Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trade Show Banners - The simple solution.

Do you have plans to represent your company at a #tradeshowexhibit this winter?  If so, do you have your display in order?  If not, you have several low cost solutions available that can be extremely effective in gaining increased exposure, the most popular of which is a #backdropbanner.

The most important aspect of a trade show booth is getting your business noticed.  many trade show booths have a good start at this.  We all have seen them, big, colorful, lots of cool graphics, lights, and even 3D props.  These can all be effective, but they must be used properly otherwise the most important message is lost - your company name. 

Too often trade show marketing company's fail to keep the focus on the business, rather the focus on the frills.  Keeping a company's name as the main focal point is first on our agenda.  You can have all the bells and whistle you want in your booth, but all promotional attempts are lost if the customer can't easily identify your company and what you do. Stay focused on you!

So, here is what we do - provide clarity on your company name first.  This is often done with some sort of backdrop banner, raised flag banner,  or show headers.  Sometimes it is really simple, like the #banner shown here, other times it can be pretty elaborate, it is all dependent on needs and budget. 

Once we have your company's identity taken care of, we provide simply clarity on the who, what, where. This part usual is a combination of a tag line, bullet points and product samples and props.  The key here is making sure there is balance between name recognition and your visual props and samples.

Banners and signs are only one portion of many options for your next trade show exhibit.  They do however provide a great way to have your company name displayed boldly for all to see.  Click here for more info on banners from Big Idea.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Product Photography at Big Idea

One of the more creative things we provide here at Big Idea coincides with most of our product development projects - product photography.  The subject matter we have photographed is really diverse.  We have shot everything from chemotherapy treatment devices to fishing lures, all of which is photographed by Big Idea employees.

Pictured here is one of several image in a series of merchandise items for local brewery, Bank Brewing Co.  To help keep the tone of the product and the brand it represents, we decided our "set" needed to be afield.

This particular shoot was produced entirely on location on the prairie country of South Dakota, tricky stuff if you are familiar with SD weather.  Though the image portrays a nice warm hunting feel as planned, the temperature was a crisp 20f with bone chilling 25mph winds.  Our tough-guy model was quick to put the gloves and fleece beanie on after this series. The up side is he was able to shoot at plenty of Roosters!

Photo of the week

Up on the Roof
©Big Idea - Davin Brandt

Monday, December 5, 2011

An evening in Rice Park
copyright ©BigIdea

Monday, November 21, 2011

Customer feedback

Here is some nice feedback we received today from one of our clients - Vertin Youth & Family Services.  You can find more customer feedback at our website or by clicking here.

"I worked with Davin at Big Idea Signs. I am a first-year business and was in need of an outdoor and smaller indoor sign. Davin was kind enough to consider my position as a business in its first year, and the fact that I had no experience in selecting or purchasing signs. Davin met me at my office to assess my needs. He was personable and kind, and always gave me his full attention during our exchanges. He sent me a few options from which to choose, and offered his guidance every step of the way as to what might look best and which sign was the best choice from an advertising perspective. Once I decided and received the estimate, he installed my signs immediately. They look amazing! I am very pleased.

It is always a relief to receive a solid, beautiful product, but it means even more when the money is paid to someone that you feel cares about you and your business. That was my experience with Davin. I would highly recommend Davin and Big Idea Signs to anyone looking for signage. I know I will utilize Big Idea Signs again for any of my future advertising needs."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Event Signage

Pictured here is a display sign we recently produced for the SMIRLS Uncorked Fundraiser.

The display signs of today not only shine over there predecessors, they usually are less expensive too.

The sign pictured here is 22" x 28".  15 years ago this sign would have had to have been produced by screen-printing or utilizing cut vinyl films with multiple overlays.  The cost, back then, would have run easily in the $100.00 range. 

Today, we have technology that not only can produce the vibrant colors and fine graphic, it is also much less expensive.  With our direct printing process we are able to offer unlimited colors at no extra charge too - pretty sweet deal.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Davin with Kent Hrbek Outdoors

With fall fishing on the minds of many of us here, we thought we would post this link we found of our owner, Davin Brandt.  He was the special guest guide on KHO a couple years ago as they fished steelhead on the North Shore of Minnesota's Lake Superior.

