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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 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

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