By Melissa Donovan
Part 3 of 4
Every Spring Digital Output announces the Application of the Year awards by inviting readers to nominate themselves as well as peers for entry. The August issue of Digital Output visually spotlights the first, second, and third place winners—as well as an honorable mention.
From timely work manufacturing personal protective equipment to superwide graphics for a brewery, this year’s Application of the Year winners are an ideal depiction of the achievements across the graphic arts.
Make It Your Own Graphics of Canal Winchester, OH is the third place winner in this year’s contest for its work creating temporary headstones.
Practically in Emotional Situations
Tonya Troidl, owner, Make It Your Own Graphics, started her business in December 2003, initially focused on cut vinyl projects; years later in January 2015 she began offering printing and other apparel-type product. A true family business, Troidl and her husband are the main employees, with their children stepping in when demand dictates.
Operating out of a 20×30-foot garage, the company’s main clientele are owner-operators of semi-trucks, but it also works with individuals, non-profit organizations, churches, and schools. Those interested in temporary headstones have generally recently lost a loved one and do not yet have a gravestone or headstone in place.
The temporary headstone idea came about after the Troidls suffered a personal loss and when they went to visit the grave there was no marker. “I thought about all the people out there with the same problem. Graves are visited quite a bit during the first six months after one dies and it typically takes two to three months to get a stone in place. This gives the loved ones a place to go instead of a clump of dirt,” explains Troidl.
For the job that won Make It Your Graphics third place in the Application of the Year awards, the client was referred to Troidl from a mutual friend after learning that she offered a unique service to people looking for temporary headstones. In this particular scenario, the customer was looking for something to place on her mother’s grave until a real headstone could be paid for an installed.
The graphic was printed on Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions MPI 2903 Easy Apply vinyl using a Roland DGA Corporation SOLJET PRO III XC-540 printer with ECO-SOL MAX ink. After printing, the vinyl was applied to a four millimeter piece of corrugated plastic on both the front and back sides then cut to shape with a scroll saw. Troidl says it took a few days to complete the request.
For install, Make It Your Own Graphics supplies standard sign stakes, which are cut in half and placed in the bottom of the temporary headstone. Once placed in the ground the plastic is flush to the surface, providing a nice finished look. If additional support is needed, U-clamps can be installed to better secure the plastic.
After the customer received and installed her mother’s permanent headstone, the temporary one was repurposed by placing it in a rose garden in her backyard.
Form of Artistry
At press time, Make It Your Own Graphics had completed 55 headstones for customers, family, and friends. Troidl believes “graphics aren’t just for car wraps.” This application was honored in this year’s contest because “used as a form of artistry, graphics have a way of touching people. In today’s society, mental health and depression are overlooked. I feel like these headstones are an affordable way to help someone in their grieving process.”
Congratulations to Make It Your Own Graphics for its third place win, as well as our other honorees in the Application of the Year contest. The final article in our spotlight series focuses on honorable mention winner Puzzle Creative Services in Akron, OH.
Read part two, Printing for a Better Beer Brewery.
Aug2020, Digital Output