Student designer + Epson digital print + Slam Signs = stunning car wrap for show booth
Epson regularly supports community projects and charities close to its Hemel Hempstead head office. When it was planning its stand at the Sign & Digital exhibition, a key industry event to showcase Epson’s large format printers, it asked Longdean School down the road to help. The stand needed an exciting design to highlight the impressive capabilities of Epson’s SureColor eco-solvent and dye-sublimation printers by featuring a wrapped car, wallpaper, signage and textiles. Every element would be blended together to demonstrate that Epson’s printers can achieve excellent results, no matter what the medium. The tutor and students on the final year BTEC Fashion course at the School were eager to get involved in the project.
Epson asked the students to develop a vibrant and contemporary design that could be used throughout the stand, including the front half of a car bursting through a wall. Epson provided advice about the SureColor inkjet printers and their capabilities while signage specialists Slam Signs guided the students through what is involved when developing and applying a digital car wrap.
The students rose to the challenge and produced eight stunning designs. “We’ve never done anything like this before and working on a real brief that would be shown to the public was quite daunting,” said one of the students.
The students were given six weeks to create their artwork before submitting their final designs to Epson for the judging process. Some students used themes from existing project work, while others created new designs from scratch.
“I was very impressed by the quality of the entries,” says Phil McMullin, Sales Manager, Epson UK. “The students all put a lot of time and effort into this project; it was difficult to choose an overall winner but Mel Mantle’s intricate floral image featuring a myriad of vibrant colours met the brief perfectly.”
“It was great to work on a real project and to see my design used on a product for a real audience. It has changed how I will design in the future,” says Mel. “I put a lot of thought into the design which represents the changing seasons and features a woman with a floral dress that flows across the car and wall behind it in varying colours. I had to adjust my pattern, and make it larger in some places, so that the flowers would sit in specific places on the car when applied. I am really proud of the end result.”
Slam Signs printed the car graphics on the 10-colour SureColour SC-S80600 and wrapped the car chassis on site in the school auditorium. This drew crowds of students to watch the design being applied - transforming a dull grey car into a unique technicolour vehicle. “I love showing youngsters what can be achieved with digital printing,” says David Jorge, MD of Slam Signs. “It sparks their imagination and gets them thinking about how far they can go with their own designs.”
The stand at Sign & Digital brought everything together in one stunning display. Mel’s design was printed onto vinyl, paper, canvas and textiles for different applications, showing just how flexible Epson SureColor aqueous, eco-solvent and dye-sublimation printers are and how they produce rich and perfectly-matched colours.
“The students reacted really well to Epson’s brief and the whole project has been a really good learning experience for everyone,” said the Course Tutor at Longdean. “This is the first time that they have had to meet a commercial brief with specific guidelines. Slam Signs gave them good advice about the challenge they would face and what to consider when producing a vehicle wrap design, such as the the size of the printable file and the curvature of the car panels. We prepare our students to go out into industry and this project has given them a real taste of what the working world will be like when they leave education. The project with Epson has shown the students just what is possible with digital printing. There are no barriers and it has inspired them to take their designs onto lots of different products.”