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Trends in Outdoor Graphics: A Discussion with Industry Leaders

(September 2008) posted on Wed Sep 10, 2008

Veterans in the outdoor-graphics industry discuss how their companies have dealt with changes in the market and how other recent issues, such as the economic recession and the push for sustainability, have impacted their businesses.

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By Lori Leaman

MCDANIEL: I believe there are a few challenges for outdoor-graphics providers in the near future. One of them is the ability to stay up on the newest digital printing technology. As soon as you purchase the latest and greatest digital press, there is as new one out right behind it that is faster and offers higher quality. This means that your digital-equipment decisions must be well researched and thought out. Another challenge I feel will be coming on with more strength is the green effect on outdoor graphics. With more corporate push towards green initiatives, this may tighten the amount of signage in this area, since most of the substrates are not exactly green friendly. We need to be able to offer more eco-friendly materials if we want the print spending on outdoor graphics to remain strong.

RENDA: Investing in new equipment as it is developed and learning how to process green materials will continue to be a challenge that faces our industry. We at Art Etc. have decided to expand the scope of our business from strictly a printing business to a display company that also provides screen and digital printing. As I stated, everything we do is with our customer in mind. 




Brandon Gabriel, Principal, LAgraphico, Burbank, CA

LAgraphico has been in the graphic-solutions business for nearly 35 years. From prepress roots, it has grown into a complete graphics-service provider. Today, the company’s services include structural engineering, semi-permanent and permanent displays, sheet-fed printing, large-format graphics (outdoor advertising, in-store environments, vehicle wraps, and other promotional materials), and installation. Its sister company, Midnight Oil Creative, focuses on interactive media, media placement, and concept creative.



Randy Norris, CEO, Mountain Commercial Graphics, Houston, TX

Since 1984, Mountain Commercial Graphics has been providing screen-printed and digitally imaged graphics in a range of markets and applications, including fleet wraps, gas-pump graphics, banners, architectural signage, custom OEM graphics, retail, aviation, and canopy graphics.



Robbie McDaniel, President, PSP & Digital, Decatur, GA

PSP and Digital was founded in 2002 by father and son team Rob and Robbie McDaniel. The 60-employee company offers a range of services, including UV screen-printing, UV digital imaging, and solvent digital printing, as well as fulfillment and distribution services. PSP & Digital specializes in providing national retailers with sign kits that include banners, yard signs, window clings, pump toppers, pole signs, and decals.



Ben A. Renda, President, Art Etc. Inc., Louisville, KY

Founded in 1976, Art Etc. considers itself to be one of the most experienced and versatile producers of point-of-sales graphics and 3-D displays. This centrally located company is equipped with screen printing and digital printing technologies, as well as a variety of finishing and display-making capability. Art Etc. provides warehousing, fulfillment, and e-commerce services to its national customer base. The company prints banners, posters, window signs, and other P-O-S applications onto materials such as paper, foam-board, corrugates, plastics, and textiles.



Philip Garcia, Vice President of Operations, S2K Graphics, Chatsworth, CA

Founded in 1989 as Signs 2000, S2K Graphics provides promotional and visual merchandising solutions to retail and product marketers across the US. The 45-employee operation offers a range of services in addition to printing graphics, including assisting clients with promotional planning, creative design, shipping, fulfillment, and more.




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