


The PSP does have the ability to install building wraps. There are some circumstances where they will outsource the install portion of a job. “The design is either client or schedule driven. Sometimes multiple install companies are contracted together for large, time-sensitive projects,” explains Hirt. This could be for mass promotions of a new movie being rolled out over multiple cities or other heavily profiled marketing efforts placed in multiple locations.


Great Heights

Primary Color recently worked with SkyTag Las Vegas, Inc. to create building wraps for the Harmon Hotel at the Aria Resort & Casino CityWalk in Las Vegas, NV. One graphic advertises Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis show with text and multiple Elvis images. Another promotes the Aria. The opposite side of the hotel also holds a more allusive graphic in black and gold that states “Elvis is in the Building.” This graphic is 39,200 square feet.


SkyTag is a repeat customer. They previously worked with Primary Color on other building wraps around the Las Vegas, NV area, collaborating on The Mirage’s The Beatles Cirque du Soleil promotion as well as the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA.


The Harmon Hotel project, particularly the Cirque du Soleil Viva Elvis show graphic with text and images, was created to raise awareness and promote the show, held in the Aria. SkyTag believed it was the ideal corner of the building to install graphics. From job submittal to install took around seven days total. Primary Color turned to its EFI VUTEk GS5000r and FLEXcon 70/30 perforated window media for the building wrap. 19,200 square feet of media was printed on.


While this project is part of Primary Color’s standard repertoire, the installation portion of the process was challenging. The curvature of the building’s architecture posed an issue. A 20-foot stage was used to install and because of the curve it was necessary to apply the graphic quickly. Additionally, unseasonably cold weather made it difficult for the media’s adhesive to stick.


Sky High

Primary Color is an experienced PSP who has made a name for itself catering to high-profile customers internationally. While they have the capabilities to execute a building wrap from design to install, they wisely rely on partnerships—such as theirs with SkyTag. This astute business sense and awareness of its limits allows Primary Color to succeed in the building wrap space.


May2012, Digital Output

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