P-O-P's Place in Retail
Point-of-purchase graphics are an effective way to deliver an impactful message to consumers. This graphics-display showcase highlights an assortment of the numerous opportunities screen and digital printers have found in the retail marketplace.
Grabbing customers’ attention in retail environments and sparking their curiosity about a particular product or promotion requires the presence of unique, eye-catching displays. Point-of-purchase and other retail graphics can be relatively simple to produce, quick to turn around, and presented by hanging from, adhering to, or mounting on virtually any horizontal or vertical space in a retail setting. This showcase highlights how today’s innovative print shops are using technology, specialty substrates, and special-effect inks to screen print and digitally produce an array of display graphics that really stand out.
P-O-P Graphics Freshen Up Boots Cosmetics Stores
Everett Studios (Armonk, NY)
When Boots Cosmetics began plans for a promotional campaign in more than 3000 Target and CVS stores nationwide, the company enlisted the help of Everett Studios, a design and production company. The project, which involved a product launch, called for as many as 75-150 different graphics pieces or elements of various sizes to be printed, cut, and packed in individual kits that would be delivered to participating Target and CVS retail locations. Boots knew that the team at Everett Studios had the expertise and capabilities to produce the job and deliver it in a timely manner.
Everett Studios has been in business for almost 50 years, during which the 25-employee company has evolved into an operation that offers marketing and graphics services, including large- and small-format digital printing and finishing.
For this particular job, the team at Everett produced a majority of the graphics on its three HP DesignJet 5500 printers. Other portions of the job, including large-format posters and graphics, were printed on the company’s two Canon 8000 and 9100 printers and a Xerox DocuColor iGen3 digital press. They used LexJet’s Sunset Satin media.
Jayme Lawnsby, digital manager at Everett, says the media was ideal because it is a heavy archival paper that does not need to be laminated. The folks at Everett can easily print the graphics, cut them using automated cutters, and sort them for kitting. He says they’ve been able to make it a very streamlined process.
Printers ran seven days a week, including overnight shifts, to finish the two-and-a-half month job. The greatest challenge was the large amount of graphics that had to be printed. Lawnsby says the project went smoothly, and the client has been very happy with the work. He also notes that LexJet has been very supportive and helpful in solving technical problems and providing substrate solutions.
National Print Group, Inc. (Chattanooga, TN)
With baseball season upon us, Dick’s Sporting Goods stores wanted to hit a home run with a promotional campaign for merchandise geared toward America’s pastime. The project called for a print shop equipped to use a variety of imaging methods to print numerous graphics onto an assortment of substrates. Dick’s selected National Print Group, Inc. for the task.
National Print Group has provided in-store and out-of-home signage Since 1957. Today, the 400-employee company operates two manufacturing facilities and has sales offices throughout the country.
National Print Group used its M&R 72 x 120-in., five-color, inline screen-printing press to print 315 double-sided graphics on 13-oz, two-sided, vinyl banner material. The shop used UV inks to print the four-color-process job. Printing time totaled 20 hours.
The company printed an additional 510 pieces, which included five different designs, on an Inca Columbia 63 x 120-in. flatbed UV inkjet printer. The digital portion of the job was completed in approximately three days. National Print Group printed a total of more than 400,000 pieces for the job, utilizing offset, screen-printing, and digital imaging technologies.
National Print Group chose UV inks for the graphics to ensure proper ink adhesion and dry out. The company also developed a method for using conduit with connectors, which were inserted into the banner at the time of installation. This allowed the team to pack the large banner into a small carton, along with the installation hardware. The main challenge for the project was that all colors had to match perfectly, not only on both sides of the banner, but also between the banner and other printed items.
Signs Now (Evansville, IN)
Promotional displays for some customer-oriented centers, such as banks, might call for simple, low-key, yet effective messages, such as the displays shown here. Signs Now produced a set of static-cling graphics for door and drive-through windows and a set of danglers for the interior of more than 70 of Integra Bank’s locations.
Signs Now used its Roland SOLJET printer/cutter system to produce the static clings. The staff screen printed the danglers onto polystyrene. Total completion time for the job took approximately two weeks.
Signs Now has been in business since 1990, offering a variety of outdoor and indoor graphics solutions, such as exhibit and vehicle graphics, retail signage, labels and decals, ADA signage, dimensional lettering, and more.
Graphic Tech Graphics Celebrate Mothers
Graphic Tech (Fullerton, CA)
May is the month to celebrate mothers. Sephora was able to do just that with eye-catching, unique graphics in many of its stores throughout the country after it capitalized on the innovative print work of Graphic Tech.
Graphic Tech prides itself on being able to meet clients’ challenges for diverse and cutting-edge P-O-P graphics. For this particular project, the team at Graphic Tech created, designed, and produced a total of 175 kits (of varying graphical elements) for Sephora’s retail locations. Graphic Tech utilizes a variety of equipment and substrates, depending on the requirements for the application. The company’s equipment line-up includes M&R and Thieme inline screen presses and an assortment of digital presses from HP and other manufacturers. Substrates used included banner, vinyl, foam-core stock, and pressure-sensitive film from suppliers such as Catalina, LG Chemical, and Graphic Tech’s own line of B-Tech media. The Mother’s Day project took a total of six weeks, from design to installation. The actual printing portion of the job was completed in two weeks.
