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Severn Makes its Mark


By Melissa Donovan


Part 3 of 3

Severn Graphics is very familiar with floor graphics, like its fellow print service providers (PSPs) profiled in the previous parts of this series they create this application for clients looking to generate traffic to certain areas of a store or event.


The company began in 1976 and has offered large format printing since the late 1980s. 30 employees fill out its 20,000 square foot facility based in Glen Burnie, MD. Major services include environmental graphics, signs, exhibits, displays, and installation.


The PSP houses both UV and solvent devices, with a majority of the floor graphics printed with solvent and almost always laminated to provide both protection and slip resistance. “We just recently started installing some projects using UV inks with new unlaminated materials, so we’ll get to see what longer term properties those have,” admits Jeff Sparhawk, president, Severn.


About five to ten percent of Severn’s customers request floor graphics. Sparhawk says clients tend to use up their budgets on areas that are at eye level, explaining the low percentage. Despite the number, he remains optimistic in his pitch of the product and the environments it’s ideally suited for.


“Floor graphics are ideal for a retail type environment, when you can place a message directly in front of a product. It’s also a perfect opportunity to direct traffic when you don’t want an obstruction in the way of a crowd of people,” he explains. An example would be a sporting arena, where a lot of viewers witness the graphic but at the same time it doesn’t block traffic.


The final location of a floor graphic determines the media type Severn will use and more importantly how long that graphic will be applied. According to Sparhawk, cost savings in short-term materials can be passed on to the client if the promotion is truly short term. They commonly use MACtac Graphic Products IMAGin StreetRap for exterior sidewalk graphics and interior applications generally require Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Solutions or 3M Commercial Graphics media.


Most of the floor graphics are printed on Mimaki USA, Inc. JV34-260.


CityVista in Washington, DC requested graphics to direct customers into a sales center, another example of floor graphics used for directional purposes. It took three days from job submittal to install for the work to be completed. MACtac IMAGin StreetRap with PermaFlex PF6315 overlaminate was used and printed on a Seiko I Infotech Inc. solvent printer because the color gamut made the graphics “pop.”


Three panels, 200x136 inches each, were created and installed on the concrete floor. “With concrete you don’t have many options that let you sleep well at night. If you make sure the surface is prepped correctly, the MACtac IMAGin StreetRap is ideal,” says Sparhawk. The install took about two hours with two people working on it. Various challenges affected the job including weather and onlookers blocking the way. However, after the job was completed, the client was “ecstatic” with the results.


Proving that floor graphics aren’t just for direction, Severn also recently created floor graphics for Cornerstone Marketing, who worked with a charter school wishing to enliven the student experience. Duck footprints we printed on the Mimaki JV34-260 with Avery Dennison MPI 2902 Glossy Gray Removable media and Neschen Americas’ Seal Print Shield overlaminate.


From job submittal to install took one week. Efficiency was an essential point in the process, which is why the company utilized the Mimaki device.


Each duck foot measured about 15 inches and was laid down individually with help of a squeegee. Three people completed the install in about six hours.


Sparhawk says the only major challenge was that the graphics had a lot of edges, so laying them down was a bit difficult—plus ensuring an all around good bond to the floor was made on each edge was important.


Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Lead and Follow.
Click here to read part two of this exclusive online series, Generating Traffic.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jul2012, Digital Output  DOFG1207

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