Driving Customers to the Door with Backlit Images

Mark Lewis’s photography studio, Studio 121 in Loveland, Colo., was hidden from view. Though located at a busy intersection, the 50-year-old converted gas station was difficult to see, even by people stuck at the intersection’s stop light.

Lewis was lucky if someone spotted his neon sign, nestled in and amongst the other buildings, but all of that changed with some luck of his own. A friend of his purchased a number of light boxes at an auction at a reduced price. But, it turns out that the project for which he planned to use them fell through.

As luck would have it, he was willing to offload the light boxes, so Lewis was able to procure them at a discounted rate. Before purchasing six of the light boxes to fill his front windows and bring much-needed attention to his storefront, Lewis called his LexJet account specialist, Michael Clementi, and ordered a roll of LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Polyproylene to test the concept.

“I ordered a roll to experiment, and it printed remarkably well. It’s consistent so that the light shines through it very evenly. It’s been very durable and holds its color. I’ve been very pleased with it, and my customers comment on the clarity of it. The detail is still remarkably sharp, even with images that are six feet tall,” says Lewis. “When I got the light box opportunity, sure enough Michael had the right material at the right price. Every time I call Michael remembers who I am, and he’s always keeping me up to date on the latest in the market. He’s been more than just a salesperson; he’s been a resource.”

So Lewis set about constructing a front-window display utilizing the six light boxes – four boxes stacked two by two in the larger window and two stacked on top of each other in the smaller one. The image shown here is one large image divided into four sections and placed together for a cohesive whole, with an advertising copy graphic in the other window.

Lewis says you have to be careful in a case like this, since the breaks that look like frames between the light boxes may end up across a face or otherwise detract from the overall image. “That deviation doesn’t really affect the composition of this image, but sometimes it does, and in those cases I use the same image at different angles in four different panels to create a kaleidoscope effect,” says Lewis.

“I can rotate it out every couple of weeks if I want to and keep it fresh. Since I have the Epson 9880 and the LexJet film, I can change it on a whim. At night it lights up brilliantly and garners quite a bit of attention,” adds Lewis. “I put up the display for minimal cash, and people started coming in who didn’t realize I had a photography studio. It made a huge difference. It was the best advertising money I ever spent. The response was immediate and people were commenting on how cool the sign looks. It looks like a much more expensive display than it truly is.”