GFX International prints 147 unique pieces of artwork for Golfsmith International.
Known for its integrated multi-channel approach to merchandising, Golfsmith International needed a retail design and execution firm it could trust to convey its Anything for Golf/Fair-Way media campaign in its stores. The golf specialty store leader turned to longtime partner GFX International (www.gfxi.com) to implement the point-of-purchase aspect of its multi-pronged promotion and brand launch in the 114 Golfsmith stores across the US and 57 Golf Town stores in Canada, which make up the corporate family.
“The idea was to integrate the Anything for Golf message into the shopper’s in-store experience,” says Jakub Kar-Ali, VP of account services, GFX. “There was a major media campaign around it, and we were tasked with executing Golfsmith's strategy of integrated messaging into the shopper’s in-store experience.”
The March 2014 campaign, Golfsmith’s largest and most high-profile to date, required the production of more than 10,000 units, incorporating 147 unique pieces of artwork. Parts ranged from coated-board posters and gondola toppers to overhead banners, backlit translucent light box graphics, and 7-foot tall standees; and involved materials from rigid vinyl and styrene to static cling and United Industries Ultra Board. As an integrated part of a multimedia campaign, in-store elements had to maintain uniformity of color across the different substrates and diverse production processes. Digital four-color process printing, die-cutting, square-trimming, and router-cutting were called for to achieve various design goals. Add to this that the in-store campaign presence was to be progressive – with message components being shipped in three waves and each store receiving a different set of graphic elements within each wave – and the already broad scope of the project increased exponentially.
“Different part types were sent in different waves, but a wave was shipped to every single store over a three-week period,” notes Kar-Ali. “Speed to market was mission-critical, and GFX’s proven ability to execute on very strict timelines during its 10-year relationship with Golfsmith was key to our being selected for the project. In this case, there was a seven-day turnaround time from artwork release to the first wave of drop shipments.”
Golfsmith supplied campaign artwork in Photoshop and Illustrator, along with a roster of each store’s communication part types. GFX was responsible for color management, print production, and drop shipping. It also provided prototyping for function, substrate consultations, and hardware solutions for attachment in the field, although installation was performed by the client’s in-store visual teams.
All items were printed digitally on Inca Onset S50i and S70 printers, using G7 process color management and soft proofing. Pieces were then square-, router-, or die-cut. GFX’s automated workflow and Symphony proprietary software were used to optimize the overall efficiency of the Golfsmith project, including spinning data to gain efficiencies in picking and packing and bar code-integrated fulfillment for smart distribution.
“The biggest challenges were timing and logistics,” says Kar-Ali. “It was a big project with a complex mix of part types and varied substrates requiring color-matching, but that’s pretty much ‘status quo’ here. The most important thing was upfront planning and engineering, and prioritizing the work.”
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