Theme and Variation
How many times have you heard a familiar tune, a snippet of a song, played a slightly different way in a different context? Commercials do this all the time. You find yourself thinking, “Wait, was that a violin version of my favorite song playing over this bathroom-cleanser ad?” Yes, it was. You may be disappointed that your all-time favorite group has “sold out,” but the commercial achieved its goal – using the song’s familiar theme to build upon something else, something new.
“Lowe’s Knows Home Improvement,” right? We’ve all heard it on TV, tend to associate one with the other. So when an air-duct-cleaning firm by the name of Lowe’s came to Baltimore Graphics Co. (Glen Burnie, MD) with several different vehicles to wrap as well as other work, the first task was to change the company’s name to avoid confusion. “We actually helped our client develop the name, logo and brand look from scratch,” said Ben Gonzales, co-owner of Baltimore Graphics. “The [new] Brekmar name was developed by combining the names of his children.”
Next, Baltimore Graphics created a logo that could function as an icon while still being easily applicable to other media. “We get a ton of clients who initially want highly detailed graphics and the challenge is usually in reeling them in to simplify,” Ben said. His company also offers screenprinting and embroidery and he knew they would be producing Brekmar’s uniforms, so he also had to make note of how the logo would stitch.
“When it came time for the wrap design,” Ben said, “we focused on color, balance and clean lines to accent the information rather than clutter it up.” Baltimore Graphics’ creative director Tony Semanick worked up the designs for Brekmar’s various vehicles using Adobe software, with the process taking one full week. Ben’s business partner, Matt Webb, used the shop’s Roland XC-540 to print ORACAL 3751RA wrap film and its GBC laminator to apply a protective coat of Oracal 290G laminate. Justin Espinas installed the wraps with the help of 3M squeegees. “Printing [required] about a day and the install for each vehicle was about three days,” Ben said.
Now Brekmar has its own theme, its own identity. And some nicely wrapped trucks, too.
Sometimes you can take part of an old song and make it new. “Sampling,” I believe it’s called. Stephen Douglass, owner of Flying Donkey Creative Inc. (Marietta, GA) knows a bit about this, or at least how to sample an existing design and then transform it into a new song with many verses. The namesake owner of Shawn’s Lawn & Landscape came to Flying Donkey with an existing logo developed by a web designer. “A black text [logo] file is what we received,” Stephen said. “The client [originally] only wanted a decal package, so we put some color behind it and he loved it.”
Shawn got a few jobs and saw the results of getting noticed, Stephen said. “Then he came back to us and said, ‘Here’s my personal truck; have at it.’” Sensing an opportunity, Stephen went for broke and designed something entirely new using Photoshop to command even more attention. “I typically spend two days in the design process and wait to show a proof until I have slept on it and looked at it with fresh eyes,” Stephen said. With that approved, Flying Donkey then output 3M IJ180cV3-10 vinyl from its HP L365 printer and applied 3M Scotchcal 8518 Over-laminate using their USTECH Master Worf Series laminator. Jairo Castillo wrapped the truck using Geek Wraps 4-in. soft edge squeegees. The printing took one day, installation another.
“I let Shawn know that his truck would look so good, he would have to redo his trailer,” Stephen said. Shawn Lovell apparently laughed until he got home and parked the newly wrapped truck next to his trailer, Stephen reported, before bringing the trailer in later the same day. Shawn has since told Stephen that the wraps paid for themselves in the first week with more than $10,000 of new business. “After three months, he had added so many new clients that he has told them they have to wait until spring,” Stephen said.
That’s a commercial theme you can dance to!
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