5 Star Group has been producing quality cases for more than thirty three years and has always stayed ahead when it comes to design, flare and innovation. However, in the second half of 2013 another innovative feature was added to the custom options…bespoke branding.
By investing in a Roland digital printer, heated laminator, specialist ‘ripping’ software and not to mention new premises to house all of this, 5 Star Group can now offer bespoke branding and corporate identity, directly on to any case surface.
High quality extruded vinyl is used to produce the graphic ‘wrap’ by printing the image with solvent inks directly from the Roland digital printer. Media widths of up to 1300mm and almost unlimited roll lengths are possible.
The printed vinyl is then laminated, dried and bonded directly to the plywood carcass, in the same way that standard case coverings like high pressure laminate and plain vinyl are applied. Our design team will ensure that your artwork suits the case design and will suggest any changes that are needed, such as ensuring that key areas of the artwork are not obscured by the main case hardware etc. Cases with the printed vinyl graphic applied to them need to be treated with a little more care than normal flight cases.
With this in mind, we always suggest using a simple padded slip-over cover, which can be supplied at a small additional cost. Pro-Tect Bags & Covers are specialists in manufacturing these covers, which will ensure that the Graphic Printed Case will stand up to the rigors of transportation.
Image is Everything!
There are a few requirements regarding the images that are to be used on any branded case project. The first one and probably the most important is the resolution. This must be a minimum of 300dpi (dots per inch) but not necessarily any higher, as long as the physical dimensions of the image are sufficient. As a guide, let’s say that the top panel of the case where an image is to be printed is 400mm wide by 300mm high…ideally, the image supplied to us should be 400mm x 300mm at 300dpi. This can make the file-size quite large, especially when sending by e-mail. Popular web-based apps such as wetransfer.com, dropbox.com, or hightail.com can be used to send large files where e-mail may restrict them, and most of these services are free.
The ‘ripping’ software used in conjunction with the digital printer can accept image files at 25% reduction in size. However, the resolution must remain the same, at 300dpi or more. Just set the image size percentage to 25% and don’t forget to check the ‘Constrain Proportions’ is ticked. This will ensure the image is reduced proportionally by the width and height.
So, the case size of 400mm x 300mm mentioned above, would reduce to 100mm x 75mm. The ripping software automatically adjusts the resolution when we set the image size to 400% prior to sending to the printer, so there is no loss of image quality.
Obviously with any custom built case, there will be handles, catches, hinge stays and other recessed hardware fitted at various positions on some, or all panels. Along with this hardware there will always be the case’s aluminium angle fitted to the outer edges and locating profile fitted between the lid and base (or body and door/s). These profiles occupy a set area on each panel and will need to be taken into account when planning image placement. More importantly, the hardware (handles, catches etc.) will often be placed on the panel which could obscure key parts of your image, such as logos and wording. These areas will again need to be taken into account when producing your artwork and images.
For branded case projects, once the overall case design has been finalised we will supply you with dimensioned line drawings in PDF format, showing the positions of all hardware, aluminium profiles and any relevant access flaps, vent dishes or anything that could impact on the image placement. Better still, if you use CAD software, we can also supply the same document in DXF, DWG or similar format.
The sample case rendered image on the right, roughly shows the areas (pink) which must be avoided when placing logos, text or even features of an image that would appear unusual if they were obscured by the case hardware or aluminium profiles. The ‘safe’ printed area is shown in green. However, the overall image must extend under the outer edges of the angle profile, so as not to show an unprinted area.
This service is obviously very specialist and equally individual and we can’t explain all the process here, so we suggest that if you have a project that will suit a case with bespoke branding, just give our sales team a call on 0845 5000 555 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you!