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.