By Cassandra Balentine
Part 1 of 2
Graphics can be implemented almost anywhere. Areas and modes of transit, from cars and trucks to busses and trains and the stations that hold them, present an ideal opportunity for advertising and branding.
Many print service providers (PSPs) are familiar with the vehicle wrap, which extends easily to larger fleets that include everything from box trucks to minivans and sedans, all donning marketing and promotional messages for a business or brand.
Industry Sign & Graphics is one PSP that understands the power of transit graphics, and regularly produces vehicle and fleet graphics for its customer base.
In business since 1985, Industry Sign & Graphics is a commercial PSP that produces interior and exterior sales, stadium work, point of purchase, vehicle wraps, and store build outs. Graphics and installations are completed out of its 19,000 square foot facility, based in Auburn, WA, with a staff of 21 employees.
The shop is equipped with a range of digital wide format printing equipment. Printing equipment includes a Mutoh America, Inc. Falcon II printer; a Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division 4×8-foot flatbed printer; three Hewlett-Packard (HP) Latex devices, including the HP Designjet L25500, HP Latex 360, and HP Designjet L26500; and an Epson eight-color eco-solvent printer. It also utilizes several systems for finishing needs, including two GBC Seal laminators, a laminator by Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc., two Gerber Scientific Products Edge cutters, a Summa Inc. cutter, a Graphtec America, Inc. 64-inch cutter, MultiCam Inc. Digital Express cutter/router, and a Gerber Sabre 408 router with a camera.
Sal Orso, VP, Industry Sign & Graphics, estimates that that about 50 percent of its overall operation is digital wide format.
Orso believes that fleet graphics are one of the best ways to market a business. He describes them as moving billboards with a great return on investment. In addition to appealing graphics, they offer thousands of views daily, and even provide a way to avoid many city signage codes.
Additionally, fleet wraps can be changed out on occasion to keep branding and marketing messages current. “Changing parts of them up now and then is a great way to keep your brand fresh,” he explains. He suggests designing fleet graphics in a way that certain sections can be switched out in order to avoid having a static advertisement for three to five years.
The company often finds itself tasked with fleet jobs. Orso estimates a volume of about three to five each week. It also does work through a subsidiary of SGIA, the PDAA Master Certified Installers program.
Industry Sign & Graphics recently produced a job for Pilot Freight Services, an international shipping company serving 190 major markets. Orso describes it as an ongoing project that encompasses a variety of vehicles, ranging from 53-foot refrigerator trailers to small delivery minivans.
He estimates that the staff has produced more than 50 assorted trucks and trailers for the client over ten years. Pilot Freight Services recently went through a branding change to a new, more vibrant look. The goal of these graphics was to encourage brand recognition. “Also, take used trailers and make them sparkle again,” adds Orso.
For this particular job, the PSP helped with design. Orso says the company supplied the logo and the Industry Sign & Graphics team created all of the design and placement work.
Production of was mostly completed on its HP Latex devices, including both the HP Designjet L25500 and HP Latex 360. Media for the fleet includes Arlon Graphics, LLC DPF 6000XRP with Series 3220 overlaminate. Orso points out that it also used Arlon spot vinyl and reflective stock when needed.
The shop also handles installs for Pilot Freight Services’ fleet. “All the installs are done onsite in our heated indoor facility. While we can install in the field, being in Seattle, with the rain, it is much better to wrap inside with a temperature-controlled environment. It keeps the quality up.” says Orso.
He comments that the fleet graphics are typically meant to last the life of the trailer. “These go on for years and years. Sometimes, it’s a leased vehicle, so three years is standard, but otherwise, it’s as long as possible. We’ve been doing them a long time and have yet to redo one for any failures,” he adds.
On the Move
Fleet graphics represent an important application for Industry Sign & Graphics, providing essential branding opportunity for its loyal customers.
Beyond vehicles and fleets, PSPs should think outside of the box for branding opportunities and focus also on surrounding areas, such as bus shelters and subway stations.
In the next installment of this two-part article on transit graphics, we look at an advertising agency focused specifically on these applications.
Apr2015, Digital Output DOTA1504