If  Davin is not in the shop or working on location with clients he is usually on a river or lake somewhere. This time of year you may also have to look to the fields of South Dakota.  Hey, has anyone seen him yet today? Oh, wait, his truck is still here, but then again it is only Thursday.

The link below should take you to one of the videos.  If you look hard enough (YouTube) you may also see his appearance on Cook What you Catch with Randy Meier.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interior signs

OK, so this picture from a phone is not the greatest, but you get the idea, don't you?

This project has been a sort of work in progress that we have been working on with our friends at Webknowledgy.  These 2' x 4' signs are proudly displayed at Calvary Lutheran Church and are a great exhibit of the professional fine-art quality of our printing.

Each picture involves our direct print digital print process.  You can't tell in the image here, but the red and white identical signs are directly printed on our 1/4" thick white sign grade plastic.  The other 3 signs were done last year and produced on a removable, adhesive backed window film.  They are applied to clear 1/4" acrylic panels.  Stay tuned we will have close up images so you can see the incredible detail we are able to reproduce.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picture of the week

"Saturday Stroll"
© big idea - all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coroplast Yard Signs

Pictured here is a project we just finished up this morning - ready for delivery.What you see is a stack of digitally printed coroplast (corrugated plastic) signs.  The picture does not quite do the detail justice but the individual recycle items pictured printed superbly!

Note that when you get signs like this digitally printed, not all printers print with the same quality.  This is a prime example of you get what you pay for.  What you will often find is that some outfits will reduce the print quality in order to speed up the production line.  We don't.  If you want cheap and fast, expect a less quality graphic, and you have plenty of sources online to order direct.  We stick with printing that will maximize your image or message brilliantly.

Oh, and this project was not crazy in price either.  In fact it came in less than our close competition...  sure you can get them cheaper on line - buyer beware.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week

"High Falls"
Taken in Northern Minnesota
© Big idea

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Backdrop Event Banners

Here are a couple shots from the Jack Brewer Foundation blue carpet event held last month.  The project involved creating two separate backdrop step and repeat banners, one for the blue carpet runway, the other for the MC stage.

This particular banner was produced on a special fabric banner material ideal for this exact application.  The size of this was a whopping 8' x 10' fit specifically to a portable backdrop display frame system.

Backdrop step and repeat banners are a great way to expand branding opportunities and highlight sponsors/contributors, especially for events that have any media coverage.  There are several types of banner materials used for these backdrop banners.  The key: understanding the displays function, installation method, and project budget.  A grasp of the prior gets us focused on the best material for each specific project. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dimensional wall logos

Pictured here is a 3 dimensional wall logo project we recently completed.  What is unique about this particular project is that we did not install this, our client did!

What you see here is our 1/2" thick PVC plastic.  The face has a 1/16" brushed aluminum laminated to the surface giving this project a really sharp look. Once the Aluminum is laminated to the PVC, we router out the image, clean up the edges, and prepare for installation. For this particular project we needed to prep the image for a simple as possible installation as this project was getting shipped 1800 miles to its final destination - Hollywood, Florida.

Thursday we received this picture and a note from the business owner saying, "it looks AMAZING".  Our client installed this project himself.  With some common sense, a bit of patience, and the aid of our installation template, he had this wall logo up well under an hour.  Having never installed anything like this before he said it actually went up rather easily. On top of that, he saved over $200.00 not having to hire a local installer to do the work for him!

We have produced many dimensional wall logos over the years.  They are a great way to enhance company branding as well as dress up an interior wall, conference room or reception area. The options are endless, from simple black our white plastics to a patina finished solid brass, and a boat load of options in between. 

Check out our website for more sample and material options.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Event Signs - More color for less...

Yes, it is possible - more color for less than you paid in the past!  How is this possible?  Technology is making the printing and sign world more economical.

Fifteen years ago or so, a sign similar to what you see pictured here would have cost approx. 3 times what is would today, and the imaging would not even come close to what today's technology can provide.

The sign pictured here was a quick-turn project for us that needed to be produced on a rigid material yet be lightweight, low cost, able to withstand rain, and above all have sharp, smooth color imaging.  Seems impossible that all this could actually be produced at one time.  This was right up our ally.  We have a material that we use especially for this type of application.

