RIOT OF COLOUR
It starts with a Nissan Cube: that’s a quirky little vehicle. With its bluff shape and abrupt geometry it looks like it could be the product of someone’s MineCraft fantasy world rather than a real-world vehicle that’s actually rolled of a real-world assembly line. This idiosyncratic little vehicle was an instant hit when it was launched in Japan and news of its being made its way very rapidly west. Many were imported under the official radar and eventually it became an official part of the manufacturer’s product line up here. The motoring press has broadcast many words about the ‘’Cube:’ among them, ‘head-turning.’
One day, not so very long ago, the ‘phone rang at Bridgend based Elite Signs, home to Simon James and his team of vehicle graphics and wrapping specialists. On this occasion the call seemed to be a little more probing than those that are usually made by people exploring options. The potential customer wanted complete disclosure about Elite’s expertise, how many vehicles they’d done, where examples could be seen and so on. Simon James thought, initially, it may be a bit of trade-led espionage in progress but was proved to be in error when the caller revealed they represented Howells Properties, a rentals and lettings agency in the area. The caller had a design in mind, a vehicle in need, and a job there for the taking if everything could be made to fit. Elite couldn’t resist.
The design as submitted, was colourful, complex and needed substantial modification to make the journey from 2D rendering to the 3D world that is wrapping. Quite a few iterations were submitted for comment with much attention being paid the need to have the details mesh properly with each other. Once that was sorted the client sought assurances that the design would be rendered to the real world appropriately and that it would be ‘colourful’ enough. Simon James presented a visual that left the matter in no doubt whatever.
In an unusual step in wrap production, Simon James’s team created a production visual for the client’s approval printed on the very printer, and upon the very material, that would be used to do the job. MetaWrap MD-X was the material and an EcoSolvent Roland printer provided the ink. In the event, the deeply saturated colour that the MD-X can handle and the detail it can resolve won the day for Elite. It won the order too. The client liked what they saw and gave the job the go-ahead.
The Elite Signs team set about printing the panels required on MetaWrap MD-X and these were laminated with the next-generation wrapping film’s matching laminate. The results were, of course, absolutely consistent with the client visual and the wrapping team were the first to see, and register, the net-impact the design and MD-X print achieved having conquered one of the most challenging applications they’d undertaken.
Nobody would argue that the Cube is quirky. Wrapped, as it is though, by Elite, with its windows covered to archive a van-like effect, the Cube transcends its reputation and becomes something MUCH more impactful. There’s a narrow line separating gratuitous use of a given medium from something that takes it to the line and yet succeeds brilliantly. Elite’s and Howell’s Cube does just that. It’s nothing less than sensational.
From whatever angle it’s seen the Howells Cube is a riot of colour and very involving detail. The more you look, the more you see. It doesn’t just invite attention, it very loudly demands it and yet it entertains and engages. It’s a subject of discussion in its own right and rapidly achieving a reputation. It POWERFULLY distinguishes Howells from other businesses in its sector and in its region. It does exactly what it was designed to so and it does it brilliantly.
Design is a a subjective thing to be sure. Some might contend that this example is over-the-top. Pow! It’s that all right. Elite’s client, is over-the-moon and the hugs have been dispensed at Elite when eyes first fell on the vehicle. Elite’s customer is beyond satisfied. Blown away is more like it.
Brilliant work team.