Sticky Business

DOUG B WESTRACDid you know that the livery of the Orrcon FPR Falcon includes 100 different stickers? 

Well, it’s true, I counted them all at the recent round at Eastern Creek, okay, maybe I didn’t. However, the man who has this number is Doug Brumby of Signzone – the official ‘sticker’ man for the Ford Performance Racing team. 

For the past 15 years Doug has trekked across the country, and the world for that matter, as part of the V8 Supercar circus. Throughout this time Doug has lost count of the number of cars he has kitted out but it would have to be well into the hundreds. 

Using the Orrcon FPR Falcon as an example Doug recently took time out to explain what it takes to ‘sticker up’ a modern-day V8 Supercar. 

Once the car design has been finalised by the team and agreed to by all of the sponsors, the work begins for Doug and his team of hard working staff. 

A full day is spent laying out the stickers that are required to be cut and printed before the printing machine is put to work for almost a day and a half per car. During this printing process the Signzone staff work closely with the team’s painters to ensure the colours of the stickers and panels match. 

In the case of the Orrcon FPR Falcon there are 70 computer cut and 30 digitally printed stickers included in the design, making a total of 100 stickers. 

Once all of the stickers have been cut or printed it is then time for two staff members to spend a full day applying them to the racecar. They will apply over 50 metres of adhesive vinyl during this process. 

This is generally followed the next day by applying another set of stickers to spare panels, show cars or anything else that is required. 

All of this may sound pretty straight forward but the interesting part begins at the race track. The Signzone team consists of three staff at the major events such as Adelaide and Bathurst while two signwriters are present at every other round. 

It is here where they are on hand for not only the Ford Performance Racing team, but also the Holden Racing team, the HSV outfit, Perkin’s team, PWR and Ford Rising Stars Racing. If any of these ten cars have a bingle it is time for Signzone to go to work to ensure the cars are pristine before they take to the track again. 

When quizzed about his favourite car that he had completed Doug answered in a true political way - “All of the cars are equal in my eye, however, I do have a soft spot for the Orrcon GT car from last year.” 

So next time you see the Orrcon FPR Falcon have a go at seeing how many stickers you can count in the livery.

reprinted from the Orrcon Racing Newsletter 03/04/2008 

Wrapping the XXXX Retreat

xxxx-imageSignZone supplies and fits signs and graphics for both factory teams of FORD and HOLDEN plus their customer cars for SuperCheap Racing and the Bottle-O Racing teams. Both these teams also have a development series entry with young guys Nick Percat and Chaz Mostert as drivers, while there is also an entry for Bundaberg in the ute series that we also maintain.

We also look after the Porsche Cup series which includes car wraps and series sponsor logos. Most teams in Pit Lane and the support paddock will also use our services during the season.

It wasn’t that long ago that all graphics were single colour vinyl cut, the past two/three years have seen teams embrace the wrapping techniques that modern films allow. This has enabled designers be more creative with their livery designs to include photos, blends etc.

The biggest challenge we have now is to manage and ensure that we have enough printed skins to take away for repairs, we only take a cutter not the printer with us when we travel around Australia and overseas with the series.

Signzone also produce fleet graphics for a number of clients Australia wide, we will send kits with instructions to local fitters in each state, often travelling ourselves to complete jobs.

One of the largest jobs logistically was to rebrand a national tree management company that required all of its vehicles and towers stripped of old logos and have the new logos fitted, this required many flights and hire cars to get around and complete the project within a ten day period.

The Fourex Gold Retreat also needed special attention because we were working on the full wrap during the build process which required many trips to Mansfield during the construction of the A and B trailer units.

We have traditionally been a Roland shop, starting out with a single CAMM 1 500mm wide cutter back in 1993,  CX and GX24’s have since been added to production over the years.

We entered the print market early on with a CJ70 pigment printer/cutter, and progressed to a SP540V and added a SP300 for smaller printed decals. These printers were not keeping up with the demand for printed graphics so this year we looked at an upgrade of the printer mainly for speed in production. After looking at several printers we decided to purchase a HP latex printer through Celmac.

This has enabled us to greatly improve our output and also go straight to lamination after printing which further streamlines the whole design/print/fitting process in wrapping vehicles. Designs can now be printed same day as fitting while any reprints can also be done and fitted without the outgassing process you have with solvent printers. Celmac were fantastic with the install and the follow up training, while they also supply us of consumables with a same day service.

I was cautioned by someone in the sign industry that purchasing a latex printer will be the worst business decision I could make, this could not be further from the truth. With the take up roller and the print speed, we have trouble keeping up with its output, to solve this we have now added further laminators to help in post-production.

We still have all of our printers and have added another GX24 cutter to the shop. We do a lot of travelling in our onsite production van and the GX24 cops a lot of abuse but seems to handle it very well, while another unit is continually on the move in a travel case around Australia and to our overseas rounds.

From a Graphic Design background and a passion for motorsport I started out doing decals for Richmond TAFE’s motorsport program where I worked, then progressed to some work after hours for Holden Racing Team working from a garage at home.

This led me to go full time in the signage industry in 1994 and to work with Perkins Motorsport, Kmart Racing, PWR, FPR, Melbourne GP, and most teams throughout Australia from time to time.

We now have a factory facility that can park a B double transporter and we employ two staff who are qualified signwriters and travel to race weekends to service the race cars that we look after. Most of the design work is done by Creative Options upstairs who work closely with us to fulfil our clients needs.