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Wild Card

It’s a Plaid, Plaid World – iQ Credit Union’s Gets Decked Out

By | Parking Signs, Rebranding Signs, Wild Card

One of our favorite things at SGS is finding out what the new quarterly campaign theme is going to be for iQ Credit Union. They always bring us their amazing ideas and we have a blast bringing them to life. Then we went plaid!

It was simple really, instead of “putting a bird on it” we’d just being going mad for plaid. The mighty signmakers of SGS really got to flex their vinyl skills when it came to all the wrapping. What did we wrap? Bikes! Barrows! A swag wagon! A car!

The team certainly leveled up on reassembling bikes…

 Ready to roll out!  Ready to roll out!

The print was an extra challenge because the lines meant it needed a precise application or it would look crooked. But this didn’t thwart SGS and the cruisers and wheel barrows left with a flawless finish and perfectly plaid. The bikes were in various branches throughout the Vancouver area and members could enter to win them.

The biggest piece in the campaign was the swag wagon. The wagon, formerly a plain delivery truck, was upgraded with the plaid print and the iQ logo. It certainly fits in the northwest and will catch eyes when its out in the community. Even better, if iQ decides the wagon needs to be changed up – the wrap can be removed and we can give it a totally new look.

 Seek the UniQue!  Seek the UniQue!

In going plaid, we met Woodchuck Norris. Chuck was featured on parking signs and giant A-frame signs as well. And, he’s even got his best flannel on to coordinate with the campaign.

 Just your friendly, neighborhood woodchuck to welcome you!  Just your friendly, neighborhood woodchuck to welcome you!

iQ even carried the plaid over to their website. The homepage featured members in red plaid to tie the whole promotion together. They took a simple idea and applied it in many different ways to make an impact. iQ shows that an impactful campaign doesn’t need to be some massive and elaborate idea. Just a straightforward element like plaid can be twisted and can be used so you get noticed.

Does your brand need a breath of fresh air? Talk to the team at Specialty Graphic Solutions. You can call us at 360-635-5556 and a real live human will answer. You can also email us at hello@sgsgraphic.com and we’ll respond – no robots here.

Custom Graphics That Go with Dutch Brothers Scooter Wrap

By | Wild Card

Did you know the pacific northwest loves their coffee? One of the unique things about our region are the coffee stands. For someone around here, an explanation of that isn’t needed but for those unfamiliar – it is something very specific to the region. Not everyone has the fortune of numerous mini coffee drive thrus like we do! One of the standout brands in the Portland and Vancouver area are Dutch Brothers Coffee. Their friendly and familiar blue buildings are shining coffee beacons (and some locations even 24 hours a day!) to get the masses their java fix.

One of the first projects we got to do with Dutch Brothers Coffee was wrapping a cart for them. They brought us a blank cart and it left blue and branded – ready to serve on the go.

We’ve been on a roll lately wrapping unique rides. So when Dutch Brothers brought us a scooter, we were game. We took careful measurements and checked out database of vehicle templates to make sure our numbers were spot on. Next was the mock up process to layout the graphics so Dutch Brothers could see what the plan was.

 Thunderbolts bolts and lightning are....very very exciting on this scooter. Thunderbolts bolts and lightning are….very very exciting on this scooter.

The look of the scooter graphics were very dynamic. A bit of rock n roll, airbrushed portrait on a van – but even better – because these are printed. Printed graphics meant the design elements could really be pushed to be unique. If you look at the background, the texture has halftone pattern which gives it a rich, comic book appearance. The magic and wonder of our trusty large format printer! Dutch Brothers logo takes on a glowing effect and surely will get noticed and make their energy drink memorable.

 This Rebel is ready to rock.  This Rebel is ready to rock.

Does your ride need to rock? Talk to the mighty sign makers of Specialty Graphic Solutions about your wheels. We might not win you a Grammy, but your ride will definitely sing. Give us a call today to get a free quote.

