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'Thank You for Loitering'

(August 2007) posted on Mon Aug 27, 2007

How Dallas-based Sonntag helped bring The Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart to Life.

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By Angela Prues

Due to the high volume of graphics that had to be covered-from the top of the building and parking signs to all of the interior displays-Tracy Locke divvied up the work among multiple printer operations, including Sonntag, a screen printer, and even a sign company specializing in hand painting. "We wanted to create an integrated look, so we focused on each company’s strengths," says Hayman.

P-O-P personalities

Sonntag Inc., a digital and screen print provider in Dallas, was contracted to orchestrate most of the point-of-purchase aspects of the 7-Eleven conversions plus a few exterior signs.

Tracy Locke had a previously established relationship with Sonntag ( through other print jobs and the staff was impressed with the shop’s efficiency. Steve Shoquist of Tracy Locke says, "We knew that they had a very quick turn-around time. We felt they could get the job done and they did." Sonntag’s output covered the pink-sprinkled donut displays, "Buy 3 for the Price of 3" signs, and other Krusty-O, D’oh!, and "Thank You, Come Again" themed interior graphics.

Fox representatives and Tracy Locke’s art director, Matt Rand, created the image files in InDesign. After receiving the files, Sonntag’s struggle was "turning that project around in time. We had about two and a half days for production," says Lewis Griffin, director of business development for Sonntag. Not only was time a limitation, but Marge’s blue hair, the family’s yellow flesh tones, and the Kwik-E-Mart logo were all highly recognizable, so hitting those colors was critical.

"7-Eleven ultimately approved every piece for content, and Tracy Locke approved all pieces from a color-correctness and quality standpoint," says Hayman. Because the time constraints were so tight, Tracy Locke representatives drove to Sonntag’s shop and did all approvals on-the-spot.Although Sonntag has screenprinting presses as well as two different makes of digital printers in-house, "The decision was made to use the same printer type on all of the elements in order to keep color consistent throughout," says Griffin.