By Cassandra Balentine
Wide format graphics make a big impact. Beyond traditional signage, innovative brands look at ways to maximize promotional space. The craft beer industry is booming, and many breweries open their facilities for tours and tastings. These environments represent a great opportunity for brands to connect with loyal customers—who will often drive for hundreds of miles and wait in line for hours.
One VT-based print shop worked with a local brewery to enhance its new tasting room with custom graphics. Here, the graphics are part of the experience. With a little creativity and technical know-how, the opportunities to make a lasting impression with wide format graphics are endless.
Above: The Alchemist Brewery and Visitor’s Center in Stowe, VT provides samples of beer for tasting, retail beer sales, and merchandise. The company approached Yipes! of Williston, VT with the goal of making its holding tanks at the Stowe location resemble its popular beer cans. Eco-solvent Roland printers and media from 3M were used to complete the project.
The Print Shop
Established in 1985 by Marshall Learned, Yipes! Auto & Graphics is an automotive and graphics provider based out of Williston, VT.
The company evolved from performing mobile pinstripe installations out of a Volkswagen Rabbit at nearby car dealerships. “The 1980’s were a popular pinstripe period in VT and business was booming,” says Craig Maines, graphic department manager/creative director, Yipes!
The small mobile operation soon transitioned to a brick and mortar storefront and began offering vehicle accessories, cut vinyl, and large format printed graphics. In 2016 Stephen Ferreria, a local Vermonter, purchased the business and currently serves as its president. The facility is approximately 10,000 square feet and houses a staff of 21.
In addition to serving local automotive and printing needs, the business has a nationwide clientele. Its automotive division offers accessories for cars, trucks, and SUVs including remote car starters, bug guards, bull bars, trailer hitches, rain guards, window tints, seat covers, and sun roofs. Its graphics business includes promotional media, graphics design/branding, and paint protection film.
Printed graphics were introduced at Yipes! in the mid to late 1990’s. “The pinstripe business led to premade graphic installs, which led to plotter cut graphics, which led to the need for printed graphics,” explains Maines.
Yipes! operates a fleet of eco-solvent printers from Roland DGA Corporation to produce its wide format graphics. For finishing it employs Roland CAMM-1 GX and Graphtec America, Inc. devices to cut vinyl.
“We chose Roland for is solvent ink and print production software,” offers Maines. He says the equipment provides excellent speed, great resolution, and solvent ink that allows for fully utilizing printed reflective media.
The print provider relies on an array of software, including Adobe Creative Suite for design. For production workflow, it runs Roland VersaWorks production software as well as CADlink Technology Corporation SignLab VinylPro.
VT is home to many craft breweries, putting Yipes! in an ideal position to offer creative branding and promotional solutions for these companies.
Located in nearby Stowe, VT, the Alchemist is consistently rated one of the top craft breweries in the nation. Opened in 2016, the Stowe facility brews one of the company’s flagship beers, Focal Banger, as well as seasonal beers that rotate throughout the year. The Alchemist Brewery and Visitor’s Center in Stowe provides samples of beer for tasting, retail beer sales, and merchandise.
The company approached Yipes! with the goal of making its holding tanks at the Visitor’s Center resemble its popular beer cans. To produce the job, each tank consisted of four to six varying panels at 170 inches tall. “This allowed us to work around tank hardware obstacles and fit in the tight spaces around the tanks,” explains Maines.
The artwork was provided by the Alchemist’s art director and Yipes! tailored the artwork to fit the space and paneled it to contort around hardware without obscuring the client’s graphics.
The graphics were printed on 3M Commercial Solutions’ 3M Print Wrap Film IJ180mC and 3M Controltac Graphic Film with Comply v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3-10, both laminated with 3M Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8518. All panels were printed on the shop’s Roland printers with Roland Eco-Sol MAX 2 ink. The files were reworked and prepped in Adobe Illustrator and then printed through Roland VersaWorks software.
The Yipes! installation team performed the three tank install. “The only unique challenge that came up during install was at certain hours of the day the tanks would collect condensation, creating a difficult environment for backing paper removal,” admits Maines.
The approval process took just under one month. Following that, the Yipes! team needed to coordinate the installation with the Alchemist’s canning schedule, resulting in installation being spaced out over two weeks. Between approval, production, and install the inquiry came in around mid-October and the project was fully competed the first week of December.
“The project was a ton of fun. It was a great challenge that ended with the desired look and feel the Alchemist was shooting for,” comments Maines.
It is an exciting time for print providers and brands. In addition to traditional signage, creative professionals are able to truly make an impression with the abundance of media options available today. Those willing to move outside of their comfort zone often produce excellent portfolio pieces that are sure to create a buzz.
Apr2018, Digital Output