Film Poster Refrigerator

By | Signage Design, Vector Art, Wild Card

Sometimes it’s hard to find time to mow your lawn, let alone do a remodel in your house. For a busy Interior Designer like Rhonda Knoche, it’s exceptionally tough.  It took a while, but Rhonda finally set aside some time from making other people’s homes spectacular to remodel her own kitchen. An Interior Designer needs to make their home seriously awesome and Rhonda decided she needed something BIG for her new kitchen. She contacted the Mighty Sign Makers of Specialty Graphic Solutions to make that happen with a movie poster custom graphic for her refrigerator.

Rhonda’s Vision

Rhonda and her husband are big fans of classic movies. To add an extra touch of personality to their new kitchen, they decided to put their favorite movie poster (from the 1958 film, Auntie Mame) on their built-in refrigerator and freezer.

The Process

We started off with a picture of the poster, sent over by Rhonda, but we ran into a bit of a problem with the size of the image. It was just too small to enlarge without pixelating. Knowing how much Rhonda loved this image, we wanted to make sure that we could work with it. We converted the image to vector format, which instead of using pixels, produces images comprised of a series of curves, angles and shapes. The vector conversion allowed us to blow the image up to the right size without distorting it.

The next challenge we faced with this project was the detail needed in the print. Rhonda needed the colors in the poster to be specific shades. She wanted the background of the poster to match the cabinets in the kitchen and Mame’s dress had to be a very specific red. Close enough wasn’t an option, but that kind of detail work is exactly what the Mighty Sign Makers pride themselves on. We matched the colors perfectly so they would hold up to even Rhonda’s high standards.

Next, we printed the graphic for the freezer door. Rhonda wanted the quote, “Life’s a Banquet” printed to match the font on the poster with the same background color as the poster and cabinets. We matched everything perfectly with our digital printer. We printed on custom routed .177’’ clear Makrolon polycarbonate panel and added a dry erase overlaminate that allows Rhonda to write on the refrigerator with a dry erase marker. She can put her grocery list, a quick note or just words of wisdom right on her fridge.

Rhonda had a very specific vision for her kitchen. She did a lot of work to make that vision a reality and we made sure her refrigerator was exactly what she had envisioned.

Turn Surfaces into Dry Erase White Boards! Not Just for Walls!

By | Dry Erase White Boards, Wild Card | No Comments

When we mention dry erase boards, you probably envision boring classrooms or meeting rooms with the classic white board at the front. You may think of a monotone teacher or meeting leader at the front repeating himself at the front of the class a la Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Bueller. Bueller. Bueller…” Meanwhile, half of the room is dozing off.

At Specialty Graphic Solutions, we’ve seen the writing on the wall, and we weren’t impressed. That’s why we’ve decided to add our own twist to the old standby. Read on to learn how we turn surfaces into dry erase boards in Vancouver, WA.

This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Dry Erase Board!

If you’re still imagining turning a break room wall into a dry erase wall, you need to start thinking more horizontally! We can apply a clear layer of dry erase lamination to any horizontal surface. For instance, we can turn the hood of your truck or trunk of your car into a mobile dry erase board. If you’re in search of a wild and creative design unique to your company, look no further than SGS!

The dry erase board laminate works well with any graphics. You might consider incorporating a subtle, translucent version of your logo: enough to notice but not enough to obscure what you’re trying to write.

Dry erase boards are useful just about anywhere, including retail point of purchase areas, schools and day care centers, professional offices, and so on.

Markers Matter

Most of the time, when we refer to “markers,” we’re just using another word for signs. Just this once, we ask you to think of the marking devices that you hold in your hand. You may not realize that not all markers are the same. In fact, each dry erase laminate has specific markers that provide the best results. In our meeting room, we have an awesome clear dry erase board, but some colors and markers work better than others.

In the project pictured here, the dry erase laminate product is for use with dry erase pens. For best results, the manufacturer suggests the following dry erase brand marking pens:

  • Avery Marks-a-Lot ®
  • Expo Scents ®
  • Expo Bold Color ®
  • Expo Regular ®

We also recommend that you use special white board cleaner once in a while to really clean up the board. Of course, you can also save a few bucks by using plain rubbing alcohol. Avoid using water or other solvents because it can actually damage the laminate or interact with the marker to create a mess of your board.

