Presto Guaco!

Abracadabra Signs gives a Canadian burrito shop authentico graficos.
Jimmy Guaco's 1.jpg

During my misspent youth, burritos were only accessible at Taco Bell and the sparse number of Mexican restaurants then in the Cincinnati area. However, an abundance of quick-service burrito purveyors have made the once-exotic Mexican staple seemingly as ubiquitous as Big Macs and Whoppers.

Abracadabra Signs (Ayr, ON, Canada) branded Jimmy Guaco’s, an independent burrito shop in Oshawa, ON, differentiate itself from its competition with distinctive signage. The program features an LED-lit, exterior sign, unlit, architectural signage, and a series of digital graphics that create a Latin ambience.

Abracadabra founder Steve Greer created the Jimmy Guaco character as an original cartoon figure using Corel Painter 10 and CorelDraw 14. Fabricator Rob Turner formed the primary entry sign using a MIG welder, hand brake and anvil. It comprises Jewelite trim cap, Avery translucent vinyl, Plexiglas® 2447 acrylic face material, and US LED modules powered by Allanson transformers. The vertical building sign comprised corrugated roofing material that’s been given a rusty paint using a Modern Masters paint finish. The shop fabricated the letters from white PVC, and Avery paint mask provides the water mark.

To produce the wall and menuboard digital graphics, the used Avery matte-finish vinyl, which it decorated on Abracadabra’s Roland DGA Corporation SolJet printer. Greer transformed iStock photo images to a sepia-tone color palette. To create the desired distressed look for certain, several members of the Abracadabra and Greer-family team used sandpaper and a crackle finish with watered-down, water-based acrylic paint.

Greer said, “The owner was very focused on creating a strong brand with the sign, because she plans to expand into a chain. The permitting process required a lot of back and forth. Also, installing trimcap on such irregularly shaped letters was a challenging process.”