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We're breaking out the BIG, shiny, cyber megaphone. Broadcasting the good words about new BIG INK projects, the chatter on BIG INK and the chatter from BIG INK. Check out all the news that's fit to shout about, brag about and get excited about.


BIG INK President Speaks About EOS at SGIA Expo11.28.17

SGIA Expo WelcomeLast month BIG INK president, Tom Trutna, conducted a breakout session at the  SGIA Expo  (Specialty Graphic Imaging Association). The break-out session, entitled “Getting Traction in your Graphics Business”, highlighted our process of adopting EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System).  Based on the book, Traction, Tom’s real world experience helped other graphic business owners plan in the following business areas: Vision, Data, Process, Traction, Issues and People.

One quote from Tom’s breakout that showed up on Twitter:

“You should consider setting prices based on this question: Are they paying you to manufacture or are they paying you to think?”

Tom also participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Your Business: Prepare for Success”. The panel focused on new businesses and also for established businesses that were looking to avoid growing pains. Tom was part of a four person panel, with each person presenting in their area of expertise. Ryan Sauers of Sauers Consulting covered time management; business trainer Vince DiCecco covered marketing; David Fellman of Dave Fellman & Associates talked about sales and Tom covered operations. BigPicture.net reported on one of Tom’s responses, noting:

Nearly everyone spoke about data. Tom Trutna, owner of Big Ink, stressed its importance in the pre-show session “Your Business: Prepare for Success,” saying, “Nothing changes unless it is watched.” The phrase “adapt or die” has never felt truer, and you can’t adapt without knowledge.

We are always willing to talk about EOS and how it drives us forward. It helps us make creative ideas into stunning visuals, while creating delight for our customers. We strongly believe in participating and contributing to the specialty graphics community.  Caring is one of our EOS core values: We care about our customers, co-workers, company and community.



Interesting Stage and Event Graphics10.26.17

How To Use Cubes for Interesting Stage and Event Graphics

We think that digitally printed cubes are great for any stage, event or trade show display. Their six sides mean you can display six different messages or images on each cube. This allows for multiple use or multiple messaging. Here are a few examples of how clients have used cubes for their event.  First was the Formula for Hope fundraising luncheon for the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. We printed nine cubes (along with the stage graphics) that told different parts of the event story. Initially, the cubes were stacked on the stage with images of kids facing forward. During the entertainment, kids came out on stage and held the side of the cube toward the audience with the Kids Count message. Finally, at the end of the performance, the cubes were turned to convey that the attendees, along with the crisis center, equal hope for the children. The cubes brought the theme front and center throughout the event.

Stage with stacked cubes

 

Transform an Event Space

Using different cubes in different sizes is a lightweight, easily assembled way to convey your brand and redesign an event space to include your message.  Cubes can come in any size and can be stacked to create towers, pyramids, really any imaginable shape.  They can also be designed to slide onto wires to create a message sculpture or lined up side by side to make a back wall.  Shipped flat, they require minimal, non-complicated assembly, yet create a BIG impression. Stack your message at your next event for a new dimension in branding.

Event Stacked Cubes



BIG INK Supports MN350 and Sustainability in Printing10.12.17

Sustainability in Printing for MN350

BIG INK is often printing graphics for one time events, so we are always working on how we can increase our and our customer’s sustainability. We keep bins by every printer, so all scrap goes into recycling. We offer a take-back program, so after their use, customers can send back graphics and we recycle them. We have a company garden and two apple trees that our employees eat from throughout the summer and early fall. So we were thrilled to take another step in printing sustainability and donate the graphics for MN350‘s first gala entitled, Let’s Be Heard which happened on October 5th at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. Eureka Recycling was an event partner, making it a zero-waste event, meaning over 94% of all discards needed to be recycled or composted. With this in mind, we created a mix of graphics that were compostable and reusable. We printed three standees and a podium sign on the rigid substrate ShowCore, which is returnable to us for recycling. MN350 did hang on to these items to be reused, however, when they are obsolete, they can be sent back for recycling. The step and repeat sign and custom table clothes were dye sub printed and are reusable. We also made four MN350 Sustainability Stage GraphicsSustainability Thought Bubblesdry erase thought bubbles that allowed attendees to write statements and get a photo in front of the step and repeat. Attendees were given which hash tags to include when posting on social media. The easels for the silent auction will also be reused and are made of chipboard and can be added to paper recycling, when they are ready to be discarded. The event raised over $80,000 for the organization to continue its every day work to confront the climate crisis and help create a just and sustainable world.



Scout’s Honor8.18.17

Mature. Committed. Involved. Eagle Scout. 

Meet Andrew Whipple, a senior at Lakeville South High School. Andrew’s journey to Eagle Scout began in the first grade when he became involved in Cub Scout Troop 121. From that point on he found an environment that cultivated enriching experiences and useful life skills.

The designation of Eagle is the highest attainable rank in the boy scouts and is an honor achieved by only four percent of eligible scouts. Whipple says, “To achieve the rank of an Eagle Scout is to know that I was successful in accomplishing the highest rank of scouting and the feeling of success is awesome.”

 

To complete the process of becoming an Eagle, scouts must;

  • earn a total of 21 merit badges
  • serve a minimum of 16 months in a leadership position
  • been camping for a minimum of 24 nights
  • Design and carry out a service project

These are just a few of the core requirements to become an Eagle. Andrew found the service project to be the most challenging and rewarding portion of these requirements, “The Eagle Project was the most difficult because of all the planning, preparation and completion of all the tasks.” He built an 18’ x8’ x2’ shelving unit for his high school band to store their instruments for his project.