Are you ready to turn your cafeteria tables into doodling areas? Or, do you want to make it so people can leave notes directly on the receptionist’s desk? Perhaps, you’re more creative than us and have something even cooler in mind! We’d love to help you with your project! Contact the mighty sign makers at SGS today for a free consultation and turn surfaces into dry erase boards in Vancouver, WA!

Vinyl Wrapped Columns Advertise for Pendleton at Portland International Airport

By | Point of Purchase Signs, Retail Signs, Wild Card | No Comments

Even with the best instructions possible, the easiest graphics installation job can be a hassle. Without the right tools and experience, you’ll be lucky if you just have air bubbles and creases. Most of the time, the graphics will just look off. Pendleton Woolen Mills needed an expert touch, so they contacted Specialty Graphic Solutions for vinyl column wraps for retail stores in airports.

A Little Info on Pendleton Woolen Mills and Portland International Airport

Headquartered on Pendleton Way in Washougal, Pendleton Woolen Mills has been a family-owned business for 150 years. The intricate patterns of their world-class woolen blankets are inspired by Native American legends and designs. They produce luxurious, lightweight 100% pure virgin wool clothing. These days, their products are available in department stores, Pendleton stores, and traditional specialty stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Korea, and Japan.

The Portland International Airport (PDX) is a local celebrity in its own right.  Ranked as America’s Best Airport by Travel & Leisure magazine for the past four years, PDX offers great food and retail options for busy travelers – including an impressive Pendleton store.

What We Did for Pendleton at PDX

When Pendleton approached us for help with vinyl column wraps at PDX our installation crew took flight to offer a hand. You see, the best-laid plans of mice and retailers often go awry. The marketing team at Pendleton wanted to implement a creative marketing campaign at PDX, where they have a retail store.

The Plan: Wrap several large pillars in the main retail area of the airport’s departure level with graphics that showed their iconic 100% wool blankets around trees.

The Problem: Installation of several of the column wraps went off without a hitch. But, they were having trouble with two of them. Since the installation wasn’t going as well as hoped, we found out on a Monday afternoon that they needed someone to install the new graphics that night since the number of travelers is smaller at night.

The Solution: Call in the mighty sign makers at SGS! Our super power is making our customers happy! Taylor and Jason arrived at PDX at 7 pm, and by 11 pm, everything was up on the pillars and looking outstanding!

The Problem 2: Electric Boogaloo: The next day (Tuesday for those of you keeping score at home), Pendleton needed us again. One of the wraps installed by another team wasn’t quite right. It needed to be reprinted and installed immediately.

The Solution 2: The New Batch: To ensure all of the columns would match, we tracked down the materials used by the other printer. One of our super suppliers overnighted the materials to us from the Bay Area. We then printed the new graphics, removed the old piece, and installed the repair piece in record time.

In the end, the client was completely satisfied with their installation and an effective marketing campaign that’s already showing outstanding results.

Do you have a graphics emergency? Don’t dial 9-1-1! Contact the mighty sign makers at SGS. We’ll fix your problem lickety split. Call today!

Have You Visited Our “Wildcard” Signage Tab? Here’s What You’ll Find!

By | Awards and Plaques, Labels and Decals, Promotional Signs, Wild Card | No Comments

If you’ve ever visited the Wild Card Gallery on our website, you know that we’re capable of just about anything. This gallery consists of projects we’ve completed that don’t easily fit into nice neat categories. These are the Robert Frosts of signage: they take the road less traveled. Most other sign shops would say “no” to making these markers.

Fortunately, the mighty sign makers at Specialty Graphic Solutions love tackling new challenges. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the custom signs for Vancouver, WA that we’ve made.

Customize Your Meeting Materials

You can get a lot of planning done over the Internet. Yet, there’s only so much you can see on your computer screen, and a lot of people just skip over emails and other important information. Many organizations still rely heavily on dry erase boards because of this. We help our customers visualize their work obstacles and create plans of attack with custom dry erase boards featuring their branding.

