Big Picture - May 2017 - 20
The Fund for Educational Excellence
When Dave Gimbel bought the Signs by Tomorrow franchise in
Alexandria (signsbytomorrow.com/alexandria) in 2002, most of
their work was cut vinyl, banners, and run-of-the-mill signage.
But they quickly faced the question: "What would set us apart
from Kinko's, FedEx, and everybody that bought a printer?"
Gimbel says. They decided to diversify, and today about 20
percent of their work falls in the environmental graphics sector.
The franchise began working with Kirk Design on a longterm initiative with the Fund for Educational Excellence in
Baltimore. The organization plans to refurbish 25 libraries in the
Baltimore City School district; so far, Gimbel's shop has helped
shape the environment for 13 locations. Most recently, the team
provided 600 square feet of graphics for the library at George
Washington Elementary, and 950 square feet for Hampden
Elementary (left). Both feature a number of wall graphics
around and above rows of bookshelves, and are topped off with
13- and 15-foot ceiling graphics, respectively. Gimbel says the
key to the ceiling graphic is printing 2 to 4 inches of extra
material to allow for flexibility at install. The shop used a
Mimaki JV33-160 printer to image 3M Controltac IJ40 vinyl.
Crazy Bowls & Wraps
counts of mold.
Vinyl is highly
"The days of clients writing specs of what they want seem to
be long gone," says Shawn Fogle, VP of display and graphics
at Swift Print Communications (swiftprint.com). Fogle finds
himself in an increasingly consultative role as print capabilities become more and more specialized.
Swift Print partnered with design agency Atomic Dust to
rebrand a fast casual restaurant called Crazy Bowls & Wraps;
the chain wanted to be sure they stood out in a crowded market.
Swift Print came in before sunrise to complete the install
and ran into a few unfriendly surfaces. Because the restaurant
was already in operation, there were cleaning oils on the walls
that made it tough to get the vinyl to stick. But after some
perseverance and extra 3M adhesion spray, they pulled it off.
The 403 square feet of graphics were printed with an Epson
SureColor S50675 onto Briteline vinyl.