User login

Zoom! Zoom!

Eight vehicle-graphics projects that are wrapped and ready to hit the road.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Clare Baker

Starting off this season away from home as guests of the Houston Astros, the Pirates showed off three vinyl-covered vehicles that were sure to make a statement amidst the Opening Day festivities at their opposing team’s ballpark, the largest being a 40-ft tour bus. Impressed with the 40,000 sq ft of graphics done by Pittsburgh-based print shop Palmer Products for the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star game held in the Steel City, the Pirates enlisted the shop for this Opening Day job.

After receiving the graphics from the Pirates as TIFF files, Palmer Products made minor corrections in Photoshop and Illustrator to ensure the images fit the template they had created. Using its Seiko 100S printer, the shop then output cross sections of the graphic at full scale onto 3M Controltac Changeable Graphic Film 3552-10C and provided the Pirates with the laminated proofs for approval. "We usually laminate the proofs," says Wayne Palmer, owner of Palmer Products, "since this also affects color." With a window of only about 48 hours between the final art approval and when the bus needed to be completed, Palmer Products charged out of the bullpen, so to speak, and got to work.

Again using its Seiko 100S, Palmer Products began printing the final graphics on the same 3M media, chosen because of the short amount of time that the graphic would be installed as well as the compound curves of the bus.

The shop printed the job in 52.5-in.-wide x 110-in.-long sections. The square footage of the job totaled 1050 sq ft, plus 240 sq ft of perforated window film printed on 3M Scotchcal 8171. Print time totaled 8 hours.

Using its GBC Falcon 64 laminator, Palmer Products finished the vehicle body graphics with 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8519; the window graphics were finished with 3M Scotchcal Optically Clear Overlaminate 8914. Including laminating and trimming, finishing took approximately 2 hours. The installation was performed by Graphic Installation Services, also owned by Palmer, taking three installers 28 man hours to complete.

In business for 40 years, Palmer Products recently opened a new location in Philadelphia and has had success specializing in vehicle wraps and large, unusual graphics. Perhaps some of the company’s good fortune rubbed off on the Pirates as they began the season-they swept the Astros in the opening series.