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Growth and Opportunity: ISA Sign Expo 2011

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Back in Vegas, the event is on track to be its largest since 2008.

The 65th annual Sign Expo hosted by the International Sign Association (ISA) will take over the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 28-30. As this article is written, ISA looks to surpass the crowd numbers of last year, with early registration being up by 47 percent and there is already a 12-percent increase in committed exhibitor space, with more than 1900 exhibit booths on the show floor.

With the ISA show on track to be its largest since 2008, will the event be a harbinger of better times for the graphics and signage marketplace?

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Sentinel Printing: Building a Community

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"We don't want to just run out and buy from sources that are polluting because they're cheaper."

Founded in 1858, Sentinel Printing in Hempstead, New York, is one of Long Island's oldest companies, "perhaps the oldest company that's still in the original business," says company president Glen Boehmer. Sentinel had its beginnings as a town newspaper, but in 1950,when the paper folded, the company re-branded itself as a commercial printer. Boehmer's family, printers for generations themselves, bought the business in 1983.

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Stella Color: Find the Right Path

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"I would rather be ahead of the curve."

Lynn Krinsky, president of Seattle-based Stella Color, started out with what seems like primitive technology by today's standards. "I did rubdown transfers," she recalls. "My customers – graphic designers – would go buy Pantone paper, we would mix the ink, take the sheets of Rubylith that they had cut, and we would make, say, a three-color comp."

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Modernistic, Inc.: Educating for Sustainability

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Modernistic encourages clients to print green.

Founded in 1938, Modernistic (modernistinc.com) was originally a die-cutting company. It eventually morphed into a screenprinting company, and 10 years ago the Stillwater, Minnesota-based company began getting into digital printing.

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Setting Green Records

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Pyramid Visuals creates a green street graphic.

What better way to gain some “green street cred” than by partnering with Greenpeace, the international environmental organization?

In December of last year, Greenpeace International and Avaaz, an international civic organization, wanted to deliver a message bearing one million signatures to the European Commission – the executive body of the European Union (EU) – in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the first-ever Citizens’ Charter against genetically modified crops.

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SunDance Graphics: Value Engineering

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SunDance Graphics promotes its sustainable approach.

SunDance Graphics in Orlando began as an art-publishing company 10 years ago. Then, about five years ago, it was purchased by the family of the company's current director of operations, JohnHenry Ruggieri. The new owners began doing some commercial printing and formed a separate commercial-printing division just over three years ago; more recently, they created a multichannel marketing division as well.

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Green is Good

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Print providers turn to sustainable production because it's "the right thing to do" for the enviornment and for their business.

It seems like every kind of business is "going green" these days, from SUV manufacturers to your local supermarket. The term usually encompasses some combination of lowered consumption of resources and reusing or recycling as much as possible.

Print shops are no exception: Across the country, digital print providers are embracing the principles of sustainable printing. The basic approach includes paying more attention to the supplies they use, trying to print as much as possible on sustainably-produced substrates, and utilizing environmentally sensitive inks.

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Design Collisions

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How to avoid vehicle wrap disasters.

I sometimes wonder why we all chase vehicle-wrap jobs, when we know there are certainly more profitable, less stressful jobs to be had.

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Drum Wrap, Please

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Iconography wraps a piano and drum set with decorative graphics.

In celebration of the 2011 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) annual tradeshow, Roland Corporation – the maker of digital musical equipment and sister company to Roland DGA – set out to showcase its instruments with a bang.

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Light Air's Images Take to the Slopes

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Light Air prints graphics for the Rossignol Demo Tour.

As the winter season got underway at mountain resorts across Europe late last year, sports-equipment manufacturer Rossignol was readying for its Rossignol Demo Tour – a 10-country, multi-resort alpine roadshow that allows skiers and snowboarders to test for free the company's latest equipment.

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