As you see in this image the sign stands nice and rigid and displays the fine print and color gradations brilliantly.  The secret here is in the sign substrate and our really awesome direct to substrate color printing.  No gluing laminated posters to fragile art boards or vinyl sticker applications to plastic sign boards.  This printing process that we use is clean, resilient and cuts out all those expensive old school steps.

With direct printing, the right substrate, and a creative thinker, troublesome event signage is a thing of the past... at least it is at Big Idea.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Funny Sign

Here is a picture of a funny banner we discovered.  I can't help but wonder what is on the other sided of this ...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

MDO - Still a great choice for signage

 Pictured here is a before shot of a clients exterior  main building sign.  What you don't see is that this business is right off a major highway - thousands of passersby everyday.  What you do see is a sign that is failing.  Not only is it much to small for the needed viewing distance, it is not clear what this business actual does or it's name.

Upon a few conversations with our client, creating a logo, generating layout concepts, and material selection, we finalized on what you see below.

Wow! It is pretty darn crystal clear what this business does now.  The new sign is not only easy to read, it cleans up the store front and emanates a professional quality that DK's hold true with their craftsmanship.

This 4' x 20' sign was produced using our MDO sign grade wood coupled with 3M pressure sensitive vinyl.  Many would have produced this using direct digital printing rather than vinyl.  Sure,  digital would look awesome today, but 4 years form now we would have an unhappy client returning wondering why his graphics faded.  Now, nothing is safe from the sun's UV rays, but the 3M vinyl, for this application, will give us the longevity our client is looking for.

Working through the design process is standard stuff in this industry.  It's the added forward thinking and secondary details that we get involved with on projects to ensure each client receives the right product for their needs. 

Transforming visions into brilliant identity. It's what we do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Corporate Portraits at Big Idea

One of the more unique service we offer here at Big Idea is our corporate portrait photography.  This covers a pretty wide swath of imagery including product images, employee's, business development, and virtually any imagery used to help promote a business in print or online.  It really is diverse!

Illustrated here is a image taking on a recent shoot for professional walleye angler, Eric Olson.  This shoot was done on location out of our clients home marina on the Mississippi River out of Red Wing, MN.

The purpose of this shoot was to produce some cool imagery to be used on his personal website. and too provide his sponsor, Bank Brewing Company, with professional quality images of the boat wrap that was recently completed.  The sponsor brews walleye chop beer, a local growing micro brew.  If you look close you can see the boatwrap background is an image of a frothy beer.  Oh, and yes, Big idea also designed the boatwrap too!

You can find Eric fishing the National Guard FLW walleye tour.  Stay tuned for more great info on walleye chop beer and Bank Brewing Company in the weeks to come.  We will have some exciting things to post about!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Value Proposition, with value!

Hopefully your business has a #valueproposition in place.  If not, well, that is subject for another posting.  If so, displaying the proposition to your clients and visitors can be done several ways.

Our client was looking for something bold, clean and easy to read.  This was not only too be viewed by clients and visitors, but as a reminder to the employees... we had a Big Idea. What you see here is the result of some creative collaborating with our client to produce an eye catching wall display version of their Value Proposition.  The project would be displayed in a strategic location to accent wall space and present the proposition elegantly.

In producing this project we had to watch a tight budget and  yet create some display signage that was still full of some WOW.  What you see in this picture is the use of 3 different mediums: digital direct printing, CNC cut dimensional lettering and 3M matte white vinyl wall lettering.  The combination of these three mediums along with proper sizing not only adds some interesting depth to the project, it reduced the overall project cost in materials and installation time.

The client loved it so much they ordered two!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

J. Walkers - AM Heart Association HeartWalk 2011

Hot off the press...literally!

If you watch FOX 9 news you may have caught a special report last night as to what this project is all about.  This is year 2 for Big Idea's involvement with this cause.  We created the team name and the cool logo design for this great team that will walk in this weekends American heart Association HeartWalk.

Check out this link to read more about the report.

Go J. Walkers!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Retractable Display Banners

Pictured here is a display banner campaign we produced for Hazeltine Golf Club - each at 3' x 7' tall.  The banners, in retractable aluminum stands, are part of a display campaign to be used at events and trade shows.

