A Working Partnership
Comedian Chris Rock once joked that boredom is the sign of a good relationship. “You don’t want drama,” he said and undoubtedly, over the long haul, he’s right. I always ask the shops interviewed for this column if anything new, different, weird, unusual or funny happened over the course of the job we’re covering. Sometimes that yields an interesting anecdote or detail. Not this time. “No, it ran very smoothly,” said Mark J. Vnuk, vice president of sales for Brand Graphic Solutions (BGS; Plymouth, PA). “Mericle is a great partner to work with.”
Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services (Wilkes-Barre, PA) has developed more than 100 industrial, office and flex buildings across 15 northeastern Pennsylvania business parks. Since 2012, BGS has produced fleet wraps, corporate office branding, architectural graphics and signs for Mericle’s tenants and has even helped with some of Mericle’s philanthropic projects – all the while becoming the company’s exclusive PSP.
“We consider the vinyl wraps and decals to be important parts of our multimedia branding campaign,” said Jim Cummings, vice president, marketing for Mericle. So, when Mericle wanted to begin to update their service-vehicle graphics, their in-house graphic designer Rachel initiated a familiar process: She called Mark Vnuk with the vehicle’s make, model and year, according to Cummings, and Vnuk then replied with a schematic for that vehicle. After Mericle’s marketing team contributed and all of the company’s edits were complete, she sent the Adobe Illustrator artwork to BGS for review.
“We have worked with Rachel several times over the years,” Vnuk said. “We sometimes need to tweak the files so a logo doesn’t fall on a spot, say, where a window or door handle [is],” but, lacking drama, little tweaking was needed this time. “Very little,” he said. “We just shifted [one] image a bit, so it didn’t go over the door handle.”
The design itself features a dynamic graphic of the interior of one of Mericle’s ready-for-client buildings. The photo offers deep perspective, giving a sense of the size of the building. “The van has to be one of the most eye-catching wraps we have ever done,” Vnuk said.
BGS chose Avery Dennison MPI 1105 Opaque Series Film DOL 1360 and DOL 1060 overlaminate for the fleet wraps. Vnuk cited ease of application and durability as reasons he uses MPI 1105 for vehicle wraps and other outdoor applications. The shop printed the job with its Epson SureColor S60600, running on Onyx Graphics RIP software, then applied the overlaminate using their SEAL 62 Pro-D cold laminator.
BGS has wrapped three Mericle vans to date in 2020 and probably an additional dozen since they’ve been doing business together, he added. “John, our Avery Dennison Certified Installer, can install a full van wrap in three days by himself,” Vnuk said. BGS has other installers in house, and the company is working on getting them Avery Dennison certified, as well.
And these one-person installations are made easier by meticulously having the exact measurements and vehicle information. In fact, Vnuk feels this is the most critical factor in a wrap’s success and durability. “For example, some models come in different wheelbases and roof heights,” he said. “[It’s] important to know if [there’s a] side or rear window on a vehicle, and if so, will they get wrapped or window perf?”
They say the best way to solidify a partnership is to appreciate what your partner brings to the relationship. “We have developed buildings in 15 local business parks, all of which are located along Interstate 81,” Cummings said of his company. “Because of this, our vehicles are always on the interstate, traveling from job site to job site. There is no doubt that many hundreds of thousands of people have seen our branded vehicles over the years. The advertising value we receive from the vehicles far exceeds the cost to have the artwork applied.”