By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
In the first part of this series, we profiled the first and second place winners of the 2017 Application of the Year awards. Both companies won for projects involving vehicle wrapping. We continue coverage on the applications that received the top votes with profiles on our third place and honorable mention winners. To view the applications, pick up a copy of the August issue of Digital Output or visit the digital edition by clicking here.
Outfitting on Ice
Junkyard Athletic, located in Lake Forest, CA, works out of a 2,550 square foot space with five employees. The company is primarily a dye-sublimation (dye-sub) printer, as well as custom product manufacturer. It’s created custom bags, sports jerseys, and apparel for over 60 professional sport teams and collegiate level clubs.
Its work for the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team earned it third place in the 2017 Application of the Year awards. For the past three years Junkyard Athletic has completed work for them, which is a personal thrill for Marc Elo, owner, Junkyard Athletic, as he grew up with the Oilers as his favorite hockey team.
For this most recent job, the Oilers were looking for a toiletry bag, skate guards/soakers and helmet bag that would reflect the change in colors for the 2017-2018 hockey season. The move was to a more predominate orange base with a navy trim. In 48 hours, the Junkyard Athletic team was able to create samples of all three products.
Elo credits the successful fast turnaround to its hardware and media suppliers. “I’ve always believed that a large part of our success has been which vendors we do business with and why, because at the end of the day, they play a large part in the machinery and products we use, and if their service isn’t what we feel our clients expect out of us, then we shouldn’t be using them,” explains Elo.
The graphics for the bags and guards were printed with a Mutoh America, Inc. ValueJet 1628X, which is consistent and easy to run, according to Elo. J-Teck J-Next Subly sublimation ink is used in the printer. A dye-sub transfer device, Junkyard Athletic required Sihl Inc. SubliColor Sport tacky sublimation paper for the ValueJet 1628X. Once printed, a DigiFab Systems, Inc. rotary heat press was used to transfer the graphics to Top Value Fabrics’ 600 Denier Magnatuff Polyester.
The Edmonton Oilers were happy with the final design and this led to a “nice size order” from the team. In addition, the AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, CA also ordered toiletry bags, skate guards, and helmet bags for its team.
Pop Culture Takes a Ride
With so many excellent examples of the unique work being undertaken in the graphic arts, we couldn’t stop at recognizing only three print service providers. Printed Pixel, based out of South Amboy, NJ, takes home the honorable mention for its work for Fandom, powered by Wikia, which involved a food truck wrap displayed at Comic Con in New York, NY at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Printed Pixel celebrates five years in business and works out of a 6,000 square foot space. It primarily acts as a business to business and advertising agency but walk-ins are welcome. It staffs six to ten employees depending on the time of the year.
For its work for Fandom, the team at Printed Pixel was familiar with the client’s wants and needs, as it had worked with them prior to this project. The goal of this particular vehicle wrap was to maximize the client’s booth’s attention at Comic Con. It would be only in place for a short period of time, but attention to detail was critical.
It was a quick turnaround, from job submittal to install only 72 hours passed. To create the wrap, Printed Pixel used an HP, Inc. latex-based printer with HP Latex Ink on Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions MPI 1105 cast vinyl. The media was laminated with Avery Dennison DOL 1360Z using a Seal laminator.
“They are a great combination and while it was a very temporary graphic, the materials used sped up the installation and removal process too much to even think about using anything different,” admit James Kennedy, director of operations, and George Kern, art director, Printed Pixel.
Prior to install, the Printed Pixel team had to prepare the truck. Existing graphics were removed, as were any hardware or other obstructions that did not need to be on the truck for this specific promotion. A detailed custom template was built 1:10 scale to ensure all components of the wrap rested in the correct final location.
The graphics on the truck ended up containing food imagery from multiple television shows. Including Pitt Cola from Gravity Falls, Together Breakfast from Steven Universe, Pawpsicles from Zootopia, and Yoylecake from Battle for Dream Island. With a variety of images from a number of different artistic mediums, color matching was critical for this graphic. The entire job was RIPped with an Onyx Graphics, Inc. RIP.
Overall, Fandom was pleased with the final result and since this wasn’t the first time its relied on the Printed Pixel staff for work at Comic Con it can be assured it will use their services in the future.
“They loved it, they come back every year. The fans loved it and so did the celebrities. This experiential vehicle was designed to disrupt. It gets placed in an environment every year that is very saturated with tons of events going on all at the same time yet this stands out and makes a statement each year—besides, who doesn’t love free food,” share Kennedy and Kern.
Thinking Ahead to 2018
Congratulations again to Westwind Design Group, Carisma Large Format Printing, Junkyard Athletics, and Printed Pixel for their successful applications. And thank you to all of the nominees for participating in this year’s Application of the Year awards. If you’d like to participate in 2018, keep an eye out for nomination information at the beginning of May.
Aug2017, Digital Output