A World of Panes

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A World of Panes
While challenging, window graphics
put retail promotions front and center
By Jeffrey Steele                                           retail space, and exciting adding to your clients’ appeal
     Window graphics have emerged as a key advertising      to their customers.”
medium, particularly for retail firms. Print providers          Moreover, this is another niche where client
focusing on the niche know how valuable their output        demand is increasing even as the technology grows
is for clients aiming to put promotions right in front      more efficient. So said Harlan Roberts, Phoenix-based
of patrons’ eyes.                                           national sales manager with Big Mountain Imaging of
     “It’s a major component of the retail campaign at      Philadelphia, which bills itself as “a complete solutions
street level,” said Steve Kinney, vice-president of sales   provider” for its large and grand-format clients.
and marketing with Portland Color, a 30-year-wide               Retail signage is among the fastest growing seg-
large-format printing company in Portland, ME. “If          ments of the industry, and the equipment available to
it’s done well and done right, and I’m speaking of the      produce it is getting better and faster, Roberts said.
creative execution, not just the materials used, you’re         An example is the company’s newly-acquired Vutek
bringing people off the street and into the store with      QS3200, a seven-color flatbed printer, which offers the
the message you convey.”                                    flexibility to quickly change graphics. That efficiency
     Window graphics can be a profit center for your        makes for outstanding quality with little wasted effort.
shop as well. But gaining those profits requires sur-           “Window graphics can be extremely profitable if
mounting a learning curve, grasping the challenges of       done right the first time,” Roberts said. “They are eye-
installation and fending off rival providers in an ever-    catching and an easy sell to any client trying to make a
more-competitive field.                                     great impression utilizing a visual medium.”
     Before exploring obstacles on the way to suc-
cess, let’s examine some good reasons to step into the      Overcoming the Hurdles
crowded realm of wide-format imaging.                           Garnering great results and lots of repeat business
     One of the upsides is that window graphics, due to     is seldom achieved overnight, however. That’s the word
their changeable nature, can provide a very steady flow     from Terry Calen, special projects manager at Stella
of revenues, said Chris Shadix, president of Belaire        Color, a 26-year-old Seattle, WA provider where win-
Displays, Inc., a 51-year-old family-owned company          dow graphics, including window banners, comprise 30
in Richmond, CA whose business is 50 percent com-           to 40 percent of the business.
prised of window displays and graphics.                         Installation is one challenge, and one approached
     “It’s always a changing landscape,” he said. “We       differently at different shops that provide window
refer to it as temporary graphics. People dress their       graphics. “Installation can be tricky,” Calen said. “If
windows for a season, or for a promotion. So from a         you’re covering the entire window, and it’s seamed...
shop standpoint, it represents r
Description: Wide-Format Imaging recently asked [Terry Calen], special projects manager at Stella Color in Seattle, to discuss its Mobex window promotion for Columbia Sportswear (pictured above). According to Calen, the project was for Columbia Sportswear retail stores in Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis.
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