By Megan Kranzler
Based in Kelowna, B.C., Optic Signs & Marketing was established in 2010 and has now grown to encompass three full-time and two part-time staff. The company focuses primarily on large-format digital printing of graphics for vehicles, retailers, restaurants, offices and art spaces. The company has even produced graphics for hang gliders and paragliders.
Last year, Optic was approached by Begrand Fast Design, one of Kelowna’s leading interior design firms, to develop custom window graphics.
“They contacted us after receiving a direct-mail piece that caught their attention,” says C.J. Wilkins, Optic’s president and CEO. “It featured a photo of two male construction workers from the back, sitting and eating lunch. One of them had a ‘plumber’s crack’ showing and the other was wearing a thong. The caption was, ‘We help your customers see you. But not like this.’ We got a lot of attention from that bold campaign!”
Specifically, Begrand Fast wanted new graphics applied to its office windows—not only to provide a fresh appearance, but also for several practical purposes.
“They were also trying to increase the amount of perceived space in their office, while retaining some privacy, as it is located at ground level on a busy street,” says Wilkins. “Further, they wanted to keep the space bright and clean and not lose significant amounts of natural light. We spent some time printing various samples and using different combinations of vinyl, until we hit the exact look they were trying to achieve. They were great to work with and bounce new ideas off of.”
Adjusting to conditions
Using Begrand Fast’s finalized concept, Optic developed a double-layer printed window film that would change its appearance depending on the indoor and outdoor lighting conditions. They used both clear and white cut vinyl to achieve this effect, printing with ‘latex’ durable aqueous inks.
“The design was far too complex to use cut vinyl alone,” says Wilkins. “We printed on the clear film and then laminated the white film to it. The result was a graphic that allows some light transmission, looks bright, modern and crisp in the daytime when viewed from outside and then looks warm and inviting during the evening hours. Our customer was thrilled!”