Jim Blee, chief operations manager of Graphic Tech, says “timing and good communication are challenges in a print job of this nature. A great deal of upfront time is required for R&D and execution. Good communication also is essential in transforming a client’s idea into something that can actually work. The challenge here is to make the graphics look realistic, and at the same time, economical and disposable.”
Screen and Digitally Printed Graphics Bring Life to Insurance Advertisement
KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group (Cincinnati, OH)
KDM is a second-generation, family-owned operation that has served the graphics industry since 1970. The company uses several printing technologies, offers finishing services, and provides an assortment of P-O-P materials for fast-food and grocery chains, oil companies and others. Based on that experience, the shop knew just what to do when Geico came calling for a print provider to give life to its promotion by delivering attention-grabbing graphics.
For this particular project, KDM printed 500 of the graphics on its M&R inline screen-printing system and used UV inks. Two hundred additional pieces were printed on an Inca Columbia flatbed press. The staff was able to print approximately 200 pieces/hr with the M&R press and 20-25 pieces/hr with the Inca. Total production time, from printing to finishing, took two days. The graphics were printed onto corrugated board with a clay-coat laminate.
The folks at KDM used an MGE digital finishing system to cut out the graphics. “The i-Cut system is ideal for this type of job because you can control the turnaround times better [and] you keep the job internally,” says Doug Pulvere, quality-control manager at KDM. “You don’t have to wait for a die to be made or deal with the expense of having a die made. With only one or two sheets required to set up and register the job, KDM is able to keep the cost of the job down, fostering its green efforts in reducing waste.”
The substrates presented a challenge during production, as they tended to curl during lamination. KDM overcame this challenge by storing the substrates in an air-conditioned room and stacking them upside down.
Dressing up Doors with P-O-P
CSI (Falls Church, VA)
Just when you think you’ve seen advertisements and promotional messages slapped on every blank space available, look again—perhaps as you step into an elevator. The Verizon Center, a sports and events arena located in Washington, D.C., realized a great opportunity in offering advertising space on elevator doors located throughout the venue and parking garage for the vendors, restaurants, and shops located within the sports complex. The Verizon Center called upon CSI, a digital and offset printer, to produce a variety of graphics for a number of its tenants.
CSI began in 1976 as a typesetting company, and over the years transitioned into prepress, digital, and offset printing. The 50-employee operation eventually added large-format printing to its services and capabilities.
CSI uses either a Gandinnovations Jeti 3300, a 126-in. solvent inkjet printer or an Inca Columbia Turbo 63 x 126-in. flatbed UV inkjet printer to create elevator graphics. They image onto MACtac JT5828P with permanent adhesive, and then shield the prints with MACtac overlaminates. Depending on whether the elevator has two or four panels, CSI prints the actual tiles with a 1-in. overlap around the entire graphic, allowing the installers to wrap the graphics into seams.
For four-panel graphics, each panel measures 18 x 84-in. Printing time is approximately four minutes on the Inca Columbia, and 15-20 minutes on the Jeti 3300. Once the graphics are laminated and cut, installers use a wet-application method to adhere the graphics, using a commercially available application solution. The installers use a non-aggressive product to facilitate graphic removal later. Promotional campaigns on elevator doors may last anywhere from one to four months, depending on the event.
0 Making a Bold Statement in the Fashion World
BIG INK Display Graphics (Eagan, MN)
Just before the mad rush of holiday shopping season, Kuhlman, a re-tailer of high-end fashion for men and women, contacted BIG INK with a request for P-O-P graphics for a pre-holiday storewide sale. The client asked BIG INK to produce posters and window graphics designed to deliver a holiday and winter feel, with the use of bright colors and high design associated with the Kuhlman brand of apparel.
BIG INK has offered visual-communications solutions to its customers for 21 years. The company has always kept abreast of emerging digital technologies and has used all digital technology since it opened. The 18-employee company is located in a 12,000-sq-ft facility and specializes in retail, trade-show, and event graphics for Fortune 1000 companies based primarily in the upper Midwest.
BIG INK used its Océ Arizona GT 250 printer to output a total of 25 store kits, each containing two to four 24 x 36-in. graphics. The poster graphics were printed on 0.125-in. Sintra foam board, using standard inks. The window graphics were printed on 3M Scotchcal Series 220 vinyl, and then cut out using a Graphtec cutter. Total printing time for the graphics was between two to three hours. Precise color matching was critical, as Kuhlman’s marketing efforts often directly relate to the colors highlighted in their clothing lines.
“Getting the color totally correct was imperative,” says Tom Trutna, president and owner of BIG INK. “This client’s differentiation in the marketplace is attention to details. They expect the same of their vendor partners.”