Dew the Graphics


Dew Downtown Flagstaff Signs
One of hundreds of signs and banners produced by the P.O.P. shop at Nackard Companies for Dew Downtown Flagstaff hangs in front of the main event.

Dew Downtown Flagstaff is gaining momentum, thanks in no small part to the work of Nackard Companies, a regional beverage distributor based in Flagstaff. Nackard Companies and its P.O.P. shop crank out hundreds of banners, signs and displays to brand the event while it’s in full swing and to promote it beforehand.

Dew Downtown Flagstaff BannersNow in its third year, the annual ski and snowboard festival is based around a slopestyle course on San Francisco Street in downtown Flagstaff.

As the event has grown, so has the number of tents and activities that surround the course. So, of course, the number of graphics required for the event has grown. Steve Lalio, P.O.P. shop manager for Nackard Companies estimates that they printed about three times more banners and signs for this year’s event than they did for the event’s inaugural in 2012.

Dew Downtown Flagstaff Fabric Banners
These banners leading into the slopestyle course at Dew Downtown Flagstaff were printed on LexJet Poly Select Heavy fabric.

“We printed about 40 banners just in one day. The event has really gotten a lot bigger in three years. There were about 20,000 people at the even this year; even my cousins came up from Albuquerque to see it,” says Lalio.

Dew Downtown took place the weekend of Feb. 8-9. Mild weather leading up to the event meant that most of the snow was man-made, though it snowed a few inches during setup the day before.

Dew Downtown Flagstaff Medals
Nackard Companies even provided the medals, which were printed on LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl. The backdrop was printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and applied to Coroplast.

Most of the signage was printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polypropylene, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Luster UV Standard Low Melt. Graphics applied to metal and Coroplast were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene. A smattering of other banners and flags were printed on LexJet Poly Select Heavy Fabric, and all the graphics were printed with a Canon iPF8000S inkjet printer.

A Growing Market for Wide Format Printing at PostNet North Port

PostNet North Port Showroom
PostNet North Port’s show room features numerous samples of the store’s wide-format inkjet capabilities with a Canon printer and LexJet inkjet media.


The PostNet store in North Port, Fla., like other PostNet locations across the world, provides a full slate of printing-related services. Over the past three years or so, the North Port location has seen its wide-format printing operation grow substantially each year.

North Port PostNet owner Joyce Klingle estimates that wide-format printing now accounts for about 30 percent of the store’s sales, which is quite a jump over three years given the plethora of products and services the store offers its clients.

PostNet North Port Storefront
PostNet North Port’s storefront features LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl used to promote the store’s printing services.

A big break came when a local Perkins Restaurant manager noticed samples of perforated window graphics at North Port PostNet. The manager asked for pricing and a sample to send to Perkins’ headquarters, which led to a contract to ship window graphics all over the U.S.

“Our customer specialist at LexJet, David Iannotti, first told us about what we could do with perforated window film. Any time we have a question about anything all we have to do is call David; he’s our go-to guy for information about wide-format printing,” says Klingle. “We printed more than 1,500 window perf graphics for this project and laminated them since we knew they would be displayed outdoors.”

Backlit Prints by PostNet North Port
This sample at PostNet North Port is printed on LexJet 8 Mil Absolute Backlit.

The project came off without a hitch and helped contribute to the positive word of mouth so crucial to this PostNet location since it’s not located on busy Highway 41, which bisects North Port.

“We’ve been at this location for three years. We were located across the street from here for about two years before we moved into this location,” explains Klingle. “We rely a lot on word of mouth and people coming in to see what we can do.”

And they can do just about anything with their Canon iPF8000S, though the bulk of their wide-format printing is for canvas gallery wraps printed on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas and coated with Sunset Satin Coating, banners typically printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat ThriftyBanner and window graphics on LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl.

“Every year our wide-format printing increases by about 50 percent,” adds Klingle.

Banner Stands Front and Center at Clark Beverage Group

Banner stands for bars and restaurantsYou might say that Brian Walton, print shop manager for Clark Beverage Group, Southaven, Miss., has point of sale design and print production down to a science. It helps that Walton is involved in just about every aspect of the distribution company’s business; it helps provide needed perspective on what resonates in the market.

With what Walton calls flawless printing from his Canon iPF8000S wide-format inkjet printer and inkjet media from LexJet, Clark Beverage Group is able to create competitive advantage with unique point-of-sale displays.

