Bonjour GTA! A month ago Raymi Toronto visited Sign Source Solution vehicle wrapping in Toronto to experience life inside one of Toronto’s busiest sign shops. There’s a lot of creative energy in this place, and we stirred it up even more I’m sure.
Sign Source Solution is run by Avi Barak whom you can see above on his phone in the background. There are five of them, two designers upfront, and two installers in the back. These talented commercial artists do all kinds of signage around the city, everything from those giant tower signs (pylon signs) you see in front of strip malls to the cardboard sandwich boards out front of each business. They do overhead storefront signs and even the small chloroplast signs that striking workers might hold on picket lines. But the true art form in their business niche is their vehicle wrapping design and application division as this is what occupies most of their designers’ time.
This white plastic door sign above is just one example of the latest vehicle wrapping signage technology they carry at the shop. This is often used on automotive glass – bus windows for example. Its a see-through polymer that is highly translucent on the other side, which means its a one way sign if that makes any sense? I have a picture of the door from the other side here below – see the door in the background behind the computer monitor is see through.. cool huh?
This designer is a high caliber artist that gets a lot done everyday. Speed is important here because some jobs have a very short turnaround. On the day we were there he was working on designs for local businesses as part of a business blogger campaign. Storia PR blogged about their vehicle wrapping design, and my friend Shannon Tebb from Shanny in the City wrote about a vehicle wrap on a mini cooper, and Sarafino Olive Oil importers considered a vehicle wrap for their delivery van in their earth tone brand colours with logo and slogan. So did Claire Matthews the owner of Yoga Truly in Grimsby Ontario who realized a vehicle wrap could help her marketing as she expands her Yoga school business in Port Colborne with the understanding that she would be driving for at least an hour everyday; this could be a way to turn that negative into a positive. She also blogged about how she would have to consistently be a good driver as any offenses could make negative brand impressions, or worse…
Cool blueprints yo.
The next step in their process is to email the designs to the business owner as a pdf and get a written approval back from the business owner or the marketing manager before any further work is done. Avi doesn’t like doing things twice, so he wont go forward at all with the application unless the client is totally satisfied and signs off on the creative.
Here’s Avi Barak asking me about me. ‘So what is it you do exactly? A blogger? Hmm yes I need those…’
Avi and I kicked it together in the back work shop where he showed me some of the tricks of the sign maker’s trade.
After working for 28 years in the corporate world as a Technical Sales Engineer and helping his wife run a successful retail operation for 18 years in two major GTA malls (Yorkdale and Promenade), he reckoned it was time for something different and so he doubled down on his own passion for design and opened his own his own printing business. A few years ago Avi Barak expanded Sign Source Solution when himself and staff members got their Vehicle Graphic Installation Training Certificates.
Watch and learn, squeegee kids.
Here’s the job they’re working on together… French Chateau Style.
Now imagine if someone said to you, ‘please take the image on this piece of paper and blow it up 2000% – make it 8×10 feet across.’ What would you do? How would you do that? I know that I could just bring it here and presto but the answer lies in design and vinyl printing and application.
The vinyl is printed and stuck to the plywood. Years of experience makes it stick.
Here’s the vinyl material.
and below is some of the fluid, called Rapid Tac used to clean and apply wet decal and graphics.
You can see a demo online of how to use rapidtac which is a cleaner that aids in the application process.
People like using it.
Spray and clean.
And pull, and stretch.
Colleague must have made a joke. Avi is loving it. I am not.
oh missed a spot..
Part of the vinyl-stretching process involves squeegeeing these large surfaces so that there are no bumps, bubbles or seams.
The model in this ad has a beautiful hairline and it would be a shame to have the vinyl bubble pop out right at the top in the middle of her forehead.. Hmm..
I also played with his doggies. I have a video of them wrestling on my IG. Love those pups.
Diego (or Sauna) seen here is pouting because I’m removing burrs, poor baby.
Animals are the best and vital to all business lol. So spirit-lifting.
Time for a trick.
always time for a trick, and a treat
Oh look here. It all makes sense now – I was meant to come here to get a glowing blue DJ Raymi sign.
Now you know where these things come from.
That’s a wrap. Literally! Til next time Toronto.