Unique Awards that Winners Are Proud to Display

Have you ever won an award and been embarrassed by the quality of the knickknack? The chances are you weren’t too interested in showing it off. When events or businesses cut corners on trophies and awards, it shows. Plus, they’re missing out on a great opportunity to boost their brand awareness.

At SGS, we can produce a broad range of awards at a relatively affordable price. We only supply pieces that are sure to catch eyes. This will guarantee that recipients will display their awards on their walls or in other prominent places where others are sure to see your incorporated branding. We’ve become a leading trophy maker for dragon boat races. Check out our paddle awards!

Graphics for that Special Someone

Do you have a special someone, or something, in your life that you’d like to beautify? For one warehouse worker, it was their forklift, Esther. They liked their forklift so much that they called up SGS for forklift graphics. We’ve put graphics on plenty of boats and cars, but the forklift was unique. But, we learned that we can apply vinyl graphics, labels or decals to just about any vehicle.

Save on Your Remodeling Project

If you’ve ever hired a remodeling contractor, you understand how expensive it can be. When it comes to installing a marble countertop, replacing old cabinets, and painting everything a color you’ll likely get sick of within a few months, you’re looking at shelling out tens of thousands of dollars. Or, you can get custom graphics of your choice when you contact SGS for vinyl kitchen backsplashes. These are easy to clean, and when you grow sick of them, we can easily remove them and apply new graphics that capture your newest fancy.

Contact SGS if you’ve had a difficult time trying to find a sign company to make your unusual signs in Vancouver, WA. Our mighty sign makers will give you an honest assessment of whether or not they can do it. In all likelihood, they’ll be up for the challenge. Call today to learn more!

Smith-Root’s Promotional Boat Wraps Revealed for August Trade Show!

By | Vehicle Wrap, Wild Card | No Comments

Most businesses know that they can turn a lot of heads with vehicle wraps for their cars, vans, and trucks. All you need to do is take to the streets for a few minutes to realize this. However, not all enterprises know that they can wrap ALL of their vehicles, including seaworthy vessels. Smith-Root realized this, so they contacted our friendly experts for custom boat wraps for Vancouver, WA.

There’s Something Fishy about Smith-Root

Okay, so maybe there’s a lot fishy about Smith-Root. That’s because they do a whole lot for fisheries research with their main focus on fisheries investigation products. With their headquarters on Northwest Salmon Creek Avenue in Vancouver, they have offices all over the world. The organization was founded over half a century ago by Lee Root and Dave Smith. Today, they produce a full line of field research and electrofishing equipment and have a large manufacturing facility. We’re big fans of the really cool stuff they do for conservation and healthy rivers and lakes.

When such an upstanding business came to us for boat wraps for Vancouver, WA, we couldn’t wait to dive into the project. We had provided vehicle graphics for Smith-Root in the past, and we have experience wrapping boats, so they knew we’d be a perfect fit for the job. They have a big trade show this month, and they wanted to make a big splash by putting graphics on one of their electrofishing boats. Our mighty sign makers were ready to sink their teeth into this project!

The SGS Solution

The in-house marketing department at Smith-Root came up with the design for the wrap based off of World War II-era fighter planes. They combined this with their own look and branding to really give the artwork some bite.

Using our cutting edge large format printer, we printed the graphics on 3M’s iJ180Cv3 vinyl and used a 3M luster laminate. We then installed the vinyl on the full length of both sides of the boat and wrapped it up over the gunnel for a clean, finished appearance along the top of the boat.

Finally, just so it was safe to go back in the water from time to time, we used a primer and torches to help strengthen the seal between the adhesive and the boat, especially where it will be sitting below the waterline.

In the end, Smith-Root was completely satisfied with the job we did and couldn’t wait to get the attention of attendees at their upcoming trade show!

If You Can Drive It, We Can Wrap It

Whether your company vehicles travel by land, air, or sea, we can wrap them with your custom branding and graphics. When you first contact SGS, we listen carefully to your objectives. We then come up with solutions that fit your budget and vision. Once you’re happy, we print out your vehicle decals and install them at a time that works for you. We can even follow up with any maintenance you need for your wrap.

If you’re ready to rock the boat with graphics, contact us today for a free consultation!

