As leading print service providers diversify into new areas and seek to grow their customer rosters, many find window graphics offer clear advantages.
Because window graphics are typically installed at eye level and boast considerable stopping power, they appeal to large and small business clients alike. They also are attractive to advertising agencies, design shops, and other providers that lack the equipment, experience, or expertise to produce window graphics, and thus meet their own clients’ demand for this unique product.
Window graphics represent new media spaces that didn’t exist a few years ago, and also offer cost effective ad placement for marketing messages. Few other media deliver as much impact as a mini-billboard sized graphic positioned right next to the door of the retail store or company it is promoting.
That fact alone makes window graphics ideal for urban or shopping mall environments in which density, a high volume of pedestrian traffic, and a plethora of other ad messages scream out for promotional pieces that turn heads.
Window graphics are changeable and great for promotions and sales, making them timely for clients and high-volume revenue boosters for providers.
In short, it’s transparent that window graphics offer a profitable opportunity for business expansion to providers already well versed in large-format printing.
Though not a large part of its output, window graphics for the last dozen years have provided substantial plus business for Portland’s Oregon Blueprint, a family-run company focused on banners, billboards, vehicle graphics, and point-of-purchase materials, founded by president Chris Underwood’s grandfather Walt in 1945. OBP Signs & Graphics is Oregon Blueprint’s color division.
“We’re not dealing with the customer in terms of selling them,” Underwood said of his vehicle graphics business. “We do a lot of work for other sign shops that can’t afford the equipment that we have. We’ve done a lot of fairly high-exposure national campaigns. We also get business from ad agencies and display companies that lack their own production facilities.
“We partner with them to do their production, so they can concentrate on what they do best, and leave the expertise in window graphics to our company.”
The window graphics his company provides tend most frequently to be stand-alone in nature, Underwood said. But in some instances they can be integrated into a more comprehensive program, one that features the product being promoted, a mannequin, and perhaps a banner for a backdrop, he adds.
Digigraph Xpress LLC of Kansas City, MO, is another print provider with an expertise in window graphics, which are regarded as complementary products to the shop’s banners, fleet graphics, trade show displays, and posters.
President Joe Duffy said his company mainly serves retail and other small businesses that seek the graphics to help them build identity. The company handles everything from straight-cut vinyl to white-backed transparent film.
“Most of ours are corporate branding, and I believe they should work as part of larger branding campaigns,” Duffy said. “But in many instances, they stand alone, hopefully reflecting a consistent branded look of the company.”
Window graphics are not top of mind with every client, he added. Many customers who come to Digigraph Xpress for window graphics do so at the behest of architects or designers they work with, who understand the graphics’ value in visibility and stopping power. Because they’re not top of mind, window graphics represent a growth area for shops, Duffy said. “You can do four-color work that, dollar for dollar, makes quite a valuable impression,” he added. “It can be illuminated at night. And doing it on the inside [of a shop window] frees you from having to be concerned with permits and durability of the materials.” As a manufacturer of window graphics, it’s the responsibility of Vernon Display Graphics, a Carlstadt, NJ-based provider, to give national companies what their design firms or departments are seeking. “Sometimes, what we’ll do is a flagship store, where we do the entire window,” said general manager and vice president of sales Andrew Gabriel. “We give that window virtually complete coverage, which would be cost prohibitive in all the retailer’s stores.”