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First Floor Please

Elevator Door Wraps Rise in Popularity

By Melissa Donovan


Wrapping doesn’t just apply to vehicles. Many print service providers (PSPs) adapt their design, print, and install skills to fit a range of applications. One example of an application that translates well from vehicles is elevator wraps, used to promote a product or a corporation’s branding message in a high-traffic area, such as malls, office buildings, or hospitals.


As advertising space becomes crowded in traditional mediums, many brand marketers look to non-traditional spaces to capture consumer interest. Elevator doors are generally blank, utilizing that otherwise empty area with a promotional message or branding item provides an advantage, demanding the attention of viewers standing and waiting.


“Elevator wraps catch the attention of the passerby because they are massive. They tend to be in prominent and centrally located areas in public spaces, and they hold a certain appeal because they allow for a more dynamic and innovative design than the traditional out-of-home execution,” shares David North, marketing manager, and Wade Parker, operations and project manager, Orange Barrel Media (OBM).


OBM provides turnkey opportunities to brand and client advertising partners, helping design, produce, and install non-traditional large format and out-of-home advertising. The media agency aids in bringing a customer’s vision to life by delivering the media space and execution expertise.


In business since 2003, OBM operates out of offices in Columbus, OH; Boston, MA; New York City, NY; and Charlotte, NC. Campaigns are as small as a traditional kiosk display to 120x80-foot wallscapes found in malls and sporting venues.


To garner what a perspective customer is looking for, the agency fosters a deep relationship, considering themselves partners in the process. “Getting to know the needs, attitudes, and driving intent of their business, this deep understanding of objectives allows us to propose elevator wraps to clients looking to make a powerful statement,” explain North and Parker.


Elevator wraps are generally a piece of the promotional puzzle. For example, at the open air mixed use development EpiCentre in Charlotte, NC, OBM offers an interior domination package. This consists of an elevator wrap and railing and walkway banners that surround the public with brand messaging.


OBM works with a number of choice PSPs on a consistent basis to output elevator wraps and any other graphics requested. Generally, print providers are chosen based on type of substrate, finishing requirements, and ability to meet product turnaround time.


According to both North and Parker, elevator wraps fit into the media company’s overall message—with a powerful impact measured in memorability, versus total impressions.


Let’s Try This

Pensacola Sign & Graphics, Inc., based in Pensacola, FL, began in 1994. With nine employees operating out of one location the print provider offers digital imaging, sign and display, design, and installation to corporate entities, media and design agencies, and municipalities.


In 2012, it was presented with the task of offering its first elevator wrap for repeat customer, Baptist Health Care System. The hospital’s marketing department suggested the application and created the design, presenting it to Pensacola Sign. “We are known for creative solutions and a let’s try this attitude,” explains Steve Orlich, owner, Pensacola Sign. The elevator wrap project seemed like the ideal fit for this situation.


The hospital’s goal was to suggest healthy alternatives to its in-house staff with the wrap. The PSP turned to 3M Commercial Graphics media for the application, in particular using 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3-10, protected with a premium matte laminate. The media was chosen based on its durability and ease of installation and removal properties.


Design to install took about a week. When Pensacola Sign staff went into the hospital to install the graphic it faced a few challenges, which were quickly overcome. First, they had to install after hours to avoid conflict with regular business hours. In addition, they required access controls to lock the operation of the doors while installing the graphics.


The final outcome was pleasing to the Baptist Health Care System team as well as its many visitors. Due to their long-standing relationship with the print provider, they plan on updating the graphics on a regular basis.


Thanks to this work, Pensacola Signs regularly offers elevator wraps into its pitch to other customers. Orlich finds that these applications are generally included as branding messages that interact with other existing signage and interior wayfinding.


Elevator wraps fit nicely into the PSP’s existing business and Orlich recognizes how wrapping an elevator versus a vehicle utilizes the same skill sets. “Years of prior knowledge in a large range of different genres, materials, and circumstances—including 12 years of wrapping vehicles,” he shares, have helped the company succeed in this unique space. With one project under the PSP’s belt, it feels confident it can continue promoting the application.


Unique and Different

SignPlex, based in Albuquerque, NM, also offers elevator wraps for its diverse clientele, which is found locally and nationwide. Established in 2002, 15 employees work out of a 2,000 square foot location offering everything from banner track systems, logo creation, and vehicle lettering to window graphics, backlit signage, wall murals, trade show displays, and full-color magnets and decals.


At its inception, SignPlex was tasked with working with customers who requested unique and different graphics to make them stand out and catch passerbys’ eyes. One such client asked for this type of application at a local mall and the PSP made the suggestion of wrapping an elevator, the client said yes and the rest is history.


Today the print provider finds itself creating elevator wraps for a variety of environments including event centers, malls, amusement parks, stadiums, corporate offices, and casinos. These are just one portion of a multi-faceted campaign. “Many times the wrap is just one element of their messaging. They want to make sure their message is received at all possible touch points by their audience,” explains Kiki Lopez, sign specialist, SignPlex.


Lopez shares that the company’s installers rely on their knowledge and expertise of wrapping vehicles to successfully implement elevator wraps. She even admits that while essentially the same process, elevator wraps are less difficult, as they require less detailing versus a vehicle.


Recently, SignPlex was tasked with creating an elevator wrap for Lovelace Health. Hoping to increase awareness of the hospital and its services, the graphic was created for an elevator in a mall. Job submittal to install took one week. The shop relies on its Hewlett-Packard (HP) solvent wide format printer and media from 3M, namely 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3-10 and a Scotchcal overlaminate for most of its elevator graphics. All of the above tools were used for the Lovelace Health application.


Overall the customer was amazed with the results. Lopez admits that not only did the graphic bring attention to the hospital, but it helped the PSP’s marketing as well. Completed elevator wraps represent the company in a new way, showcasing its ability to create unique marketing material to the public.


Worth the Wait

Elevator wraps complement existing graphics. They add to an overall message when found in a mall, or can also promote a company’s branding when placed in a corporate office park.


This application is an excellent addition to any PSP’s portfolio. As Pensacola Sign and SignPlex have proven, if you wrap vehicles, offering this service is an easy add on. Not only will it boost your selection of offerings, but it shows customers you are devoted to offering them a solution that helps them stand out from the competition.  


Jun2013, Digital Output

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