Recently, Walton says they’ve had great success with portable banner stands at various venues that promote both their brands and the lineup of bands playing at those venues. Walton typically uses the LexJet Spring 3 Banner Stand with LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polypropylene as the print medium for this type of application.

Producing banners stands for bars“It’s not something that gets pushed up against the wall; it’s placed front and center. When you walk in, it’s impossible to miss it. When we tried the banner stands the first time, it was a big hit. If someone gets a banner stand and a competitor sees it, they want their own, so it becomes a kind of tug of war between these bars,” says Walton. “They’re also convenient from a formatting standpoint, so that if I make one Sam Adams band list and I want to push Sam Adams somewhere else I can just swap out the information. They see the connection with the beer and they see the schedule information they need.”

Walton has also used LexJet 11 Mil Blockout Water-Resistant Polypropylene, but only in situations where there’s lots of light that can shine through the back and detract from the message. Most of the banner stands don’t require the blockout since they’re generally in low-light environments.

Whatever the design, Walton says he keeps everything as simple as possible and always works to separate the brands, instead of mixing two or three brands together on one piece.

Window graphics with perforated window vinyl
Another effective point of sale tool for Clark Beverage Group is LexJet Aqueous Perforated Window Vinyl.

“I’m always finding complexity in the corporate world and the challenge is to simplify everything. When I first came here they treated Miller Lite and Coors Light the same. We got out of that and began treating those beers differently since they have their own distinct branding. That way you stay true to the brand and get space at the point of sale for both. We make the package, the brand and the price the stars of the design,” says Walton. “My workflow is to build everything in Illustrator, then to Photoshop. The Canon has the Photoshop plug-in, which really makes production go a lot faster.”

A Once in a Blue Moon Point of Sale Display

Point of sale display printed for Blue Moon beers

It happens once in a blue moon… That is, a blue moon. No, the moon doesn’t literally turn blue. Technically, it means there’s an extra full moon once every two and a half years, on average. This month, Aug. 31 to be exact, is the next blue moon, which won’t show up again until 2015.

This relatively rare event was the perfect opportunity to promote – what else? – Blue Moon beers. It also happens to coincide with a MillerCoors display design contest, so account representatives Anthony Copetillo and Vinnie Montemurro and P.O.P. shop manager Steve Lalio of The Nackard Companies in Flagstaff, Ariz., collaborated on a display concept for a Wal-Mart in Show Low, Ariz.

Printing a point of sale beer display“MillerCoors put out a creative display incentive for August and September, which included Blue Moon. They showed us some examples of a full theme, and I thought this concept would be perfect for the season. It also gave us an opportunity to educate customers about all the characteristics of Blue Moon beers,” says Copetillo. “I give Steve some ideas and the points I want to see on the display, then he comes up with the design theme. Steve always has great ideas that are exactly what I’m looking for, so there are rarely any changes to his design.”

Lalio’s design is divided into three parts to comprise the full backdrop behind the beer display – in-depth information about the different Blue Moon beers (year-round, seasonal and specialty), a centerpiece to draw attention and illuminating copy about what a blue moon is – plus the phases of the blue moon that “float” in front of the backdrop.

“We submitted it to MillerCoors and it caused some ripples. They were happy to see that we’re educating the customers about Blue Moon,” says Copetillo. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years and now more than ever people want to know what food to pair it with, the flavors and the characteristics of each beer.”

Printing point of sale display for beer companies
Here's a similar display conceived and executed by the Three Musketeers of The Nackard Companies: account reps Anthony Copetillo and Vinnie Montemurro and P.O.P. shop manager Steve Lalio.

The backdrop was printed on a Canon iPF8000S on LexJet 8 Mil PolyGloss Banner in seven 36″ panels, which were then stapled to the wall. Lalio says he designed it in Photoshop and used the ONYX RIP to properly tile it so that it could be spliced into one seamless backdrop. The total size is 21 feet wide by six feet high.

The moon phases, which dangle from fishing line a few feet in front of the backdrop, were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Luster UV Standard Low Melt and applied to a heavy card stock.

“I used the PolyGloss Banner for the backdrop because I knew the Blue Moon and fall colors would really pop out with that material. We designed it so that it was informative about not only the beer, but the blue moon,” adds Lalio.

