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Graphics In the Can

(September 2008) posted on Thu Sep 11, 2008

In-house graphics team wrap trucks for illusion of large beer cans.


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Most companies that are in need of eye-catching wide-format graphics turn to an outside print provider to get the job done. Others, with more resources and perhaps more nerve, decide to bring graphic design and production in-house. One such company is Mechanicville, NY-based DeCrescente Distributing Company, which produces all of its signage internally.

The graphics department produces mostly large-scale signage, but recently created graphics to wrap a couple of the company’s beverage trucks. The two trucks, which have a refrigerated trailer on the back and are used to transport kegs to various events, were to be wrapped in such a way that it appeared the back of the trailers were actually transporting six massive Coors Light and Miller Light cans, respectively. James Lane, a graphic designer for the company, admits he had little experience with wrapping vehicles. What could go wrong?

Production
Using graphics supplied by Coors Light and Miller Light, Lane created the graphics in Photoshop. Using the shop’s Mutoh Toucan LT with Eco-Solvent Plus inks, Lane output the graphics onto FlexCon’s BusArt vinyl. For the Coors truck, the graphics for each "can" were printed in two sections measuring 57 inches wide x 76 inches tall. The Miller Light "cans" were printed as one panel, each measuring 43 1/2 x 65 1/4 inches. In total, the graphics took approximately 1 1/2 hours to print.

Lane says that no finishing was done to the graphics due to the minimal time that the truck is outside: "The truck is filled with kegs and driven to events. It usually sits on a road at the event, and then it’s brought back."

In addition to creating and printing the graphics, Lane also took on the installation of the graphics. Given his lack of vehicle-wrap installation experience, Lane was appropriately daunted by the task at hand. "I had no clue what I was doing," he confesses. But, using the soap-and-water installation technique, Lane quickly picked up the skills needed to get the job done. Ten hours of hard work later, the graphics were ready to hit the road.

Of Note
Complications aside, Lane’s first effort at vehicle-wrap installation was a success. Not only do the graphics look great, he says, but DeCrescente Distributing has received positive feedback from event-goers that have seen-and frequented-the trucks.

The Client & Players
DeCrescente Distributing Company (www.gotbeer.com)

Tools & Supplies
Mutoh Toucan LT, Mutoh Eco-Solvent Plus ink, FLEXcon BusArt media.


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