In the rapidly growing vehicle wrapping sector, customers are demanding ever-more creative solutions to make a real statement. One small family-run business in the West Midlands has now taken the medium to new heights (quite literally) with investment in a Mimaki JV150-160 solvent printer from Mimaki reseller, CMYuK.
Coleshill-based Sign & Graphics Services offers a full range of wide format print services to the retail, exhibition and sign & graphics industries and in the process has established itself as something of a specialist in out-of-the-ordinary vehicle wraps. Owner Mike Bolton takes up the story: “I set up SGS just over three years ago after many years working in the digital print industry. Whilst we may be relatively small, we’ve carved ourselves a nice little niche in large scale vehicle wraps for the mobile exhibition sector. We’ve completed a number of complete double-decker bus wraps for promotional purposes which present some unique challenges.”
As Mike goes on to explain: “Our real skill lies in having the knowledge and experience to turn a designer's dream and vision into reality. It’s a huge undertaking and preparation and adaptation of design concepts is all part of the process. Experience has taught us little tricks such as where to use Contravision media and where not to and how best to format such large scale graphics.”
All this might seem rather daunting for many other vehicle wrappers, but Mike believes it’s all down to meticulous planning. “We reckon that two of us can complete a full double-decker bus wrap in around four days. Good teamwork and detailed preparation has made us pretty good at what we do,” he muses.
Reliable, high quality print is also at the heart of any great vehicle wrap job and SGS has continually invested in the best wide format kit available. As Mike explains: “I’ve spent a lot of time working with Mimaki kit over the years in different companies and always found it to be reliable and capable of delivering spectacular quality and durable results even when under pressure. I was a big fan of the JV33 and when the new JV150 series was launched I just knew it was worth checking out. I’ve known Robin East at CMYuK for many years. Input and advice from both Robin and Sarah Fenna in demonstrating the new Mimaki was invaluable and led to the purchase of a JV150-160. The colour gamut and resolution even in 4-colour mode is simply stunning and a really critical part of any high impact vehicle wrap – especially when it’s as big as a bus!”
Mike and his team at SGS are now doing more specialist work for the trade and marketing promotions industry and have become so adept at these large scale wraps that they’re getting increasingly involved in complete re-fits and builds. “Using specialist tradesmen such as carpenters and auto-electricians we’re now regularly managing the whole project for clients,” comments Mike. “A double-decker bus promo unit for Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey was a particularly challenging project but as the pictures prove, the results were amazing. Equally, the conversion of a flat bed truck for Continental Tyres used as a promotional vehicle in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, involved adaptation of original designs, fabrication and a well-executed combination of cut vinyl graphics and digital print”
“Tackling these large scale projects just requires a bit more time and thought in the planning and preparation, but experience has taught me that having the right equipment is also crucial to any successful project. Mimaki kit has always delivered for me, I know I can rely on it and the new JV150 just raises the bar even higher.”
... as high as a double-decker bus perhaps?
[Images show (above) completed bus wrap for Tullamore Dew; and (below) the wrapping work in progress]