The Bristol Hippodrome announced the imminent arrival of the new ‘Mary Poppins’ stage musical with a fanfare of colourful signs and banners produced by Frenzy Designs and its new Lightbar RF-640 printer. To complement large format banners that adorn the front of house, Frenzy Designs also applied Lightbar print to the 3 sq. metre, flex face, illuminated sign and the 15 metre long sign panel that crowns the top of this historic theatre.
Frenzy Designs has been supplying theatres like the Bristol Hippodrome with signs and banners for over 30 years. The promotional signwork is changed regularly as one show comes to an end and another starts its run. With the inevitably tight deadlines involved, Frenzy Designs is frequently required to convert fresh artwork into new theatre signs over the course of a weekend. By producing instantly usable, immediately durable output, Frenzy Designs’ new Lightbar printer is helping to deliver the fast turnaround times that these theatre contracts demand.
Conveniently located between Bristol and Bath, with easy access to the motorway network, Frenzy Designs was established in 1981 by Val Bryant; a traditionally trained signwriter whose hand painted lettering skills and illustrative artistry are still in great demand today. That said, Val has always moved with the times to offer his impressive list of local and national clients a comprehensive range of sign services; everything from traditional hand signwriting to full colour digital printing. By doing so, Frenzy Designs has acquired a well-deserved reputation for creativity and quality workmanship.
It was quite by chance that Val and his business partner, Matt Pope, happened upon the solvent-UV ink technology that would provide the next evolution in their business. As Val explains,
“We were visiting a trade show when we first came across the Lightbar printer. We already owned an excellent 10 year old Roland printer/cutter and we weren’t in the market for another…. until we were handed a sample of Lightbar print straight off the new machine. The colours were bright, glossy and the print was completely dry. More importantly, when I took out a key and scratched at the ink, it didn’t leave as much as a mark on the image.”
The Lightbar RF-640 printer is a Partner Solution that combines the latest solvent-UV ink chemistry with the quality and reliability of Roland DG print technology. This new ink formulation is odour free and cures the instant it passes through a low energy UV lamp unit. The result is vibrant, colour rich output that’s dry, durable and ready to use the moment it leaves the printer.
Val and Matt saw the potential benefits for their sign business immediately, including all the time and floor space they could save by not having to leave print on drying racks to out gas before applying, mounting or laminating it. Within days of having its Lightbar RF-640 printer installed, Frenzy Designs had completed their latest Hippodrome theatre project and set the new printer to work on a full van wrap for another of its valued customers, Upham Brewery, the south of England’s fastest growing pub and brewery company. Matt takes up the story,
“We’d already wrapped two Upham delivery vans with vinyl printed by our old Roland, so, it was important to get the right colours from the new Lightbar printer. In the end, all it took was a few tweaks in our VersaWorks RIP and a couple of test prints to produce a perfect colour match.”
With the additional speed of the Lightbar RF-640, Frenzy was able to print the vinyl for the van wrap in half the time it had taken them previously. However, laminating the print without having to wait for it to out gas was the real game changer as Matt points out,
“Having printed and laminated the vinyl in record time, we then discovered that the van was a ‘face lift’ model that differed very slightly from the previous two vans. The print for the bonnet needed to be 150mm wider. Thanks to our Lightbar printer, we were able to re-print, laminate and fit the replacement panel within an hour, which allowed us to complete the van wrap on time for our customer.”
By introducing Lightbar print technology, Frenzy Designs has dramatically improved the workflow within its business. As a result, both production times and operational costs are now considerably lower for the company. This means that it’s possible to produce more, grow revenue and increase profits without any additional staff overheads. Building on this success, Frenzy Designs also plans to field test the impressive durability of unlaminated Lightbar print to establish its suitability for an even wider range of outdoor applications.