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Our Top 10 Visual Display Ideas Brunch & Learn Was a Success!4.25.17

Our recent Brunch and Learn was a big hit, thank you to all who joined us. People took the tour, had a waffle and sausage (or two) and left with some new ideas about what’s new in top visual display ideas. For those who couldn’t make it, fear not, we’ll host another one soon or you can contact your sales rep to set up a meeting to see some samples and highlights. Here are a few items featured from our smorgasbord of ideas:

Farm Fresh Fabric Ideas

In the fabrics room, our expert fabric department impressed attendees with the lit fabric display column, custom chair covers, silver metallic fabric (adds a sparkle to the printing) and the branded, fabric wrapped yoga ball. We can stitch just about any idea you can cook up.

Customer comment: The fabric structures and lit fabric items were amazing!









Side of Bacon Substrates and Pillars

This station had a lot to touch and feel. The digitally cut cardboard pillars stood out as a not-heavy, easily moveable, dimensional option for event and trade show signage. They would definitely add some structural meat to any stage, trade show display or retail space.









Dark Roasted Digital Cutting

Our digital cutter was magically cutting out a magnetic underwater world. People got to add to our magnetic sandwich board display or take a fish home with them to cook up later.

Customer comment: It was great to see the magnetic cutouts. These would work well for some signs we reuse and need to occasionally change out part of the graphics.


100% Organic Hardware

Lighted, stretch-fabric trade show displays were the hit in this area. They were not only impressive looking, but easy to configure and set up, an organically good combo.

Customer comment: Great to see so many examples of easy set up, professional looking displays.








Last, But Not Least, Brunch!

Everyone got a good, piping hot breakfast before they left.

Customer comment: Oh my gosh, the sausages! Where did you get those sausages!

Get a Slice of BIG INK’s Tastiest Printing Project Yet11.15.16

We hope you didn’t skip lunch today because you will be tempted by photos of this tasty creation! BIG INK teamed up with VStar Entertainment Group and DiLusso Deli Company for a project that involved printing large (foam) salami disks. We even used real salami during the color match process. Perhaps it was the opportunity to snack on this job, the chance to work with enormous materials, or a combination of both that made it several BIG INK staffers’ favorite printing project from the month.

The end results were enjoyed by Food Network & Cooking Channel stars and fans alike at the New York City Food & Wine Festival. Headed into its 9th year, this four day event showcases talent from the world’s most renowned wine producers, culinary personalities, and television chefs while fighting to end hunger. The NYCWFF is the place to be for almost anyone with tastebuds. Giada De Laurentiis (pictured below) is just one of the stars we would like to think came to support an incredible cause but stayed for the giant salami sandwich.

BIG INK is already looking forward to potentially helping out with a printing, project management, or design related project for this high profile event again next year. We’re thinking about switching it up with roast beef or tuna fish though, let us know if you have any suggestions. Contact the visual communications experts at BIG INK to see how they can add some flavor to YOUR next event!

NYCWFF Printing Project NYCWFF Printing Project

From Trash to Treasure, It Started with a Glimmer…10.13.16

Even the most daring of DIY enthusiasts might have deemed the 1964 Airstream Safari trailer that now houses mobile boutique, Trailer-Trash, as a project not even worth pursuing if they encountered it in the shape that BIG INK President/Owner Tom Trutna found it. The previous owners had completely stripped the interior of the trailer to the aluminum skin. All that remained from the past was the 1975 Turista sticker on the window from a long-ago trip to Mexico. It would have been immensely expensive and complicated to bring the trailer back to its original state.

Trutna devised a solution that was unorthodox but exciting. He saw the trailer as the perfect canvas to create a unique retail space and he had the perfect partner to help him tackle this new project, BIG INK. Our visual communications and printing experts at BIG INK also perceived the trailer as a glimmering opportunity instead of a gutted problem. We committed to doing what it took to get this job done just like our core values promise. BIG INK first worked to develop the Trailer-Trash brand. We dialed in on the details and explored various fonts, colors, and logotype before settling on the perfect look to appeal to the mobile boutique’s target audience. Trailer-Trash focuses on vintage gifts and home or cabin decor. The treasures for sale inside reflect the same charm as the exterior.

