By Ginny Mumm
As all retailers know, reaching consumers with clear and effective signage while they are navigating retail settings is a critical sales tool. As any sign professional will tell you, “clear and effective” is the hard part. However, research has shown point-of-purchase (POP) signs and wayfinding signage that advertises specific items and shows where to find them, can be critical to influencing buying decisions.
In fact, a recent Sign Media Canada article quoted a survey by Inmar Intelligence that revealed 69 per cent of shoppers who saw an in-store advertisement browsed for the featured product, and more than 60 per cent of those respondents purchased it.
To learn more about what makes POP and wayfinding signage so powerful, we spoke with Bruce Lee, manager of digital and wide-format printing at Still Creek Press in Burnaby, B.C. Founded almost 35 years ago, Still Creek Press offers a full range of printing services, including digital, offset, web offset, large-format, bindery and finishing, fulfillment, envelope manufacturing, and printing, as well as variable data printing.
What brought you to Still Creek Press?
Bruce Lee (BL): I have had extensive experience in the printing industry, starting as a bindery worker years ago. I’ve worked on small-format, reprographics, and wide-format. I joined Still Creek in the wide-format department in 2015, and I am now managing the department.
I must say, with all the things I have done in my career, I am finally happy with where I am and love what I am doing.
How big is your company?
BL: Still Creek Press has around 50 full-time employees and about 10 part-timers who come on during the summer season. In addition, each summer, we take on several interns from our local college, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), which has a wide-format program. The students rotate through the shop to get a feel for what each job is like.
We have four employees in our digital and wide-format division, including myself. Everyone has been cross-trained in running all the machines – from the flatbed to the roll-to-roll printers, laminators, cutters, and hand finishing. We share knowledge and skills so that if one of us gets sick or is away on vacation, the others can fill in without a hitch. This way, we can guarantee our clients always receive the same high level of service and quality.
What equipment do you have in the digital and wide-format division?
BL: We currently have three generations of Roland DG printers, including a new 64-inch TrueVIS VF2-640 wide-format printer and two SOLJET printer/cutters, as well as the CAMM-1 GR-640 cutter. Since we launched the division, we have always relied on these machines, and we have been very pleased with their production quality and capabilities. We also have a Flora UV flatbed 1219-m x 2438-m (4-ft x 8-ft) printer to print on rigid materials.
Is the digital and wide-format division of the company growing?
BL: We have grown steadily since I joined Still Creek Press, adding both equipment and staff. We started off with a Roland DG LEJ-640 UV hybrid printer and a SOLJET printer/cutter in a little room. Fast-forward 10 years, and we have increased our floor space three times and have added three more machines. We are looking to add another Roland DG printer down the road.
How important is colour management in developing POP and wayfinding signage?
BL: We do a lot of work for restaurants and retail outlets. For these clients and others it’simperative that the printed materials we create have the correct brand and artwork colours, whether they are printed on our flatbed, roll-to-roll, digital, or offset presses. Colour management is key, and every substrate and machine we use is ICC profiled to ensure we print the correct colours.
For example, we have a restaurant client that runs a burger special every quarter. Their signage for an upcoming special consists of wall, window, POP, and stand-up easel signs. This job involves various substrates, and we need to ensure the colours stay the same on each one. Since we profile all our materials when we add them to our inventory, we can ensure consistent colour across all the pieces of these quarterly campaigns.