Beeline and Blue of Des Moines, IA, Creates a Niche in Wide-Format WrappingAugust 2014 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
When a newer or less mainstream printed product proves to be too difficult for your team to sell, perhaps the best tactic is to try giving it away first.
That proved to be the case for Beeline and Blue, a wide-format printing and graphics specialist based in Des Moines, IA. Known for its banners, outdoor and indoor graphics, as well as retail displays, the concept of an outdoor wrap that could cover up an unsightly construction site had never quite taken hold with Beeline and Blue customers. It was an idea in need of a jump-start.
"For years, we tried to sell it and we were never able to," notes Beeline and Blue President Steven Strooh. "You had to see it to believe it."
When the local amateur theater group's building was undergoing a facelift at its entrance, Beeline and Blue was happy to donate a 600-foot graphic to wrap around the construction site fencing. The printer had donated work to the nonprofit theater previously, in the form of window wraps for upcoming productions.
The theater's fence wrap quickly garnered the attention of the City of Des Moines. Its performing arts council was renovating a downtown plaza and, when it saw Beeline and Blue's handiwork, the printer soon got a call to do the downtown plaza. The council loved the amateur theater job so much, it insisted that Weitz Construction budget in a wrap.
The project, Cowles Commons, began last December for Beeline and Blue. The wrap was 812 linear feet and between four and six feet in height. Three workers spent four days attaching the Ultraflex mesh vinyl wrap in 10-degree temperatures.
As for the graphic itself, a local designer used Adobe Illustrator to create a folk art theme that included images of trees, leaves and branches, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings.
"We've had numerous requests to do lesser projects along the same line, but they were relatively small," Strooh says. "There was no interest in buying the fence wraps until we actually gave it away and showed them the attractiveness of a construction site that would otherwise be ugly."
Digital Wide-Format Firepower
Beeline and Blue is fortified with enough digital wide-format capacity to handle growth in this area, with a heavy concentration on Canon Solutions America gear, including two ColorWaves (600 and 900), an Océ ES 9160, the Océ LightJet 430 and an Arizona flatbed.