We were hustling at our centre last Friday. One of our great clients, Crystal Services had brought one of their fleet vehicles in for graphics. We had two other installations booked and a time sensitive rush project to design and produce. It was all hands on deck — in a really fun, non stressful, way.
Ryley is on point for all of the Crystal Services vehicles — he designs, produces and installs the graphics. He had his work all set out for him. Dan normally preps all of the vehicles and gets everything set up so Ryley can just step into the installation. But we had the two installations to complete — and as it happened these two installations needed two sets of hands. So, Luis gave up his computer for the day and jumped in the truck and headed off with Dan. Luis is our graphic designer and he’s very good operationally too — so this was a good move. That just left the vehicle prep to do. Chantal and I jumped in and left our places at the front of the centre to head back to the bay to prep the Crystal Services truck. And that’s how we tackled the day together as a team.
Before any graphics can be installed on a vehicle, it needs to be cleaned, any old graphics need to be removed, and it needs to be hit with watered down isopropyl alcohol. All this to ensure the adhesive on the new graphics has a nice surface to lay down on. The better the contact is between the vinyl and the surface of the vehicle, the better the installation — fewer bubbles, less lifting. Prepping the vehicle is an important step. It’s also something Chantal and I don’t do very often. First up — removing the old graphics. We armed ourselves with our heat guns and plastic scrapers and went to town. The comraderie has always been good between Chantal and I — so we worked away side by side, chatting or not, as the mood hit us. It’s a very satisfying experience when you are removing old pin striping, if you can get a little bit of a corner of the vinyl and lift the strip up in one nice long piece. There’s something zenful in the moment. We pulled all the old vinyl and hit the vehicle with the degreaser to get the nasty old adhesive up. That’s just an exercise in elbow grease. Our degreaser is lovely — smells like oranges — the glue just comes right up. Once you are down to the just the ‘skin’ of the truck then it’s time for alcohol. I went to town with this — I wanted to make sure that we had a pristine vehicle so the new vinyl reflective pin striping would lay down well. Normally reflective vinyl has a pretty aggressive adhesive, but we’d had a couple of issues with Crystal trucks in the past: some of the vinyl pin striping had started to curl up at the end. We were paying extra special attention this time to ensure everything went perfectly and this did not happen.
And everything did go perfectly. Ryley worked his magic on the installation and the truck looked fantastic. Dan and Luis completed their two installations successfully and our clients were happy. The rush project was produced and safely delivered. Chantal and I had a bonding moment, built our capability and solved all the world’s problems.
Cross training is a thing of beauty and I’m looking forward to next Friday’s hustle!
Signage, graphics, displays we’re always happy to help!