Sit, Sip, and Cycle

Big Ink uses its Seiko Color Painter H-104S printer to create graphics for a Caribou Coffee pub-on-wheels.

Last summer, downtown Minneapolitans were pleased to enjoy not only “on the pub” samples of signature tea from coffee chain Caribou Coffee, but a free and interesting ride as well on a unique mode of transportation: the Sip N’ Cycle.

This teashop-on-wheels, concepted by the Colle+McVoy agency (, was designed to spread the news about Caribou’s new tea endeavor. The rented pub featured four peddlers who powered the bike, while guests were able to enjoy a sample of their favorite tea. In its three-day summer tour, the Sip N’ Cycle journeyed through the downtown Minneapolis streets during high-traffic events – like teen heartthrob Justin Bieber’s concert and many Minnesota Twins’ baseball games – inviting passersby to hop on.

Minneapolis-based Big Ink jumped on the opportunity to spice up the multi-rider cycling pub with Caribou-themed graphics. To help draw in locals, the traveling pub featured a larger-than-life 48 x 50-inch coffee cup – complete with straw – as well as an overhanging rigid “awning” to help keep its passengers dry and protected from the sun.

The coffee cup was constructed from .015 styrene by Yellow Dog Scenic ( Big Ink produced the cup’s graphics, using its Seiko ColorPainter H-104S printer, outputting onto permanent adhesive vinyl. Its GBC Falcon 60 Plus was used to apply a 4-mil pressure-sensitive matte laminate. The straw was printed using the shop’s Océ Arizona 250 GT, onto clear .020 PETG plastic.

The 14 x 96-inch awning comprised ¼-inch 3A Composites Sintra PVC board, with graphics printed on the Color Painter H-104S onto permanent vinyl. All cutting was done on Big Ink’s Zünd G3L-2500 cutter.

“The graphics all had to be removable because the actual vehicle was rented. The client also wanted them to be reusable in the case they ever ran the pedal pub again. Creating graphics that are removable, reusable, and durable can be a challenge,” says Big Ink marketing director Janine Trutna. All told, the project called for about 200 square feet of media.

Yellow Dog Scenic worked with a time crunch and finished the installation in one day – the day before it was due.

“Overall, people were impressed with both the delivery method and the tea itself – so much so that 65 gallons of tea was sampled in just three days,” says Trutna.


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