What’s In Our “Wild Card” Sign Gallery?

By | Inside Signs, Wild Card | No Comments

Have you ever visited the “Wild Card” Gallery on our site? This is where we put examples of the work we’ve done that doesn’t really fit into any other categories. You see, our mighty sign makers have this “problem” where we have trouble saying “no” to any job. Instead, when clients come to us with projects we’ve never tried before, we get excited about tackling a new challenge. Hence, we end up with unique signs for Vancouver, WA like the nine foot tall Cat in the Hat book for a parade float in our gallery. Let’s take a moment to discuss more of what we’ve done.

How Can a Sign Shop Help with a Kitchen Remodel?

Does your kitchen need a new look? You could spend tens of thousands of dollars replacing the cabinets, getting a marble countertop, and painting everything a color you’ll grow sick of in a couple months. Or, you can pick up the phone and call SGS for vinyl kitchen backsplashes featuring the custom graphics of your choice. You can create your own personal Hell’s Kitchen decor at a reasonable price. Sorry, yelling British dudes aren’t included.

Custom Printed Dry Erase Boards

The internet is great for business planning. However, it’s easy for people to miss information, and there’s only so much you can see with computer screens. This is why dry erase boards are still a popular tool for many companies. We were able to create a custom dry erase board that helped one of our clients visualize their work obstacles and plan to tackle them.

When Dry Erase Won’t Do

Many frozen yogurt shops will let you know which flavors are which with dry erase signs posted above the machines. That works fine but not great. For one of our customers, we created digitally printed personalized inserts in vibrant colors that they could just slide in above the machines. This makes each of the options more enticing. Yogurt stores aren’t the only enterprises that can benefit from these markers. Any business that needs a variety of labels can come to us for affordable solutions.

We Have Tons of Awards

We’re not talking about having won lots of awards, though we have some of those too. No, we’re talking about our ability to create unique, custom awards. All of us at one point or another have received a certificate of recognition or some other token of achievement that was clearly just printed off on someone’s home printer on low-grade paper. It doesn’t make the award seem that special, does it? Instead, at a fairly low price, we can get it done on high grade paper and frame the award for you.

Or, we can create a unique trophy for your dragon boat competition by applying vinyl to a paddle. There are virtually limitless possibilities. We’re always up for a good challenge.

If you’ve had a hard time finding someone to bring your unusual sign ideas for Vancouver, WA to reality, contact SGS, and our wild and crazy guys will get to work on it right away.

Supporting the Pink Cause! Boat Wraps for Kearney Breast Center!

By | Vehicle Wrap, Wild Card | No Comments

A lot of the time, when we say we’ll apply vinyl graphics to anything, people don’t believe us. We’re here to set the record straight. Today, we take a closer look at the wrap job we did for a dragon boat for PeaceHealth’s Kearney Breast Center.

What Does the Kearney Breast Center Do?

Part of the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center on Northeast Mother Joseph Place in Vancouver, the Kearney Breast Center is more than just a breast imaging center. Instead, they provide a comprehensive list of services for breast health. Whether patients are fighting breast cancer or are in need of a routine mammogram, they provide support with plastic surgeons, radiologists, nurse navigators, oncologists, breast surgeons, and more.

When an organization providing such a valuable service to the women of our community came to us for breast cancer boat wraps Vancouver, WA would notice, we could not wait to start this seaworthy project. To help celebrate breast cancer survivors, the Peace Health Foundation had bought a specially designed dragon boat. Dragon boating is a growing international paddle sport that is popular in the Portland metropolitan area as well as popular among breast cancer survivors. PeaceHealth ordered the boat to donate to the nonprofit Vancouver Lake Aquatic Center.

A Little about the Dragon Boat

Double Fifth Dragon Boating custom made this dragon boat, which features a pink gel coat finish. The boat is 40 feet long and consists of ten benches with two paddlers per bench. The helm steers the boat from the back, and the drummer has a spot in front to keep the tempo. It is perfect for sprints against other dragon boats!

