Innovation finds its way into the signage industry as rows of inventive display projects are common sight these days in big and small towns all over the country. Introduced in the last issue, this column continues to discover some landmark signage projects executed by leading sign makers in diverse geographies, stretching from Shimla to Chennai, Mumbai to Kolkata. Compiled by ABHINAV MALLIK, here are some groundbreaking indoor and outdoor signage works of the select signage firms, which stand unique among others, and behind these attractive graphic projects are advanced printing technologies and materials.
Up on the mountains in the north is scenic Shimla, which is known for its tourist attractions, and this hill station is also home to a host of well-established signage firms. Creative Advertisers & Printers is one among them. Unique in its own way, this signage major has recently handled an outdoor project for Hero MTB Himalaya, an international mountain biking event. At the sporting event, the creative team of the company fabricated the 10,000 sq ft backdrops beautifying the biking venue. “It was quite challenging for us to work for the project in a short notice,” says Deepak Gera, director, Creative Advertisers & Printers.
Creative Advertisers & Printers has tapped a number of other leading corporate brands in its client list. Then the signage firm has done a series of signage designing, branding and fabrication jobs for retail outlets, lobby counters, etc for the big brands, among which Russell Hobbs and Birla Tea are two prominent names. Deepak further says that they have had linked up with BJP during the recent state assembly election in Himachal Pradesh in which they were deputed for production of poll campaign posters. “We printed dozens of 18x9 ft outdoor banners for the national political party. Incepted in the year 2007, Creative Advertisers & Printers is known for customised graphics produced on a line of high-end systems, including an HP Scitex TJ8500 and others.
Further, down from the hills and towards the northern plane, here is yet another prolific signage player, City Communication Advertising & Marketing in Jaipur, whose unconventional shop-front jobs in the city and various other areas of Rajasthan are recognisably seen far and wide. Outstanding shop-front and in-shop graphic jobs of the company are perceived in a series of recent projects done for a handful of leading retail outlets, which were branded for big brands like HP World, Sony, Coca-Cola, Vivo, Gionee, Nokia and many others. Ajay Pareek, director, City Communication Advertising & Marketing, says they sometimes take up projects in other cities too in the proximity, such as Mohali and Chandigarh.
What it lies behind the overall competency of City Communication Advertising & Marketing is its state-of-the-art production facility where installed a line of high-end machines, including Mutoh Valuejet 1604, VUTEk Ultra VU3360, HP XLJet and Flexican CNC router. Ajay says they have been engaging in a number of landmark projects in the retail domain, pointing out ‘Gionee Brand Store’ as the latest being accomplished. About quality maintenance in print outputs, he says they have the right machines, but their selection of appropriate media, such as LG, 3M, Starflex and TechNova, is another key factor for them to keep up consistency in end products. Moreover, quality has to be multiplied as the company is now gearing up for a FUJIFILM flatbed printer.
Heading west for an exploration of some outstanding signage projects may surely draw to a halt in Mumbai, because this city is home to some of the country’s most reputed signage firms. Picked up here are two out of them—AD GLO and Liberty Graphics. Located in Goregaon West, AD GLO is a POP and cut/channel letter expert with a bunch of corporate clients in their roaster. Mahesh Rajput, director, AD GLO, says they have so far been engaged in a number of big projects in Mumbai and sometimes at pan-India level. He mentions a few names, US Polo, Doraemon, Godrej, Panasonic, Max Hospital, Anchor, StarAnise, Pementos, as their existing prime customers.
AD GLO has been in the industry over the last three decades. This old-hand signage player, over this span, has garnered its reputation through a series of periodic pan-India projects. “A few years ago, we took up interior modular sign projects for two big hospitals—All India Institute of Media Sciences (AIIMS) and Max—both outside Mumbai,” recalls Mahesh. All that quality pouring out from AD GLO is a result of its dedicated workforce and infrastructure. In the latter, the company has a portfolio comprising HP 5500, HP Scitex GrandJet, Roland Hi-Fi Jet Pro, Mimaki CG FX plotter, among others.
Liberty Graphics at Lower Parel in Mumbai is another widely acclaimed signage major in this zone, recognised especially for their virtuosity in LED-based display solutions. Revealing the latest project they have recently executed in a remarkable way, Dhruv Bhatt from Liberty Graphics mentions that they have done a bar display in south Mumbai. “The challenge was to use various LED lights to separate images printed on the wall to produce superbly stunning effects showing a complete world of Earth, Sky and Water in a single stroke,” he says, adding that the back wall size is 29 x 12.5 ft with a ceiling of 29 x 9.5 ft printed on vinyl with matt lamination.
