Linens in Paradise

Island Signs updates fleet vehicles for linen supplier.

Big Picture

Maui Linen Supply, an upscale provider of services to high-end resorts and hotels, knew it was time to upgrade its hand-painted and straight-cut vinyl-wrapped box trucks to be more in tune with its current image.

So it turned to Kahului, Hawaii-based Island Sign for a makeover. Known on the island for its six-plus years of experience in wide-format digital printing – and its even longer track record of screenprinting and graphic-design services – Island Sign was a natural choice for the job. The company’s owner, Doug Allan, along with production and design assistant Matt Mayotte to work closely with Maui Linens in re-creating the company’s logo and brand “look.”

“They had some flat-cut vinyl on a truck and had painted a truck in a rust-copper color and they were interested in keeping that color but having it printed,” explains Allan. “So I showed them the beveled effects I could put on their lettering and logo, and added a subtle drop shadow. I also proposed the idea of an understated phone number, because I just felt like their clients are high-end resorts and they’re not going to be getting business in traffic. So I put it in deep burgundy and once they saw it, they liked what they saw.”

Using Photoshop and Illustrator, Allan created digital-ready files and prepared them for output to the shop’s Mimaki JV3 printer with SAi FlexiSign Pro RIP and standard SS-2 Mimaki inks. He first printed a small proof of the truck design on the same media the onto which the final product would eventually be produced – 3M Controltac IJ180C opaque film– then laminated it with glossy Oracal Oraguard 290 Premium Cast PVC film using his shop’s GBC Arctic Titan 165 laminator.

“Instead of just showing him a digital image, I brought him a sign, stuck it down on a piece of PVC and said, ‘This is how it’s going to look. This is laminated with the same laminates, so if there’s something you don’t like about this image, now is the time to let me know,” Allan says. “That way, we could make sure he knew what he was going to get.”

Once the client approved the design, Allan produced actual-size images for the box and, along with another member of his team, prepared for the installation.

“On one side of the truck, there was a door with a lot of damage to it, including rust, corrosion, and insulation swelling,” he says. “Some Bondo putty and sanding was required, and then painting, so it would become a nice vinyl-receptive finish. I also had a local paint store color-match the background color I was printing and put it in a spray can, so we matched-off some of the more bulky steel hinges and latches and door-handle mechanisms and were able to paint them with a custom-mixed can of spray.”

In all, Island Sign produced the graphics for two identical 20-foot box trucks as well as three vans for the client.

Island Sign

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