By Olivia Cahoon
Part 2 of 2
In the first part of this series, we profiled the first and second place winners of the 2018 Application of the Year awards. Both companies won for creative projects of great proportions. We continue coverage on the applications that received the top votes with profiles on our third place and honorable mention winners.
To view the applications, pick up a copy of the August issue of Digital Output or visit the digital edition by clicking here.
Blue Designs, LLC, located in Troy, MI, works out of a 1,400 square foot space with four employees. The company operates as a one-stop shop for design, print, and installation services. It’s created banners, custom signs, wallpaper, and vehicle wraps for food/restaurant, real estate, architecture, transportation, and medical industries.
Originally, Blue Designs locally outsourced its digital printing until job demands increased, prompting Nedelkoski to bring printing in house. “I invested in my own printer because that helped me to save money and time on shipping or driving back and forth from the vendors,” explains Sinisa Nedelkoski, creative director/owner, Blue Designs.
Currently, 80 percent of the shop’s work involves digital printing, all completed with an Epson SureColor S30670 and OEM ink. “Epson is number one for their quality of printing,” adds Nedelkoski. Suggested by Epson, the print service provider (PSP) also uses Onyx Graphics, Inc.’s ONYX RIP product and prints on a variety of media including solid vinyl, mesh, banner, canvas, and wallpaper.
To meet the requirements and budgets of its clients, Blue Designs works closely with and educates clients on the differences between each media option. “Some want quality and long life products and don’t care about the cost, others do,” comments Nedelkoski. It sources its media from 3M Commercial Solutions, Arlon Graphics, LLC, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, and ORAFOL Americas.
Blue Designs’ work for the Cranbrook Art Museum earned it third place in the 2018 Application of the Year awards. For the past 14 years, Blue Designs has completed work for the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI. In Fall 2017, the client approached the PSP to recreate the experience of the Braniff International Airport terminal for an Alexander Girard exhibition located in the museum.
For this project, the client had specific requirements for their walls to not be damaged after taking down the application. To meet these demands, Blue Designs printed the graphics on the Epson SureColor S30670 using OEM ink and ONYX RIP software.
The graphics were printed on Avery Dennison MPI 2611 Matte Removable Wall Film, a removable material selected for the exhibition’s short lifespan. It took three days for Blue Designs to print and install the Alexander Girard designed wall pattern. In total, the PSP produced 2,070 square feet of printed media.
Cranbrook Art Museum was pleased with the final wallpaper and installation. According to Nedelkoski, the client said Blue Designs was professional, quick, and paid attention to detail. “This job was different from the other jobs because the amount of wall coverage and design pattern was really outstanding,” she adds.
Nedelkoski believes this application was nominated because of its outstanding detail, satisfied client, and eager audience. “It was unique because it’s rare to see that large of a design placed in a gallery space.”
World Class Graphics & Displays, based out of Cedar Rapids, IA, takes honorable mention for its work for Schimberg Co., which involved digitally printing onto two different surfaces of glass.
Established in 1982, World Class Graphics & Displays is a brand experience company that helps businesses amplify their brand into a dynamic experience through the use of trade shows, corporate presence, and vehicle graphics. With 11 employees, the PSP specializes in environmental graphics, or as the shop refers to it, branded environments.
“We are also the second largest vehicle wrap company in the state of IA, wrapping a lot of fleet vehicles,” says Steve Hess, VP sales and design, World Class Graphics & Displays.
Eight years ago, the company started to digitally print with HP, Inc. Latex technology, mainly producing wallpaper for Extreme Makeover Home Edition throughout the U.S. According to Hess, HP Latex technology is easy to learn and offers substrate flexibility. “Great inks and user replaceable printheads were a big selling point to us. The HP Latex printers are great for everything we do.”
Today, 100 percent of World Class Graphics & Displays’ work is digitally printed. The PSP also uses a UV flatbed for rigid substrates and offers dye-sublimation for its fabric printing, however that service is outsourced. “We’re considering bringing fabric printing in house with our HP Latex printers. We’ve been testing that, and it looks promising,” admits Hess.
World Class Graphics & Displays uses HP inks and mostly 3M films. As a 3M Authorized Graphics Installation Company, it carries the 3M MCS warranty for anything printed on 3M material. Designs are completed in Adobe Illustrator and ONYX RIP software.
The PSP partnered with Tallgrass Business Resources for the Schimberg Co. job. The goal was to hide the kitchen from the training room, which was separated by a glass wall. “They’re in the piping business so we wanted to represent their products in an artistic way. Something that was pleasing to look at without being too distracting for the people training,” explains Hess.
Created in Adobe Illustrator, the graphic was printed on an HP Latex 365 and utilized both sides of the glass wall. 3M Crystal Glass Finishes 7725SE-324 Frosted Crystal was applied on one side and the other used 3M Scotchcal Clear View Graphic Film 8150. In total, World Class Graphics & Displays printed nearly 400 square feet of film plus installed 400 square feet of frosted crystal.
Installation was an intricate process that required the PSP to line the front of the glass design with the back design. “Add to that you’re using multiple panels and our installers did an amazing job making everything line up,” shares Hess. World Class Graphics & Displays completed the printed glass for Schimberg Co. on time. The client was happy with the finished product
“In our industry, we all have access to the same materials and technologies. We need to challenge ourselves with the design and how we use what we have available to us. Go beyond just a great graphic on a surface. That is just one piece of the puzzle,” offers Hess.
Congratulations to ARB Digital, Bullitt Auto, Blue Designs, and World Class Graphics & Displays for their successful applications. And thank you to all of the nominees for participating in this year’s Application of the Year awards. If you would like to participate next year, keep an eye out for nomination information at the beginning of May 2019.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Top Projects of the Year.
Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.
Aug2018, Digital Output