Shopping with Trailer-Trash is a unique experience. Therefore, BIG INK next presented a production strategy that focused on amplifying Trailer-Trash’s event space. Our team of craftsmen created durable, custom products to make the most of the around 200 square foot trailer. These goods include portable displays, magnetic signs, banners, and posters for indoor and outdoor use. Plus, a personalized pop-up canopy with sturdy steel legs extends the retail experience beyond the trailer when it participates in art fairs and food truck events. The once abandoned project quickly became a vivid and memorable reflection of a brand for appreciators of antique finds from around the world, thanks to a strong partnership and belief in the fact that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Give Trailer-Trash a like on Facebook to see more photos from our collaboration and stay up-to-date on where they are traveling next! Contact BIG INK to get started on your own printing, project management, or design project today!

Trailer-Trash BEFOREtt-signTrailer-Trash at the Uptown Art Fair

Summer Company Celebrations9.13.16

The end of the Minnesota State Fair is a sure sign that summer is winding down and fall is almost here. Minnesota is infamous for chilly weather across the country and even around the globe. But Midwesterners, including BIG INK, know the truth about Minnesota summers and how to enjoy the glorious weather that they bring with family, friends, and co-workers too! In honor of our last few weeks of sublime sunshine, we would like to recap BIG INK’s top three company celebrations from this summer.

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1. Steak & Shrimp Extravaganza

BIG INK enjoyed a savory steak & shrimp lunch to celebrate reaching our July sales goal. Our President/Owner was excited to show off his gift for grilling. The entire staff was eager to honor Bernie Zenda and Karen Rodrique for 20 and 5 years, respectively, with the BIG INK family. Thanks again for all of your contributions, Bernie and Karen!

2. Classic Company Picnic

BIG INK also beat the heat with a company picnic. Natedogs cured our staff’s craving for delicious hot dogs with homemade condiments. They proved a perfect complement to our cold beverages and outdoor games. Including, but not limited to, jumbo Jenga! The competition was fierce, our trusted office dog, Noodles, stepped up as a judge.

3. Fiery Salsa Competition

The BIG INK Salsa Competition was a success. Our employees created and shared their favorite dishes with varying ingredients and spice levels. You’re nacho going to believe it, but we had a four-way tie for first place! We are already looking forward to hosting a rematch next summer.

Learn more about BIG INK’s company culture here and give us a like on Facebook to see fun photos from our future company celebrations!

BIG INK Steak & Shrimp Company CelebrationBIG INK Natedogs Summer Celebration

BIG INK Salsa Company Celebration




BIG INK is honored to have been recognized by BI Worldwide at the first annual Inspirational Partner Forum, featured in Minnesota Meetings + Events Magazine here. BI Worldwide strives to bring people together and encourage information exchange, especially with this event. BIG INK joined 15 other great representatives who were awarded in a variety of different categories. Congrats to all of the winners!

BIG INK is proud to announce we received an award in the Make it Happen category. This category is for companies that excel at presenting clients with a creative solution to a logistical challenge. No surprise there, everyone at BIG INK is committed to our core value to provide consistently great results and it requires innovative BIG thINKing to keep that promise.

Our own Annette Larson attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of BIG INK (find her in the front row on the right side of the group photo). Thanks again to BI Worldwide for hosting a wonderful event, complete with fine food and twinkling lights! We are already looking forward to your next celebration. Learn more about awards that BIG INK has won here. Contact BIG INK to start collaborating with our award-winning team today!

Inspirational partners award dinner 2

Inspirational partners award dinner






BIG INK Visits U.S. Bank Stadium7.30.16

The U.S. Bank Stadium Grand Opening was this past weekend! The open house event featured family-friendly activities like movies, live music and games. BIG INK recently had the opportunity to visit the stadium too. We were able to sneak a peek at some of our fabric work for Sports & The Arts that is displayed inside the structure.

The stadium sports high ceilings and massive walls. This design calls for huge artwork to fill the sizable space, which requires a ton of work. But BIG INK was eager to help tackle this project. We knew it would help us grow as a company and reach an important goal we set last year.

BIG INK decided to make our fabric printing and finishing department “World Class!” While we will never stop improving (it’s one of our core values, after all), our President/Owner couldn’t help but think “job done” as he visited U.S. Bank Stadium and saw the impressive fabric work completed by the incredible BIG INK team.

Take a look for yourself with the video below from our NEW YouTube channel and of course, Skol Vikings!


Welcome to BIG INK! Please enjoy this video tour of our printing facilities, beautifully shot by Jim Buck. The 45 second film features a behind the scenes look at where our incredible staff figures out the improbable and does what it takes to get the job done.

