Louisville-based businesses collaborate.
By Angela Prues
When Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the venerable manufacturer of Louisville Slugger baseball bats and other sporting equipment, wanted to develop identity graphics for its previously plain local delivery truck, it turned to creative group Red7e. Also based in Louisville, Red7e was charged with producing graphics that would help the 120-year-old H&B "demonstrate the company’s connection and commitment to the sport of baseball," says Laura Becker, Red7e’s production manager.
The final primary image, a subtle scene showing a single player sitting in the dugout with a bat-maximizing the scene and minimizing the H&B brand-was concepted by Jeremy Reiss, Red7e’s art director. The creative group created high-res JPEG images, and Reiss proofed them via small printouts that were executed in-house; Red7e then turned to Louisville-based USA Image for the printing and installation work.
Because this truck wrap is a single-component advertisement, with the purpose of maintaining a brand identity on the road, its installation was performed with long-term adhesion in mind. USA Image utilized its EFI Vutek UltraVu 3300 for output, in conjunction with A.R. Monteith solvent inks onto Avery self-adhesive media. The Avery media was chosen, says Judd Morgan with USA Image, "because of its ability to adhere and conform to riveted surfaces, which box trucks like this usually have."
Printing the 415-total-square-foot image took three hours and was then laminated with USA Image’s GBC hot/cold laminator with a self-adhesive laminate and hand-trimmed. Lamination, trimming, and a test-fit on the truck combined for approximately one hour. Reiss was on-site when the printing was being completed for a final check of the output.
Installation was done by a single installer over several hours, with the truck height at 7.67-feet and a width of 23.5-feet on each side. The 7.5 x 7.5-feet rear door was wrapped with H&B’s familiar Louisville Slugger oval, a home plate image, and the tag line, "Makes Frequent Stops at Home." With this Louisville-born, -branded, -printed, and -installed project, the triple-play team of H&B, Red7e, and USA Image gave the truck a truly homegrown appeal.
USA Image’s 27 employees celebrated the company’s 13- year anniversary in Louisville this past October. The company’s 30,000-square-foot facility is custom-made, even touting a 40 x 50-feet color-correct viewing area. In addition to the Vutek 3300, USA Image also houses two EFI Vutek UltraVu 5300 printers and a Mutoh Toucan. And jobs similar to the Slugger project come easily to USA Image, says Judd: "Wraps are a major part of our business and [we] install here weekly."