How We Tackled This Challenge

This wasn’t our first dragon boat wrap. So, we knew what we were getting into. Our job was to fit both sides of the entire 40-foot length of the boat with a vinyl wrap. The traditional graphics for these crafts are a single colored set of scales down both sides. However, this wrap did things a bit differently. The boat wraps for PeaceHealth Kearney Breast Center feature the familiar pink breast cancer ribbons in varying shades of light and dark pink along the whole background.

These “scales” are also found on the body, tail, and neck of a fantastic dragon showing its head just ahead of the first bench and its tail all the way back to the steering deck at the stern. We matched the pink colors of the graphics to those of the gel coat finish of the boat to present a uniform appearance. The sponsor’s logos were added over top of the wrap to make sure they would be even with the waterline and the sloping gunnel. We printed the design on 3M iJ180Cv3 cast wrap vinyl and also used 8519 matching luster laminate.

It was raining on the scheduled installation day, so we had to set up a series of tents to cover up the massive boat while we worked. It took the mighty sign makers at SGS about half a day to install the vinyl graphics the entire length of the boat from right below the fiberglass gunnel to the edge of the boat where the unique W-shaped hull of the dragon boat moves back under the benches.

In the end, PeaceHealth was completely satisfied with the job we did!

Do you have a weird mode of transportation that could benefit from a wrap? If so, contact our friendly experts today for a free consultation on vinyl wraps and graphics!

Clark County Food Bank Adds Freezer Door Graphics in Vancouver!

By | Wild Card | No Comments

The question nonprofits are asked most frequently is “What is it that you do?” The Clark County Food Bank decided to take the bull by the horns with this question and contacted the experts at Specialty Graphic Solutions to create and install graphics that would show in vibrant imagery exactly what they do.

Clark County Food Bank? What’s that?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Clark County Food Bank, you can actually get a good idea of what they do by taking a look at the graphics we created for them. Located on Northeast 47th Avenue in Vancouver, the food bank picks up unsold food on a daily basis from local grocery stores and other sources. They then distribute it to partner agencies, who in turn identify families and individuals in need and provide them with food boxes. Everyone wins: grocery stores get rid of unwanted food, those in need get food, and nothing is wasted!

 The blank white freezer...

The blank white freezer…

When an organization that provides such a valuable service to our community came to us for food bank freezer graphics Vancouver WA would appreciate, we got right down to work! In the past, we’d produced vehicle graphics for the food bank. They were so pleased with the job we did, they came to us with the plan of creating a giant mural for their sliding commercial freezer door that would demonstrate how the food travels from the grower to a family’s table.

 ...Received quite the treatment from our Mighty Sign Makers!

…Received quite the treatment from our Mighty Sign Makers!

The food bank had a few criteria for us:

  • The graphics couldn’t impede volunteers or other workers from sliding the door open and closed many times throughout the day.
  • We had to use a single panel to cover the entire area. Multiple pieces wouldn’t work.
  • Must be durable and long lasting.
  • They needed to communicate a story clearly and simply.
  • It had to be colorful.
  • And, the finished product had to be mounted directly to the top half of a huge commercial walk-in freezer door.

The Food Bank Got the SGS Treatment

 Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

First of all, the Clark County Food Bank provided us with really great artwork created by a tuttle design. They’re one of our favorite graphic design companies in Vancouver, but you don’t need to take our word for it. Just look at that freezer door!

For this project, we chose to use a quarter inch thick polycarbonate panel that measured 61” by 104”. With our wide format digital printer, we reverse printed the full-color, vibrant graphics directly to the back of the material. As you can tell, the image shows through the material perfectly, and the ink is scratch resistant. We used our sign router to bevel the edges of the panel, so workers wouldn’t scratch up their shoulders on sharp edges as they pushed the freezer door open.

 An abstract view!

An abstract view!

Finally, for the installation, we used commercial, clear 3M VHB tape for a solid hold. We also removed the door handle for the installation and drilled the polycarbonate, so the mural could be behind the handle. In the end, we had another satisfied customer!

If you’re interested in volunteering with the food bank or want to donate food or other resources, you can learn more here.

If you’re in need of food bank freezer graphics, Vancouver WA can turn to the friendly mighty sign makers at SGS. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation!