Step Back in Time with a Printed Cooler Wrap

Vintage London tavern design

Give the people what they want is an excellent phrase to keep in mind when you’re designing anything. In the case of Douglas Liquors in North Attleboro, Mass., the owner – who happens to be English – wanted to immerse his customers in a traditional London tavern.

Printing a themed cooler wrapColonial Beverage’s sign shop manager, Tennyson Lacasio, was happy to oblige. Lacasio did some research and brought all the elements of a vintage pub to the fore: stone walls, barrels, candle and lantern lighting, and so forth.

The tricky part is combining a themed décor-like cooler wrap with the necessary branding. And, as you can see by the design and the accompanying photos, Lacasio expertly and seamlessly worked the beers Colonial Beverage sells into the picture.

Branding and advertising at the point of sale“The only things I snuck in that were modern were the Blue Moon and Coors neon signs, but all the other brands were given a more vintage, aged look. Still, those neon signs worked well and did not distract from the theme, and that was most important to the owner,” says Lacasio.

The 44.5″ x 46′ cooler wrap was printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Matte UV Standard Low Melt, and applied to Coroplast.

Removable Bar Top Signs and More at the Tipsy Seagull

Waterfront pub graphics

A year or so ago none of Colonial Beverage’s brands were being sold at the popular waterfront bar, Tipsy Seagull. The bar is less on the waterfront and is actually floating off the adjacent marina. It’s open about four months out of the year for thirsty boaters and others who pass by the marina.

Printing graphics for tabletops and bar topsSince that time, and thanks in part to the signs provided by its sign shop, Colonial Beverage not only sells its brands at the Tipsy Seagull but dominates at the point of sale.

Colonial’s sign shop manager, Tennyson Lacasio, just installed a number of signs at the floating pub touting the distributor’s brands, beer specials and upcoming special events. The big hit was the use of tabletop and bar top calendar-of-events graphics, printed on LexJet’s new Opaque AquaVinyl Removable PSA since the material can be easily applied and removed with little to no cleanup after removal.

Printing tabletop graphics for bars and restaurants“We had tried similar projects with vinyl that has a regular adhesive and the customer had to use special cleaners to get the residue off. They were looking for something less permanent,” explains Lacasio. “They’re pleased with these because they’re not see-through, they don’t need to make such a commitment to removing them and the graphics printed very crisp. It’s also a lot easier to apply than a typical vinyl.”

The tabletop prints pictured here will be replaced with full table wraps. Those wraps will also be laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Gloss UV Premium Low Melt so that the tabletops can be easily cleaned without having to remove the graphics.

For the time being they’re simply peeling off the graphics, cleaning the table and re-applying them. And, in case the pub’s customers decide to pick at them, Lacasio printed about 30 replacement graphics.

Printing graphics and signs for A-framesLacasio also designed and created two double-sided A-frame signs printed on LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/ PSA and a 3′ x 24′ identity sign printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Gloss UV Premium Low Melt and applied to Coroplast. Lacasio says the large identity sign can be seen from a bridge that’s a mile away from the floating pub. 

Strange Brew: Building and Printing Custom Beer Taps for a Collaborative Brew

Decorating beer taps with inkjet printed graphics

You may know Tim Dussault, owner of The Color I in Anacortes, Wash., from such projects as custom inkjet-printed window shades and a makeover for the H2O club posted here at the LexJet Blog. Dussault is always on the lookout for the next creative, custom project. As he puts it, “Our process is about serving unique niches that aren’t mass produced and that market to a specific audience.”

In this latest case, pictured here, it was a tasty blend of brews from three local brewers – Diamond Knot Brewing Company, North Sound Brewing and Anacortes Brewery – blended for a beer-tasting special event that brought Dussault’s creativity to the fore.

The brew masters from the three breweries exchanged ideas, recipes and yeasts to create a special brew for the event, held in three different places between the Puget Sound and Everett, Wash. The brew was also on tap for a month, and three taps representing each brewery were need for all three locations.

Since Dussault is active in the community and well known for producing projects like this, they turned to him for his expertise. The group came up with a concept, DNA, for the collaborative brew, and an eye-catching graphic. DNA is a double entendre – the initials of each brewery plus the fact the new beer is a blend of the three different yeasts each brewer uses.

Dussault had one day to take that concept and build the nine taps, so he worked with his local sign shop, Anchor Signs, to cut the taps out of one-inch thick PVC board on Anchor’s CNC router, then printed, cut and applied the graphics, which were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene.

Printing images on window shadesDussault says the event was packed with people from as far away as Canada. Moreover, the event and the work got pub and brewery owners thinking about how to better promote their businesses with the creative use of graphics and signs.

“We’ve had three to four different pub and brewery owners interested in the process, and not just the beer taps, but the whole concept of using graphics in a creative way to promote their business,” says Dussault. “I created a roller shade print for one of the breweries. The roller shade is inside the brewery, which faces the restaurant. On that window shade is a schematic of the brewing process and how beer is made using photos of their own equipment – their tanks and process – so when someone looks at it they see not only the process but what’s being used in their specific brewery. We’re modifying the concept for another brewery because each is so unique.”

Inkjet Printed Trading Card Sports Posters and How Shipping Makes a Difference

Printing sports postersJack Deere, owner of Three Oaks Photography in Wake Forest, N.C., is always on the lookout for new and unique products for his photography studio. One source of inspiration is the LexJet Blog, where others share their experiences and ideas.

“In addition to the great service I’m getting from LexJet, I appreciate the other things LexJet does with tools like the blog. It helps a lot, because I get great ideas from it, like the growth chart printed on Photo Tex,” says Deere. “In fact, we’re testing Photo Tex for different things, like appliqués on windows, wall murals and anything else we can find to do with it; it’s a great material to work with.”

Deere says the studio has been printing its own work for years, and one of the keys to doing it successfully is the confidence he has that he’ll not only get the support he needs, but more importantly that he’ll consistently get the products he needs on time and just in time.

“As a small business, cash flow is king. When an ink cartridge costs more than $100 a pop, even for the small ones, I don’t have to buy one until I absolutely need it. LexJet products get here within one day. I just had an order that arrived from two different distribution points, but they got here at the same time this morning at 10 a.m.,” explains Deere. “LexJet has never missed that deadline so I can order with one day’s notice, and we get quick shipping for that flat rate of $9.99. That’s what I really appreciate – the depth and breadth of how LexJet’s distribution is set up. Sometimes I’ve ordered at 3 in the afternoon and it’s here at 10 the next morning. Hello? That’s why I’m a customer for life; LexJet has saved my bacon every time. And, when I call the 800 number, the phone system is routed so I get my personal rep. I call and I don’t get a voice system, I get, ‘Hey Jack, what’s up?'”

Deere adds that product suggestions from his customer specialist, Michael Clementi, are another plus. One of those suggestions helped lead to a successful product launch that local high schools have embraced called Trading Card Sports Posters.

Deere prints the posters on LexJet TOUGHcoat AquaVinyl PSA (the product Clementi suggested) and applies them to Coroplast. The posters are durable enough to withstand inclement (pun intended) weather when they’re hung up around outdoor venues, like the high school football stadium.

“We only photograph seniors for the posters. We shoot an action shot of them, which I turn into a charcoal pencil drawing in the background, and then add a head shot and a photo of them with the seniors on the team,” explains Deere. “They’re typically used for senior nights at the sports banquets and it’s a gift to the senior from the booster club. Once schools see the posters I get calls from the booster clubs, so I’m in about seven high schools now. We also frame some of them, and when we do that we use LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene.”

Pouring Guinness: A Point of Sale Display that Sells while it Pours

Point of sale display with pouring beer and inkjet printed graphicsThe entire point of any graphics display is to attract attention and ultimately sell the products being promoted, which is especially true in the beer market at the point of sale. As always, Tennyson Lacasio of Colonial Wholesale Beverage Corp. in North Dartmouth, Mass., went above and beyond to do just that.