Find out how we can get YOUR job done by exploring the projects section of our website and giving us a call or shooting us an email. Better yet, stop by for a visit! BIG INK is located a short drive from the Twin Cities and we love to meet new people, especially when they bring new projects.

BIG INK Sponsors Ignite Minneapolis 105.12.16

BIG INK was one of the sponsors of Ignite Minneapolis 10 – a fantastic night to kick back, drink some beer and learn. The sold-out event, with over 1,000 attendees, was held at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. What happens at Ignite?

Ignite Minneapolis gathers local thinkers, writers, designers, coders, makers and entrepreneurs for an evening of rapid-fire talks from people with a burning passion for their topic. Some talks are serious, others are pure satire – but each must have a compelling idea or story. Attendees come to learn and to be inspired.

The Ignite format works like this: Each speaker prepares a deck of 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds, giving each speaker 5 minutes to give their talk. The rapid-fire pace of this format often makes for a frenetic delivery, and the variety of topics means the audience is unlikely to ever get bored. The motto of Ignite is, “Enlighten us, but make it quick.”

With no singular theme at the Ignite event, the talk topics varied greatly. Attendees cheered for talks about everything from houseboat living to design thinking, from social diversity to solar power, and from learning to train a pet fish to the finer points of hockey rules.

We enjoyed not only sponsoring this event, but attending as well. Tickets always sell out quickly, for more information and to sign up to receive advance notice emails, click here. Check out our Facebook page to see more photos from exciting events that BIG INK attends.

Ignite Minneapolis 10

Ignite Minneapolis 10

Spring Sipper – A Successful Event4.14.16

BIG INK and Bent Brewstillery have partnered in the past, but nothing quite like this. In mid-April BIG INK collaborated with Bent Brewstillery, the first brewstillery in Minnesota, to create a casual event for co-workers and clients to enjoy the sunshine and sip a cold beer. We called this event our “Spring Sipper.”

Bent Brewstillery has had their taproom open for just over a year and recently BIG INK took their blank concrete walls and added vinyl wall graphics and a magnetic strip board with dry erase laminate creating consistent corporate branding. This informal gathering gave employees and clients a reason to take a step back from their busy workday to catch up with one another and to also see the taproom space.

We love to support our clients and their businesses with an ultimate goal of creating delight. As the spring sun is peaking out, we want our clients to know that our doors are always open. Stop by and say hi, we’d love to see you.

Bent Brewstillery Spring SipperBent Brewstillery(2)Bent Brewstillery(1)Bent Brewstillery

BIG INK Awarded a Pin Award from MN AdFed’s The Show3.17.16

When BIG INK decided to create a holiday card with something that showcased our in-house design service (known as Launch!), we weren’t thinking much beyond the holiday season. But earlier this month, the holiday card and social media campaign, known as “Oh My Deer!” was awarded a Pin Award at AdFed’s The Show in the Advertising Industry Self-Promotion, Direct Marketing & Specialty Items category.

The card, which featured a need-to-assemble, three dimensional deer head, was concepted, created and printed in-house. The card consisted of a double sided print on an 8.5” by 11” piece of EnviroCorr, with the pieces of the deer puzzle trough cut on a Zund digital cutter. It shipped flat to clients and prospects, instructed them to take a moment to stop “chasing the big bucks” and enjoy “warm en-deer-ments and to fawn over family and friends.” Assembly instructions were printed on the backside. The card’s sense of fun extended into a social media campaign, as anyone posting #ohmydeer and a photo, was entered into a daily gift card drawing. The card ended up generating not only smiles and warm fuzzy feelings, but social media activity and a quote request for a similar project.

The Pin adds yet another layer of success to the campaign. Notes Tom Trutna, BIG INK President/Owner, “We are thrilled with this award. We’re well known in the area for our printing expertise, but a Pin from AdFed puts us on par with the best and brightest creative and marketing talent in the Twin Cities, it says we have chops in design as well. We produce a lot of projects that are print-ready, but for those clients who need it, this award confirms we can create award winning design too.”

See more fun photos from this campaign on our Facebook page! Contact BIG INK to learn more our in-house design service!

Adfed Award Show

AdFed Pin Award – Aria in Minneapolis

AdFed Pin Award Winner - "Oh My Deer"

“Oh My Deer” Holiday Card