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.

Birdie Time: Quick Change Backlits for Promotions at Mid South Distributing

Printing backlit signs for advertising and promotions

It’s a simple yet effective branding tool: backlit boxes. Backlighting brings out the best in graphics, making the message more vibrant and eye-catching than an unlit sign. There is a danger, however: light acts as a magnifier, bringing hidden flaws in the print to the fore.

Fortunately for Mid-South Distributing’s Chad Mallich, he has the right tools and support to maximize the power of backlits for branding, as well as a designer’s eye for what brings out the best in a promotional sign.

With two Canon iPF8300S wide format inkjet printers, a cold laminator, a hot laminator, an OKI small format laser printer, a vinyl cutter and other sundry shop equipment, Mallich is ready for any challenge that comes across his desk. And, with support and materials from his LexJet customer specialist, Kelly Price, quality and quantity are able to effectively intersect.

Mallich’s recent backlit project was designed to draw thirsty golfers at Saddle Creek Golf Club in nearby Lewisburg, Tenn., to one of Mid-South Distributing’s prime brands, Miller Lite.

“We were looking for an alternative material for a short-term promotion that was less expensive than a typical backlit film that still imaged well and was easy to work with,” explains Mallich. “Kelly recommended LexJet 8 Mil PolyGloss Banner, so I put it on the light table, turned out the lights and it looked great. I’ll send an email to Kelly describing a product and she knows exactly what it is, so she’s been very helpful. As we get requests from other accounts like bars that have light boxes we’ll swap them out with this material.”

The appealing golf-themed sign is 11 3/4″ x 35″. With golf season in full swing, Miller Lite is the perfect antidote to promote this summer. Malich says that as the seasons change, he uses backlits to promote the seasonal draughts at various locations. “You can do more graphically with a backlit with contrast and bright colors; they just look better backlit,” adds Malich.

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.”