When asked the main challenge they faced during the project, Dhruv says ‘alignment’ in which they did align printed tiles exactly along the LED lights for rendering images in different lights. Liberty Graphics specialises in LED displays designed for malls, shop windows, events and others. The company boasts a wide range of machines equipped in its production setup, which includes Mutoh Toucan, HP 5000 among others, and plan to invest in a new UV system of 6x10 ft bed size. On quality control, Dhruv mentions they opt for high-end technologies like UV and Latex; and when it comes to media, that’s a line comprising Starflex, 3M, Avery Dennison and LG; and LEDs from OSRAM, Samsung and LG.
Kolkata-based Klassic Ad World is one of the signage leaders in the region with the knack of carrying out landmark projects for some leading mobile companies, such as Vivo and Oppo. Pointing out the one of the recent campaigns for Vivo mobile they have carried out across West Bengal, Faizal Rehman, the key person behind Klassic Ad World, says it was quite challenging to produce everything in-house for the state-wide campaign. “We prepared the cut-letters, graphic prints and even our team dedicatedly fabricated the display works and installed in time for 1000 Vivo outlets across the state,” he narrates.
Being in the industry for around a decade has pushed Klassic Ad World to a stature, which everybody recognises it through their outstanding projects like that of Vivo across West Bengal. So far, the company has also involved in a string of projects passed from small third party signage firms or startups based around Kolkata. According to Faizal, they have developed a good rapport in the market; hence it is easy for them to link up with any third party sign making firm. Another large-scale project which Klassic Ad World has to be executed soon in near future is for TATA.
Khushbu Advertising is yet another signage major in the eastern zone. Vikram Kumar Mishra, who is creative head behind the company in Jamshedpur, says they have been associating with a host of corporate retailers for whom a number of landmark outdoor signage projects have accomplished around the city and its proximities. Some of the long-time customers of the company from the retail sector include Amul, Castrol, JK Tyre, Idea, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Jokey, among others.
Over the last couple of months or so, Khushbu Advertising has completed a string of shop-front signage, LED boxes, roadside hoardings, transport van branding, bus panel graphics, in-shop decors. When enquired about quality maintenance in their overall graphic outputs, Vikram replies they rely only on quality materials. 3M and Starflex printing materials, OSRAM and SAMSUNG LEDs are some select brands which Khushbu Advertising always chooses for their projects, whether it could be graphic on store-fronts or vehicle wrap or LED boxes or channel letters.
Counting of the premium signage firms in India, whose outstanding projects have been critically appreciated all over the industry, would surely include Ace Media Solutions in Bengaluru. This widely popular signage major is known country-wide for its branding jobs among big corporate clients whose showrooms, corporate buildings, retail outlets have been reincarnated through a series of landmark fabrication projects, both in outdoor and indoor arenas. Latest branding and interior graphic projects around Karnataka, which Ace Media Solutions has accomplished over the last few months, include the ones for corporate buildings of Hindustan Unilever, Uniya Business Bay Tower 1; and in the retail arena are showrooms of YAMAHA, Music Square and others.
“Quality is the first thing we keep in mind whenever we take up a project,” says Balakrishna G, director, Ace Media Solutions. He adds that it’s the technology plus the printing materials and method in sign making which boosts everything in an unconventional way. According to him, they use latex technology accompanied by high-end printing materials for any given project. Ace Media Solutions took part in branding and fabrication of Patanjali outlets, which are of 2x4 sq ft up to 8x16 sq ft in sizes, located in all over Karnataka. Balakrishna reveals they have so far fabricated more than 60 Patanjali outlets in Bengaluru city only.
Incepted as a brainchild of Jai Kumar, Jai Graphics in Chennai is yet another signage firm in south zone, worth mentionable for their outstanding outdoor jobs, which are offbeat and unconventional. This firm boasts a state-of-the-art production facility where installed a line of high-end systems— HP DesignJet Z6100, HP Latex L25500, HP DesignJet H45500, AXZY CNC router (12x5 ft), among others.
With its robust production capability, this four-crore firm has accomplished a number of groundbreaking outdoor projects, involving totems or modular systems for hotels and malls, which include Max, Novotel Hotels, Ibis, among others.
Capable to produce 600-1000 sq ft graphic prints per hour by a team of 20 well-trained signage professionals, Jai Graphics pledges to accomplish the whole set of printing and fabrication within a given time frame. “We do set a committed delivery model for our customers; if they wish to get their jobs done within 24 hours, we make it happen even for those outside Chennai,” states Jai. Among the latest key projects of Jai Graphics, which receive appreciations from all over, is the totem of 10x20 ft installed in front of Spar Hypermarket in Chennai. Choosing of best-in-class materials is the key to innovation in making signage of all sorts, says Jai, mentioning that they opt only AVION and OSRAM LEDs for any backlit or glow sign project.