We used a combination of supplied photos and images taken by our staff here at Big Idea.  Coupled with some creative verbiage and these banners become effective marketing tools.

The stands used are one of our favorite retractors.  They come with a solid base, sturdy vertical supports and two means of attaching the banner to the stand.  Most stands use only a two sided tape.  Our stands combine a two sided tape and a pressure plate to allow options and extra security.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Custom Yard Signs

Pictured here is a custom yard sign we recently produced.  The sign is produced using our state-of-the-art print system and a unique aluminum exterior grade 3mm sign board.  

The frame is one of our standards that you will not see very often as most sign makers stick with the standard square or rectangular frames.  A simple change in sign shape can really have an impact and help your image pop out from the rest.

Oh, this frame system does not use screws!  A lot of frames require the sign to be screwed to the frame, leaving screw ends to scratch sign surfaces when transporting or storing.  Screws are also notorious for rusting and leaving those awful rust streaks on your signs.

Our panels simply slip into place with this unique design.  We have about a dozen or so different shape frames available for your next sign project.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo of the Week

The yellow moss road 
© copyright -  Big Idea

Monday, March 21, 2011

A truly biodegradable banner

Pictured here is an event banner that was produces for last weeks St Patrick's day celebration held in Downtown St. Paul, MN.  The banner was a whopping 20' long and prominently displayed on a Private party tent.

what is unique about this banner is not the size, or the vibrant printed colors, or even the discreet way it was hung.  what makes this banner unique is actually within it's environmentally friendly make up.

We call this banner materials our Bio13.  It  contains no toxic materials and more than 80% of the content of this material is derived from sources other than petroleum. 

What sets this material apart from other "Green" materials is that the BIO13 will decompose when properly disposed of in a well managed landfill. When exposed to the darkness, high heat and moisture of a landfill, this material attracts microbes that break down the PVC and turn it into dust. 

There are lots of banner options available these days.  If you are looking for a "greener" solution then our BIO13 is perfect for those projects requiring high print quality, durability and truly recyclable.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Event Signage and Displays

Conference Signage is a big part of what we do here at Big Idea.  Pictured here in the background is a popular display stand that has been featured here at Big Idea for the last year.  There are tons of stands like this on the market today.  For this style we use only one - it's a quality thing. 

This particular compact unit is very versatile.  The image you see is a full color, single sided digital printed vinyl banner.  Notice how rich the terra cotta look is.  No post processing of the image either - came direct from our client.  The stand is a retractable unit that can adjust from 29" to 83" in height.  It utilizes a unique stand that conveniently is stored along side the display during storage.  On top of all that we supply the unit with a durable carrying case.

This system is I deal for the company that has a display that needs to be mobile and easy to set up.  Stay tuned as we will have pictures up soon of a current display system in the works.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fishing For Knowledge has a new look!

Shown here is a logo we recently completed for Fishing for Knowledge, a group that was created by the Finlayson / Giese Sportsman's club and the Hinckley / Finlayson school district. Their goal is to share their love for the outdoors with others through education.

The folks at Fishing for Knowledge came to us looking for assistance with some of their identity issues. After a few discussions and review of their current program, we proposed a new strategy and direction for the group. The challenge for Fishing for Knowledge was trusting in us that our proposal of a new logo would improve their image. The identity we developed was based on creating a professional image that was bold, easy to reproduce over a wide range of print and electronic mediums, and visually appealing to both youth and adults.

We successfully accomplished the task.  The logo is currently in full use.  This simple design was very cost effective in producing vehicle graphics. The simple colors are breeze for screen printed and embroidered apparel.  The bold look allowed the groups banner to be easily identified from a great distance, and the clean look of the logo looks great on the various social media outlets available.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reflections from a photo shoot

Here is a fun shot from one of our corporate portrait photography projects.  If you know corn you should be able to even tell what time of year this was shot.

Our Corporate Portrait Photography will take us just about anywhere and to just about any situation or climate.  The problem with going just about anywhere is getting out of photo-mode while in transit - almost impossible.  Quite often we see something that just can't be passed up, leaving us to pull over and shoot. This is why we always allow plenty of time from point A to point B.

In this case we could not pass up on some interesting scenery. I believe this was point A5 on this particular excursion.  Stay tuned for what was actually shot by the photographer.