Brazil-based Artwork Digital was commissioned to produce a run of customised, decorated Havaianas (flip-flops) for Carnival. Printed on thick rubber with an 8-colour Inca Spyder 320, the sandals were constructed for Fiat as a giveaway for the festive event.
“Fiat wanted to present the Havaianas to guests at their Carnival lounge,” says Rômulo de Abreu Guimarães of Artwork Digital. “Women usually wear high heels to Carnival, but they always want to take them off to dance. It’s very common, so Fiat thought that sandals would be an excellent idea for the women at their Carnival event.”
It proved to be a difficult order. “It was a tricky job,” explains de Abreu. “We had to print directly on the surface of the sandal, but in order to do that, we had to position the sandals at an exact point on the table so that they could match up with the design file.” It was difficult to solve. Artwork Digital’s ingenious solution was to create a jig from a piece of MDF that could be held in position on the printer’s vacuum bed and loaded with the flip-flops. “We took MDF and cut the shapes of the sandals—of several different sizes—into it, then we replaced them with actual sandals with the straps taken off.”
The technique worked like a charm, and the MDF held the unprinted Havaianas in place for their adornment. Once they were printed, the flip-flops were removed and their straps re-attached. “We produced 106 pairs in total,” adds de Abreu.
The final results delighted Fiat and their Carnival guests alike, who danced in both comfort and style in their new decorated Havaianas. They also earned Artwork Digital an Inca IDEAS Award for Product Decoration.