Window Perf-ection: Hitting the Right Note with Window Graphics

Printing promotional window graphics for a bar

If you’ve got windows, use ‘em. At least that’s Billy Owen’s attitude, and it helps that Grellner Sales & Service’s accounts like what Owen creates on their windows. “Window perf is real popular with our accounts and they come to us because we do a better job for them,” says Owen.

Using perforated window vinyl for promotional graphicsOwen, who is Grellner’s graphic designer, designed this tour de force, musically-themed window graphics project for The Neptune in Warrensburg, Mo., just east of Kansas City and west of Grellner HQ in Sedlia, Mo.

If you haven’t guessed already, The Neptune is a live music bar on Warrensburg’s Pine Street. Owen perfectly captured the atmosphere with an inviting combination of guitars, amps and stage. The branding is subtle yet clear enough to put those brands in the minds of patrons as they walk in.

The biggest challenge, from a design and application standpoint, was the large, multi-paned area to the side of the main entrance. Owen says he took a picture of the space and measured it from pane to pane, as well as each divider between the panes.

Owen then set up a template into which he poured the design so that he knew exactly where the breaks came in the panes according to his measurements. Once printed on a Canon iPF8000S, everything fit perfectly, says Owen. “I love this printer, and the material is awesome as well,” says Owen.

Owens used LexJet Aqueous Perforated Vinyl (70/30) for the project, as well as a previous project highlighted here at the LexJet Blog for Fisher & Browns Speakeasy completed earlier this year.

“They haven’t asked for any replacement pieces at the other window perf project so I assume it’s holding up well,” says Owen.

Remote Control Aerial Photography and Printing

Aerial photography with a remote control helicopter
Media East's Droid hovering overhead and casting a shadow as it goes to its next aerial photo shoot.

One way to help maintain sanity in the crazy world of large format printing is to combine your hobby with your vocation. Jeff Sheffield, owner of Media East in Virginia Beach, Va., has done just that with remote control (RC) airplanes.

Aerial photography with a remote control airplane
The Droid shows its aerial photography capabilities in this shot near Virginia Beach, Va.

The connection between hobby and vocation is the way Sheffield is using his experience with RC planes in a unique product line that connects aerial photography, digital capture and digital inkjet printing. Sheffield has attached Canon cameras to a helium balloon and an RC plane called a Droid to take aerial photographs of the surrounding area.

This is a long play for us; we have it in place and are just now getting the word out.  We’ve shot several jobs in the last few months where people have hired us to shoot specific aerial shots for advertising purposes,” explains Sheffield. “We’ve also been shooting new developments around the Virginia Beach area. We print selected photos, frame them and send them to the economic development folks and developers to peak their interest. Then, we follow up with calls and emails.”

Remote control aerial photographySheffield prints the images on LexJet’s Sunset Photo eSatin Paper on either a Canon iPF8000S or Canon iPF9000S. We use eSatin for all of our long-term high quality photo printing. In addition to high-quality reproduction, eSatin has a nice weight so finishing doesn’t have to be quite as careful with it, which cuts down on re-prints,” says Sheffield.

The balloon is equipped with a Canon 5D Mark II and a video system where Sheffield can see what the camera sees for cropping purposes. The RC Droid carries a Canon T2i. Sheffield says he would prefer to use a 5D Mark II, but the extra weight of the higher-end camera cuts down on the battery life of the Droid, which is only 8-10 minutes as it is.

Photography from the air with a helium balloon“You’re usually flying the Droid between 50 and 100 feet, though it can go so high that you can’t really see it. The balloon can be legally flown up to 500 feet, except in close proximity to airports,” says Sheffield.

The Droid is actually more than a simple RC plane; it’s a more like a multi-rotor helicopter. Similar models are being used to capture shots on film that are almost impossible using other film techniques. Amazing footage is being shot utilizing similar methods to Sheffield’s, though they’re a bit more sophisticated.

Aerial photography with a helium balloon
Media East's helium balloon for its aerial photography.

“They’ve got their RC units set up with cameras and goggles. They’re shooting with a second camera that has a video feed to either goggles or a monitor for a first-person view. Eventually we hope to have that capability on the Droid,” says Sheffield.

To find out more about the technology and to see how it’s being used, go to and Here’s a demo video from FreeFly Cinema that shows the amazing things they’re doing with RC and digital video…

FreeFly Cinema Behind the Scenes from tabb firchau on Vimeo.