No Windows? No Problem with Big Wall Graphics

Atlas Distributing Wall Graphics

In a previous post we discussed how big, bold graphics on the exterior of a retail location set the stage for interior point-of-sale graphics that reinforce the message and drive consumers to the brands inside. In that particular case, rows of big windows provided the perfect branding palette.

If you don’t have any windows to work with, walls will work just as well, as this recent project by Atlas Distributing illustrates. It’s a 48-foot long and four-foot high super graphic promoting Coors Light that ties in with the local favorite and Stanley Cup contending Boston Bruins.

Located on the outside of a local bar-and-games establishment, graphic design manager for Atlas Distributing, Brent Lee, says, “The side of the building faces a high-traffic area and a parking lot, so customers and others driving by can’t help but see it. They see Coors Light outside and then we reinforce it inside. They might have gone there just to play a couple of games, but they see the sign and it plants the seed that maybe they’ll have a beer with their friends.”

Lee adds that Atlas Distributing’s solid point of sale work on the inside helped secure the space on the outside. Lee took graphic elements provided by MillerCoors corporate, rearranged and stretched them out for a pleasing and appropriate super graphic, and brought a proof of the design to the account.

Needless to say, the client loved the concept, approved it and Lee got to work printing out the graphics in panels on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene with a Canon iPF9400. Lee applied to polypropylene to six sheets of Coroplast. “I just line up the edge of the print with the edge of the Coroplast. There really is no trick other than making sure you’re slow and steady when you apply it,” says Lee.

Meanwhile Atlas Distributing merchandisers drilled anchors into the wall to which the decorated Coroplast panels would be applied. This method will allow Atlas Distributing to quickly replace the graphics when the time comes.

Printing Branding Backgrounds for Beers

Wall murals and graphics for stores

The cooler wrap is tried and true for selling beer at the point of sale. It becomes even truer when you can translate it to any room in the house, so to speak, and create a branding background that gives your brand the highest visibility.

Printing wall murals for store signageTennyson Lacasio, sign shop manager at Colonial Beverage in North Dartmouth, Mass., took the inkjet printed cooler wrap to the next level with two recent projects at local liquor stores. Both projects were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Matte UV Standard Low Melt.

Lacasio says he laminated the prints first (each project had anywhere from three to 12 printed panels) then applied the laminated pieces to Coroplast. This method helped hide the ridges that normally show through when you apply the print material directly to Coroplast before laminating.

“When you run print material through the laminator directly to Coroplast it bonds so closely that it shows the creases in the Coroplast. When I laminated the material first, it gave it a nice, fine, seamless finish,” says Lacasio.

Inkjet printed wall muralsAlso seamless was the paneling, particularly on the Blue Moon background display. Lacasio says this was mostly due to the fact that the wall he applied the panels to in the new building was perfectly square. Moreover, and most importantly, this 12′ x 19′ Blue Moon mural did its job rather effectively.

“You see it right off the bat when you walk into the store. The walls are light blue, which complements the graphic and draws your eye to the back of the store. The owner just wanted to do one brand, which allows you to focus on the strong points of the brand,” says Lacasio. “The image is not pixilated at all and it’s very impressive to stand right in front of it. After we installed it, people were walking out of the store with Blue Moon and they commented on the enticing feel of the image.”

As per usual Lacasio paid special attention to brand details in the designs, including such minutia as the types of glasses in which you serve the beers.

The other two wall murals – featuring Coors Light, Miller Lite and Leinenkugel’s – are on either side of a walk-in cooler door. The Coors Light mural, themed as an American fall, is 8′ x 13′. The Miller Lite/Leinenkugel’s mural, themed as a German Oktoberfest, is 8′ x 10′.

“Fortunately, they’re placing a minimal amount of cases at each display and replenishing them regularly so that you can see most of the display from just about anywhere in the store,” says Lacasio. “I had huge canvases to work from, which makes all the difference in wall branding graphics.”

Need for Speed at the Point of Sale

Printing cooler wraps for point of sale advertising

Hot off the presses, or hot off the track in this case, is the latest point-of-sale masterpiece from Tennyson Lacasio, print shop manager for Colonial Wholesale Beverage in North Dartmouth, Mass. The key to a nice-looking cooler wrap, says Lacasio, is detailed measurements before you design it.

Point of sale advertising with cooler wrapsIn this case there were minor variations in the lengths and widths of the cooler areas that would get the NASCAR graphics and Miller Lite and Coors Light branding treatments, but by and large they were relatively square and level.

Once measurements are taken, Lacasio says he creates a framework with all the elements, including obstacles like cooler door handles, in CorelDRAW. Once that’s created he sets up a new file and adds the imagery.

Lacasio printed the images on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and laminated them with LexJet 3 Mil Matte UV Standard Low Melt (3 Mil).

“I usually go with LexJet’s gloss laminate because it really gives the images extra pop, but in this case I chose the matte finish laminate because part of the problem using the gloss laminate for indoor installations is the light reflecting off the images. I’ve been meaning to try the matte laminate anyway, and this was the perfect excuse,” says Lacasio. “It came out really nice, it’s very visible throughout the entire store and it gives it a real nice finished look to it.”

Lacasio adds that the cooler wrap dominates the store; it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. The store itself, 44 Liquors, is relatively small, but it does a lot of volume at its prime spot on Route 44 in Massachusetts.

“I was looking for a sense of movement throughout the design because of the subject matter and the fact that we want people who are buying beer to get involved in the imagery. When we installed the project we took out almost all of the competitor’s advertising and now we basically own the entire space,” says Lacasio.

