The Sky King
Seaplane fleet gets a lift from Ampco Grafix’s wraps.
The Client Harbour Air, Vancouver
The Player Ampco Grafix
Tools & Supplies EFI Vutek UltraVu II 150SC, 3M Controltac 2-mil vinyl, 3M 1500 series solvent inks, GBC Orca III laminator
The Job Based in Vancouver, Harbour Air is the world’s largest all-seaplane company. Its more than 30 planes traverse Canada’s Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait daily, taking passengers to and from the mainland, Vancouver Island, and the nearby Gulf Islands.When Harbour Air decided it would start a new campaign targeting the Olympic crowds earlier this year, it called upon Ampco Grafix, which had worked with the airline in the past. The job was to produce graphics and wrap two of the airline’s planes with “going green” and other marketing messages.
“We were on the world stage with the Olympics and wanted to show the world what we do,” says Harbour Air’s Randy Wright.
Production One challenge came up right away: Both planes were relatively older models, says Ampco’s Minori Ide, “and we could not find the template to start the design to match different contours for installations.” As a result, she says, the templates had to be hand-made, by measuring each plane from scratch.
Once that hurdle was overcome, Rachale Cavanagh, Ampco’s in-house designer, created the graphics in Adobe Illustrator. Online proofs were provided to the client in PDF format and upon approval, output began.
Ampco printed more than 820 square feet of 3M Controltac 2-mil vinyl using its EFI Vutek Ultra Vu II 150SC with 3M 1500 solvent inks. Lamination was done on the company’s GBC Orca III Pro Tech; computer- and hand-cut letterwork completed the graphics.
A team of three Ampco installers worked for 29 hours in late January to cover the planes with approximately 42 x 10 feet of vinyl, per side, per plane, taking extra time to work around the large number of rivets on the planes’ surfaces.