By Lisa Guerriero
Print shops evaluate their client’s needs and engineer a solution to fulfill the customer’s vision. Often, customers look to put a fresh face on an existing property and that’s something Superior Signs and Graphics specializes in. A large format digital print company, it creates and installs vehicle wraps, window wraps, wall wraps, trade show displays, and flat signage—including banners, posters, and decals.
Owners Scott and Edith Hoffman established Superior Signs and Graphics in 2012 and remain its president and secretary treasurer, respectively. Based in Buena Park, CA, projects are found throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Maximizing the Space
In July, Superior Signs and Graphics worked with Aaron Tapper, assistant athletic director, California State University-Fullerton (CSUF). The north wall of a locker room building is located behind the CSUF Titans soccer stadium and faces the field. At 175 feet wide and 16 feet high, the wall creates a backdrop to one of the goals. As scenery for a soccer game, however, it left something to be desired. The wall featured a large plywood logo and old foam letters. Water stains left white calcium marks on the surface. “The gray color of the block and mortar wall was unappealing. The wall itself was a huge focal point for fans and opposing teams and it wasn’t being maximized,” says Scott Hoffman.
CSUF looked for an eye-catching design that would inspire Titans players and fans while intimidating opponents. The college hoped to incorporate team colors, showcase its past NCAA accomplishments, and also play up the Titans brand.
Superior Signs and Graphics took CSUF’s original design and doctored it, darkening the background color from gray to blue so the Titans’ mascot—Tuffy the elephant—would stand out. Keeping in mind the behind-the-goal location, Superior Signs and Graphics incorporated a barely-perceptible palm tree pattern to help conceal any marks from stray soccer balls.
Bringing the Design to Life
To achieve vibrant color and clarity, the company utilized a Hewlett-Packard latex printer. It chose Arlon Graphics, LLC’s DPF 6700 cast vinyl because it is “super conforming and features an aggressive adhesive to help stick to rough surface walls and mortar joints,” notes Hoffman.
Before the print provider started work, it requested samples from Arlon for pull testing. “In our test, the vinyl actually started tearing where the scale was attached without pulling away from the wall—so we knew the adhesive was strong,” he adds.
Superior Signs and Graphics pressure laminated the vinyl. It selected a luster laminate, from Arlon’s Series 3220, “to knock down glare that can come from wrapping a rough surface wall with gloss,” explains Hoffman.
The color scheme was a challenge. It required large amounts of cyan and light cyan and made handling the panels tricky. “Keeping the printer going meant several emergency runs for more cyan. Also, the amounts of solid color made matching printed panels difficult,” admits Hoffman.
When the project was ready in August, Superior Signs and Graphics had 44 panels, each 17 feet tall. It planned to vertically panel the wall, like wallpaper, with two inches of overlap on each panel.
Prior to installation, the walls needed preparation work. Some of the foam letters were over a decade old and applied with ample adhesive. The solution involved pressure washing the wall at 4,000 psi to remove all of the adhesive.
For install, each printed panel was heated with blow torches and pushed into the recesses of the block wall with rough surface rollers. The process took four installers four days with an aerial lift to complete.
Everyone was pleased with the result. Players approached the wall and asked Superior Signs and Graphics if the design was painted onto the surface. “Our favorite reactions were each morning when the teams hit the field and were gasping at the magnitude of the wall graphic and our progress from the day before,” recalls Hoffman.
Superior Signs and Graphics is seeing results by offering clients personalized attention, from the planning stages to post-installation follow up. It revitalized a university sports stadium by paying attention to every detail of the project.
Dec2014, Digital Output