By Olivia Cahoon
Part 1 of 2
Digitally printed transit graphics are fully customizable advertising campaigns promoted across multiple media channels including buses, subway systems, trains, and vehicles.
Established in 1993, Turbo Images Inc. celebrates offering vehicle graphics for over 20 years. The company has two locations in Quebec City, QC and Mississauga, ON, Canada and offers its services across North America. Turbo Images started with 60 employees and has since grown to 80 while operating from a 32,000 square foot work area. The company intends to add 20,000 additional square feet to its facilities in the next year and specializes in fleet vehicle graphics.
“We are dedicated to this market niche and recognize that through specialization and focus, we are able to develop the systems, processes, experienced personnel, and facilities that have led to our market leadership,” says Charles Veilleux, business development strategist, Turbo Images.
The print service provider (PSP) offers design, print, cut, and installation for all types of vehicles and is a 3M Platinum Select Graphic Provider. “Through this close relationship we are able to offer superior warranties and are one of the first to market with new innovations and technology targeted at this segment,” he explains.
Signage for Transit
Since the company’s launch in 1993, Turbo Images has served customers with different needs for buses, trains, trailers, and motor coaches. Originally, painting buses was the first option for transit graphic customers. According to Veilleux, painting was an expensive form of production and limited the exposure of branded vehicles.
In the last 20 years, the market has evolved and now several types of pressure-sensitive vinyl allow Turbo Images to specify the most efficient product for each application. Veilleux says this has resulted in more cost-effective applications and extended the creative options exponentially in parallel to the development of digital printing systems.
“Now the customer is limited only by their imagination. The continued growth in this market segment reinforces that more companies are recognizing the value of using their fleet assets to promote their brand,” shares Veilleux.
With digital print capabilities, the PSP offers customers a variety of colors for an endless opportunity of creativity to apply to vehicle marketing campaigns. 15 percent of the company’s work is currently transit graphics.
One of the company’s main challenges is supplying the increasing demand for transit graphics. Turbo Images has achieved strong double-digit growth over the past four years and this continued expansion has required the company to continuously scout for likeminded professionals. “Our people are our greatest asset and differentiator. We need to support our growth which means finding the right people to maintain our quality at every level,” adds Veilleux.
According to Veilleux, the purpose of transit graphics is to support an advertising campaign that is being promoted across multiple media channels. Transit graphics’ clients include consumer packaged goods industries and government agencies.
For digital printing transit graphics, Turbo Images uses the HP, Inc. HP Scitex Turbojet 8300. It prints up to 4,304 square feet per hour and includes six-color printing up to 600 dpi. The HP Turbojet 8300 includes an Onyx Graphics, Inc. ONYX ProductionHouse RIP, automatic media loading, and 150 printheads. It’s intended for indoor and outdoor signage, bus shelters, vehicle wraps, floor and window graphics, and exhibition banners.
“This system is ideal for the fleet industry as it delivers quick performance and vertical panels,” says Veilleux.
3M Commercial Solutions 3M Piezo Inkjet Ink Series 4800, 3M film, and 3M Screen Print UV Gloss Clear 9740i is used with the HP Turbojet 8300. The combination allows Turbo Images to offer the 3M MCS Warranty. As a result, the company can offer customers extended warranties of up to seven years.
A proprietary software system allows the company to host a Parts Simplicity Program that offers easier fulfillment of replacement parts for customers who experience damage due to accidents or graffiti vandalism.
Notably, Turbo Images has worked with AC Transit and Golden Gate Bridge Transit. At press time, the company was completing a project for the city of Calgary, AB, Canada. “Going forward, we recognize that transit is again a specialized segment with a highly discerning buyer,” says Veilleux. He views this as a growth segment for the company as it continues to expand and invest in its capability to deliver transit graphics.
In 2017, first time customer Complete Coach Works (CCW) approached Turbo Images for a marketing campaign at the APTA trade show. The event is held every three years in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association’s annual meeting and is public transit’s premier showcase of technology, products, and services. CCW requested one vehicle wrap that would be the main attraction at the company’s booth.
The HP Turbojet 8300 printed to 800 square feet of 3M media. According to Veilleux, the press is capable of printing graphics for an 800 square foot bus in less than one hour. “The quality of the printer is ideal for this kind of project. We use a four-color process to achieve the highest quality possible,” he adds.
From job submittal to installation, it took 14 hours for Turbo Images to finish the transit graphics project.
Transit graphics offer mobile eye-catching displays like vehicle, subway, and bus wraps for marketing campaigns. “Full wraps are a powerful tool in the marketer’s toolbox especially when it comes to launching a new service or product—they’re dynamic and intrusive,” says Veilleux. By offering digitally printed transit graphics, PSPs like Turbo Images expand business.
Feb2018, Digital Output