By Melissa Donovan
Some of the most successful retail environments involve graphics that immerse the visitor when they enter the space. Print service providers (PSPs) are equipped to offer a number of applications that fall under this category including traditional hanging signage and window graphics to floor graphics and point of sale messaging at counters.
The art of creating high-quality, visible messaging is not taken lightly. Years of expertise go into the best way to create retail signage so that it is effective and purposeful. SunDance of Orlando, FL celebrates 14 years in business and is well known for its commitment to ensuring its customers’ messaging needs are met.
John Ruggieri and his son JohnHenry Ruggieri bought SunDance when it was known as SunDance Graphics and operated as a fine art publisher and art licensor. Capitalizing on customer demand, the team pivoted the business model into providing commercial printing services for numerous theme parks in the area.
Continued business kept the one in-house press busy, which led to substantial growth. Soon after the Ruggieris formed a separate company, what is today known as SunDance, and brought on an additional partner with print sales experience. A new sheetfed press was added at this time and the production team grew in size as well.
Today the multi-channel print and marketing company offers services including design, branding, digital and offset printing, finishing, and direct mail marketing. 70 employees operate out of a 43,500 square foot facility.
Core offerings are wide format printing, design, labels, packaging, and full finishing of hardcovers, books, and boxes. Roughly 20 percent of the business is wide format printing, but it is growing. For wide format, its work is completed on printers from HP Inc. like the HP Latex 3000 and HP Scitex FB700. It rounds out the process with a Zund America cutting system, which is fully integrated into its production process thanks to Onyx Graphics, Inc. workflow products.
There are three main factors that set SunDance apart from its competitors—its determination to say “yes” to customers, creative collaboration, and sustainability initiatives.
Saying yes is actually the company’s mantra. It strives to deliver on promises to clients and achieves this through careful planning that involves creativity, risk taking, and a determination to get the job done. “Our employees are encouraged to explore solutions and take chances. When we think outside of the box, we’re able to solve problems for our customers and our company,” shares JohnHenry Ruggieri, president, SunDance.
Creative collaboration helps in achieving the customer’s desires, as well as a key means to customers trusting the staff at SunDance, thus paving the way for a long-lasting partnership. It’s helped customers make the impossible a reality whether printing a book on edible material to working around technical challenges.
Internally, SunDance leverages collaboration as well. For example, working together, its press team discovered a way to turn solvent waste from offset presses into distilled recyclable water and solvent, which greatly reduced waste.
Environmental stewardship is also important to its image. According to the company, it was the first Sustainable Green Partnership certified offset printer in FL. It currently holds certifications from the Sustainable Forest Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council. In 2018 SunDance received a Certificate of Sustainability from Applied Materials Trading for its recycling efforts.
At a Dairy Farm
Retail environments range from the traditional mall store to outside markets. Sometimes retail can also involve the gift shop or visiting center area of a museum or manufacturing plant. In either scenario, clear, concise messaging is instrumental.
Florida Dairy Farmers approached SunDance in early 2019 to complete a wallcovering project. The organization wanted to gift one of its members—popular supermarket chain Publix—something special for its dairy plant in Lakeland, FL. Local schools take field trips to the facility, where inside there is a long hallway ramp running along windows into the processing plant. When on a tour, school children can see through windows and watch the production process in action.
Looking to make the tour more engaging and immerse the students, Florida Dairy Farmers thought it would be helpful to add eye-catching, educational graphics onto the walls on either side of the ramp.
The space was a bit of a challenge, as the hallway measures 75 feet in length and the ramp is at a five degree pitch. “This was such a hard job, even the client’s internal wide format printer didn’t want to do it,” admits Scott Ludwig, account manager, SunDance.
It took over a year of planning and close collaboration with a designer from Florida Dairy Farmers and SunDance’s prepress and production teams to achieve the final design. Once decided upon, it took ten working days to print 36×36-inch wall signs on vinyl film and matte overlaminate with six-color process inks and trimmed to size on the Zund digital cutter.
In March 2020, two SunDance employees installed the wall signs using special tools like a tripod laser level to ensure precision. The finished results were enjoyed by all of the parties involved. “It was one of the most challenging projects in my career, but our great support team made it possible and the client very happy,” says Ludwig.
The project for Florida Dairy Farmers is a perfect example of SunDance’s commitment to saying yes to the client and collaborating with its customers. Doing this leads to success every time, despite any challenges that arise. It is able to leverage its hardware portfolio to create exceptional retail graphics no matter the environment they are placed in, ensuring an immersive experience.
Nov2020, Digital Output