Winning the Advertising Turf Battle with Tabletop Graphics

Printing and wrapping tabletops for advertisingSometimes the solution is right in front of you, even on the table where you rest your beer. At least that was the solution that Billy Owen, graphic designer for Grellner Sales & Service in Sedalia, Mo., came up with to cut through the advertising clutter and boost the visibility of the company’s beverage brands at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

“It’s difficult to get our name out there because every inch of the fair is covered with ads. You have to be creative about it, so we thought we’d decorate these tabletops at the fair for the various brands we carry, like Boulevard, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Coors Light and Smirnoff,” explains Owen. “We put some more eye-grabbing elements together in Photoshop, printed the images on LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/ PSA, applied them, and they turned out pretty awesome.”

Wrapping tabletops to promote a brandOwen chose Extreme AquaVinyl based on the recommendation of his LexJet customer specialist, Kelly Price. He was looking for something durable enough to withstand the abuse of fairgoers without lamination and removable. The material fit the bill perfectly. “Kelly is great,” says Owen. “When I’m looking for the right material for a project, especially unusual applications, Kelly is always there to help.”

The tabletops were printed on the beverage distributor’s new Canon iPF8000S, which has become the workhorse printer for Grellner and its four additional branches. “I print most of the big projects for our branches, especially in the summer with events and concerts, so my workload has increased quite a bit and the printer has kept up with the demand. It’s a great printer; I love it,” says Owen.

Printing and applying graphics to tabletopsOwen says that the idea didn’t come completely out of the blue since one of Grellner’s other branches had printed a successful tabletop project. For the fair, they wrapped about 18 different tabletops and the application to each one was seamless and flawless.

“We have a lot of experience with similar applications, so we were able to apply them quickly and smoothly. We just peeled the liner back, smoothed the vinyl down with a squeegee and wrapped it around the edges,” explains Owen. “Everybody loved the tables, and it’s another way we can try to boost our sales over last year. I just went to check them out last night and they’re holding up very well.”

Point of Sale Perfection: Looking Good Sells Beer

Making beer signs with an inkjet printerWhat’s the point of advertising? The point is obvious, particularly if you’re trying to sell beer at various locations around town where the final sale is most often made at the point of sale. That’s a lot of points and no one makes those points better for beer than Tennyson Lacasio of Colonial Wholesale Beverage in North Dartmouth, Mass.

Lacasio’s attention to design detail and the flawless production and installation of the signs that promote the various brands Colonial sells ensures that their brands get front-and-center attention at the liquor stores, convenience stores, bars, restaurants and other purveyors of suds that dot the landscape.

Eye-catching signage not only attracts customers in the store, but prompts owners and managers to request more signs and provide Colonial with more space with which to advertise in their establishments. Take two recent projects Lacasio put together for a couple of local liquor stores…

The first was a sign project located 15-20 feet above the store’s floor displays. The request was for three billboard-style 5′ x 11′ signs to be mounted to a wooden frame system above the floor displays. The three brands Lacasio was tasked with promoting were Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon.

Given the visibility of the signs and the opportunity to outshine the competitors, Lacasio worked with the general concepts of each brand, but put his own brand on it by mixing and matching elements. For instance, on the Blue Moon sign Lacasio explains, “I was given a lot more liberty with the Blue Moon sign. Blue Moon has a fine-art style they use on some of their promotions, but the customer didn’t want to go that route. They felt the idea of the orange with the Blue Moon label wouldn’t go away, so they wanted to incorporate that element. What came out of it are blues, oranges and greens that are very bright and vibrant, making it stand out more than any of the other signs. The store manager was quite pleased with the result.”

Lacasio shifted elements, worked with complementary, brand-focused colors and a variety of bottle and can configurations on the other signs to accomplish his objective, which was to “make them very visible and readable from that distance without overdoing it.” Mission accomplished.

The graphics were applied to Duraboard using Photo Tex adhesive-backed fabric. To avoid unsightly screws in the graphics, which mar the adjacent competing signs, the Duraboard was first attached to the wood frame then the Photo Tex was applied for a smooth, seamless look. Bottom line? “They’ve been putting more of our products on the floor, so in that respect it’s had the desired effect. And, because of the signs we created, they’re putting in an additional three signs, and we’ll get two of those three spaces for our brands. We’ll get additional signage because they’re pleased with what we did. We were able to convey the product better than our competitors.”

The second project was for a seaside liquor store near the wharf with window signs and a long indoor wall wrap on tap. Again, Lacasio skillfully matched the necessities of branding with local color. In this case, he pulled beach, seagull and sailing themes to tie into the area, as well as a potent mix of colors to grab the attention of people passing by, driving by and walking out of the grocery store across the street.

Printing window signsThe brands in this case were Miller High Life, Miller Lite, Coors Lite and Icehouse. For the Coors Light outdoor window sign as an example, Lacasio says, “The owner wanted to emphasize the cans in the sign so I used the Coors train, re-designed the background, added three cans in the image and put large impact red price points. The gold color in the writing actually pops off the Coors Light signs, more than the usual gray. It’s easy to read, getting across the product and the price while giving it enough composition on the bottom to accommodate the pricing on the top.”

Lacasio followed the same line of thinking for the rest of the outdoor window signs, combining colors and images for a cohesive whole that gets the message across effectively for each brand.

On the inside of the store, Lacasio created a 40-foot-long Coors Light banner with a beach, boat and bird theme. As Lacasio puts it, “I wanted something beachy, but not cheesy.” The indoor Coors Light banner was applied to the wall with LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene, which was also used for the window signs, but applied to Coroplast that was then attached to the windows with Printing wall signsindustrial-strength hook-and-loop fasteners (which you may know better as a trademarked name that starts with V and rhymes with Melcro).

Lacasio adds, “The other signs were pretty poor at best and duct taped in the windows, so this gives us an opportunity to get more representation on the building itself. The quality of the signs outside allowed us to firm up the advertising space on the inside.”