This time around, Guinness wanted to make a splash with its new Black Lager at Colonial’s largest account, Yankee Spirits, and Lacasio decided to create a display that was both a figurative and literal splash.

With a little Yankee ingenuity and water-resistant materials from LexJet, Lacasio built a promotional case display that features Black Lager (actually water dyed with calligraphy ink) pouring from a vat tap into a seven-foot tall Black Lager bottle.

Three dimensional and inkjet printed Guinness point of purchase displayLacasio created the eight-foot tall backing graphic, a brewery vat, printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and applied to Coroplast, then attached a pipe system he picked up from Lowe’s to pour down into the bottle.

The bottle was an old promotional Miller High Life promo piece that Lacasio spray painted then applied LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/PSA for the neck label and LexJet TOUGHcoat AquaVinyl PSA for the main label.

“For the main label I applied the TOUGHcoat AquaVinyl to a large case card and then bent the case card to the outside shape of the bottle,” explains Lacasio. “It would have been difficult to get the vinyl to adhere without creating creases toward the bottom of the bottle so the case card was a great solution. I then attached the graphic with black Gorilla tape to the edge of the label onto the bottle.”

The circulation system uses a sump pump at the bottom of the bottle, which feeds to a plastic line up to where the pipe comes out of the main vat display and back into the bottle. Lacasio says getting the pipe to align with the bottle properly was a bit of trial and error, but once set it worked like a charm.

Inkjet printed and Coroplast mounted point of sale display“When we were trying to aim the water into the bottle I got soaked a couple of times, but it didn’t harm the graphics at all. We just wiped them down with paper towels and there was no problem with the ink running or smudging,” says Lacasio. “I was very impressed with the way in which the AquaVinyl handled the water getting sprayed on the graphics; it was just another example of LexJet products coming through for us.”

Lacasio also produced information Guinness signs on either side (food pairing information, for instance) and a 3’ x 8’ hanging banner heralding the new Guinness beer for St. Patrick’s Day. The informational signs and the banner were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and applied to Coroplast.

“I had about two days to complete it after we met with the Guinness rep. There was some question as to whether or not it could be done, so it was quite fulfilling to install it as it was designed. Plus, the display is extremely shoppable. In other words, you can grab beer from the display without worrying about it falling down or coming apart. People were picking up cases as we were finishing the display, and that’s what you want,” says Lacasio. “When you walk into the store there’s a wall of Guinness to your left, and the big display is right there as soon as you walk into the store. You can hear the water circulating, so the sound of it further grabs your attention.”

To get a sense of the experience of walking into Yankee Spirits, seeing the display and how it works, check out the YouTube video embedded below…

Nackard Companies Does the Dew with Inkjet Printing Huckfest

Dew Downtown Flagstaff banners

This past weekend was epic in downtown Flagstaff, Ariz. Dew Downtown Flagstaff came to town and set up an urban ski and snowboard festival on Flagstaff’s main drag, San Francisco Street. When the event was confirmed about two months out, the city began hoarding any snow that fell in Flagstaff, then trucked a bunch in from nearby Mormon Lake to build a 2-3 foot base.

Printing promotional products with an inkjet printerSan Francisco Street was then prepared as a snow-packed urban ski and ride terrain park with jibs, jumps and vert for competitions and an open event so that locals could take their turn trying the rails, stairs and other terrain park features

Nackard Companies, a regional beverage distributor signed up as one of the corporate sponsors and the print shop, led by P.O.P. shop manager Steve Lalio, was recruited to produce most of the signs for the event.

Lalio estimates that the shop printed about 100 signs. Most of the signs were banners printed on LexJet 8 Mil Ultra Photo Gloss Extra, laminated with LexJet 3 Mil Luster UV Standard Low Melt.

Other signs were printed on LexJet TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene and applied to Coroplast. Lalio also printed the snowflake “medals” for competition winners with TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant Self Adhesive Polypropylene.

“We had three big events at the same time, but we pulled it off somehow and a lot of people showed up for the event,” says Lalio. “It’s too bad we didn’t have more snow in town, but they made it work well.”