Meaghan and Shawn Scalise are both trained commercial artists. She specializes in fine art, he in digital design. Together, they founded Traditional and Digital Arts, or Tada!, in Tampa, FL. They grew their business gradually, working other jobs for several years before launching their own shop in 2007. Today Tada! is a five person operation occupying a three story building. The company provides original artwork and graphic design services along with printing and installation for its residential and commercial clients.
For their digital production, Tada! relies on an eight-color VersaCAMM VS-540 54-inch printer/cutter with Metallic Silver and White Eco-SOL MAX inks and a VersaCAMM VP-300 30-inch printer/cutter. They added the VS to their production environment because of its wider print area and metallic and white ink capability. “We love the VS,” said Shawn. With the VS onboard, he said, “We’ve eliminated the need to outsource and have begun running new applications.”
Tada! specializes in developing brands from the ground up, designing everything from logos and websites to signage, murals, floor and window graphics, and vehicle wraps. The ideal growth area for Tada! is work for architectural and advertising firms doing redesigns on retail and corporate environments. “We really enjoy going into a facility and helping our clients fully implement their concept,” said Shawn.
One of the company’s signature products is acrylic graphic signage with stand-off mounting. Using the VersaCAMM VS, Tada! now prints their acrylic graphics in reverse and backs them with white ink, saving several production steps and eliminating the need for laminating. “We’ve been able to streamline our process and send our acrylic graphics and hardware ‘kits’ out to clients worldwide,” said Shawn.
Innovative designs are also a specialty for Tada!. They recently completed an intricate 10-foot serpentine pop-up display for Apollo Equipment. Since Apollo’s new facility is in Florida, Tada! based the design on a photo of an alligator, enlarged to life-size proportions. In its mouth they placed a carbide bit produced by Apollo. In addition to realistic graphics, the project incorporated three dimensional parts and two-part resins to give the display depth.
The graphics were designed in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, exported using Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software and printed on the VersaCAMM VS. The display panels were printed in six strips of roughly 8-foot x 2-foot panels, while the podium graphics were done in one panel measuring 30 inches x 6 feet. The podium graphics were printed on polypropylene and a two-part resin was applied for a dome effect. The lettering was printed in Metallic Silver Eco-SOL MAX ink. The project took a week from design to install. Thanks to creative use of hardware, the entire display packs up into the podium.
“Our clients were amazed by the realistic color and resolution of the printing. Everyone was reaching out to touch the alligator teeth,” said Shawn.
In another application, Tada! used the VS to print graphics for a 45-foot parade float they designed and built, which included a 10-foot diameter jeweled crown. The float graphics were printed using CMYKLcLm and metallic inks and given a three dimensional effect through the application of two-part resin.
Shawn has been also pleased with the more subtle effects he can create using White Eco-SOL MAX ink. Tada! produces custom contour cut decals for retail clients, including one company that manufactures soy candles. “We were using white vinyl for their labels before, but printing white ink on clear vinyl creates a very professional look,” said Shawn.
“Metallic and white inks bring our projects to a new level, and the eight-color ink configuration means all our printed colors are richer,” said Shawn. “With the VersaCAMM VS, you’re bringing quality that other shops can’t provide.”