Following through on these tasks are what Andrew says is one of the most important takeaways he has gained from the scouts. He says it is equally important to remember to have fun. He has many fond memories from the scouts such as attending Grey Wolf, a national youth leadership training camp. Andrew thinks a lot of people misjudge this part of the scouts, that despite learning a wealth of useful information it is quite simply a great time!

We are BIG believers in this core value here at BigInk as well. The process of delight through accomplishment can be just as gratifying as the end goal. Congratulations to Andrew!



BIG Game Graphics HQ8.15.17

The “Crew 52” Super Bowl volunteer headquarters recently opened in downtown Minneapolis. KARE11 news received a sneak peak of some of our space branding and displays including; wall and floor graphics, custom cash-wraps, giant foam numbers and much more. Bring on the big game!

 



Joseph’s Coat– The Inside Scoop7.31.17

 If you’ve driven West 7th Street in St. Paul on a Monday or Wednesday, you may have seen a winding line of people zagging its way out of an unassuming store front. Those people are shoppers, who have gathered to patiently wait for Joseph’s Coat to open so they can shop for donated goods for themselves and their family. Recently BIG INK donated new interior signage to the store and was so impressed with the specialness of the story, decided to find out more. Here’s what we learned from our interview with Cheryl Stern, Director.

 

Patricia Fetsch founded Joseph’s 28 years ago after witnessing an undeniable demand for household goods and clothing for people in need of help. She opened a small store in downtown St. Paul in 1989 that grew over the years, which lead to a move in 2003 to its current, larger location.  Part of the growth can be attributed to the foundation of treating shoppers with dignity and respect, which the store has done since its opening day. Each shopping day sees over 400 individuals, all who receive the same opportunity at acquiring goods.

 

The store is an independent non-profit, without any religious affiliations and relies on philanthropic partners and the surrounding community’s charitable contributions. All types of goods are accepted, excluding food and furniture. The store uses a two day cycle of being closed during stocking, then opening Mondays and Wednesdays to distribute the goods.  Since Joseph’s Coat only has one full time and two part time employees, it heavily relies on the surrounding community for volunteer shelf stockers, which the community generously fulfills, with over 140 individuals volunteering. It is the donated goods and the time of the volunteers that allows the store to serve close to 1000 individuals weekly. Stern notes, “It’s a wonderful thing because Minnesota is so generous.”

After two years of volunteering in the store, Stern found she couldn’t refuse the offer of becoming Director and gladly accepted the position in 2010. She says one of the most satisfying parts of working at the store is witnessing the transformation of some of its customers. Early in her career she met a family with two daughters. The mother grew up in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. hoping to attend college, but never did. The father was a laborer. This working family had a hard time making ends meet and would bring their daughters with them to shop at Joseph’s Coat.  Stern recalled how much like their parents, the girls made the best of what they had and were appreciative of the help. Stern said, “She’d come in here and find clothing, then she’d alter it so it looked updated, short enough (or) long enough so she and her sister could wear it.” The daughter applied the same work ethic to her school work as she did to her alterations, which landed her a scholarship at nearby Macalester College. She will graduate from there soon and clearly attributes part of her success to Joseph’s Coat, as she is one of the current volunteers who helps at the store. “I’m really proud of her,” says Cheryl.

When a community unites to support those who are most in need, the generosity is often paid forward. Whether it be individuals volunteering their time, everyday people donating goods, or local businesses like Big Ink offering their services. From its founding to the present, community continues to be the core foundation of Joseph’s Coat. BIG INK couldn’t agree more and is honored to be a part of this incredible community. If you have goods or time to donate, you can find more information at: http://www.josephscoatmn.org/contactus.htm

 



Setting the Stage for Soundset7.12.17

Soundset Festival notched its 10th year running on Saturday, May 28th. Hip hop culture was on full display as artists such as Travis Scott, Atmosphere and Gucci Mane took over the Minnesota fairgrounds. Our stage graphics framed the musicians under the spotlight, energizing the nearly 35,000 fans celebrating the anniversary.

Raise of hands from anyone who needs some help setting the stage for your next big project? Contact BIG INK for details on how we can help – Together we’ll be a star!



Space Branding That Created Delight7.11.17

Delighted customers are what we strive for.  One of our Core Four values is simply: Create Delight. Here’s a project we did for Fast Horse and Deluxe Corp. Deluxe celebrated Small Business Week by taking over Gallery 64 in Wabash IN and spent a few days providing free, one-on-one advice to businesses and hosting daily Q&As with a panel of small business experts. See how the space was transformed and branded for this well received event. The items of the transformation included custom printed pillows, removable window graphics, banners, custom SEG fabric, large SEG 10′ backdrop and sandwich boards.

 

I just wanted BIG INK to know that the Deluxe Wabash event was a massive success. The client was THRILLED with the space and it wouldn’t have been possible without you and your crew.

“Wow! I am so proud of this team…the Outpost was absolutely amazing in every possible way. The execution was GORGEOUS and the experience was flawless. You all pulled off an unbelievably impressive event and week of activities. I could not be more proud to have been there, thank you for bringing to life a brand experience of “Deluxe” that has set a new bar.” 

Hyperventilating and feeling light-headed about a project? See an idea here you’d like to execute? Contact us for more details on this project or ideas about how to uplif yours – we’ve got the O2 to make it happen!



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