Floating Masterpiece

Mattatall Signs turns hand-drawn artwork into a detailed boat wrap.

In partnership with ISA and sponsored by FujiFilm, HP, Roland, and SAi, Big Picture is honored to announce the winners of the third annual Best of Wide Format Awards. The awards honor the most creative, innovative, and inspiring large-format digital print projects in our field. Winning projects demonstrate how today’s print service providers push the boundaries of wide-format digital print. They also encompass the world’s current social movements and the ongoing pandemic. Congratulations to the 12 winners of the 2021 Best of Wide Format Awards! Join us at ISA Sign Expo, Wednesday, April 7, at 4:30 p.m. EST as we recognize the winning PSPs during a virtual awards ceremony. Register today: bigpicture.net/isaexpo2021

Glas Ocean Electric Boat


Print Shop: Mattatall Signs

Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Tools and Supplies: HP Latex 560 printer, 3M-IJ180 Graphic Film, 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8519, 3M Tape Primer 94, and 3M Edge Sealer 3950

Mattatall Signs based out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, transformed a boat into a floating masterpiece for Glas Ocean Electric. The boat’s makeover features artwork by well-known Mi’kmag artist Alan Syliboy. The design is as unique as the boat itself, which is used for deep sea fishing and was converted to a lithium-ion battery-operated hybrid electric vessel – the first of its kind approved by Transport Canada’s Marine Technology Review Board. 

To print the designs, Mattatall used an HP Latex 560 printer onto 3M-IJ180 Graphic Film and finished it with 3M Scotchcal Luster Overlaminate 8519, 3M Tape Primer 94, and 3M Edge Sealer 3950. “It was a unique challenge that started with working with the artist to translate his work into a different medium so as to not lose the integrity of the project,” says Justin Boudreau, president, Mattatall Signs. “The design was originally a hand-drawn picture, which was digitalized. Our design and production departments needed to deal with scaling and how to apply the vinyl to compound curves and not lose sight of the project.”

Large exterior heaters were used to warm the boat to the proper temperatures during installation as it was stored in a cold warehouse without access to building heat. On top of that, the space to work in wasn’t optimal. “The application of the print on the compound curves in a tight dark space made for a difficult and time-consuming project,” says Boudreau. “The unique nature of the project and the rare opportunity to wrap a boat was intriguing for us. An extreme attention to detail was required to account for the compound curves on the hull.” In the end, the hard work paid off as the breathtaking boat made waves in the boating community and impressed the client. 

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