By Olivia Cahoon
Part 2 of 2
Magnetic media is used in settings that require fast change outs like museum exhibits or sports arenas. As a wide format application, magnetic media is easy to install and offers visual appeal. Part two of this series focuses on a shop that expands its magnetic offering beyond common environments in retail.
Founded in 1996, Graphic Innovations began as an alternative vendor to corporate graphics buyers, designers, and marketing professionals in Southern New England with one employee. Based in Warwick, RI, the shop now employs 17 workers and offers large format posters, banners, trade show graphics, and vehicle wraps internationally.
The print service provider (PSP) focuses on quality and customer service to become a reliable resource for digital output services for large corporations to small businesses. Graphic Innovations welcomes the impossible and invites customers to bring challenging and creative printing tasks.
Graphic Innovations uses a broad range of printers including Fujifilm North America Corporation Acuity Select HS, Acuity LED 1600, and Acuity HD 2504; Latex 360 from HP, Inc.; and Oki Data Americas, Inc. ColorPainter H3-104s and ColorPainter H2-74s. “We have used these products for many years due to the reliability of the equipment and the image quality they produce,” says Jim Larkin, president, Graphic Innovations. He adds that all the printers are an excellent platform for producing high-end color prints.
To print magnetic graphics, the shop uses the HP Latex 360—purchased one year ago. “The HP Latex is a versatile machine with excellent color output,” explains Larkin. It features a 64-inch roll width with an eight-inch touch screen. Indoor and outdoor prints are scratch resistant and last up to five years outside if laminated. The printer prints at up to 978 square feet per hour and features automatic front-to-back registration for printing double-sided banners. It is capable of printing textiles and has an image quality of 1,200 dpi with six colors.
Three percent of Graphic Innovations’ work is magnetic graphics. Larkin says that the most popular customer requests regarding magnetic graphics are displays with multiple interchangeable components.
For four years, the shop has used Visual Magnetics’ media. According to Larkin, “it was the original company in this space and it allows us to test the product prior to going live with it.” He credits the company’s customer support system which allows print providers to speak with different material engineers.
Graphic Innovations regularly uses Visual Magnetics’ VM-POLYsatin printable media and two-sided adhesive 12×12-inch magnetic blocks. VM-POLYsatin is an 11-mil magnetic-receptive polypropylene film with a satin print surface. It provides a photo-quality look and is intended to produce high-resolution photo and artwork reproductions, overlays, and economical point of purchase (POP) signage.
Larkin believes the greatest benefit of creating magnetic graphics is the ability to change graphics in and out without incurring large shipping and install costs. Magnetic graphics are in high demand in retail, POP, and for vehicles. He describes the only noteworthy challenge of magnetic graphics is getting customers to understand the initial investment.
In regards to recent advancements, Larkin shares that the shop uses magnetics in museum displays, which allow an exhibit to evolve over time, be interactive with patrons, and be swapped out for short-term exhibits. It also provides the PSP with a new customer base.
Graphic Innovations started to produce magnetic graphics after working with the design firm that created the visual identity for Visual Magnetics. The companies collaborated on a project for a 30×10-inch swimming pool record board for Brown University in Providence, RI. The board was designed by Malcolm Grear Design, based out of Providence, RI.
To complete the job, Graphic Innovations used 14-mil VM- POLYsatin and VM-InvisiLock-30HE adhesive-backed magnet. VM-InvisiLock is a custom-engineered magnet designed for use with the Visual Magnetics Graphic System. The adhesive-backed flexible black magnet is applied to smooth interior fixture surfaces and supports up to four MagnaMedia layers for special promotions or accents. Its proprietary polarity allows InvisiLock fixtures to lock in place and is available with Surface Protect—a white scuff-protective layer.
The magnets were printed on the ColorPainter H2-74s intended for indoor and outdoor graphics, backlit banners, and double-sided prints. The outputs up to 74 inches at 900 dpi and expresses real gradation, light shadows, and metallic textures. The finished product was displayed in Brown University’s aquatic center.
Magnetic media makes installation simple—ideal for retail and POP settings. The graphics are used for vehicles, promotions, and advertisements. Shops like Graphic Innovations cater to a wider audience by offering magnetic signage.
Mar2017, Digital Output DOMAG1703