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Mark Kissling

No Shame in Referring Customers to Other Sign Companies

Especially when the job is a huge truck wrap outside of your lane.




The wrap serves as a mobile billboard to further awareness through touring events associated with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). The wrap serves as a mobile billboard to further awareness through touring events associated with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN).

SOME TIME AGO, Brian Lauersdorf, the owner of JJ Trucking and JJ Coolers based in Sheboygan, WI, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and his wife Marilyne and daughter Kimberly knew they had to do something to help raise awareness about the disease. And then something very interesting happened. When they went to the local signshop that had done JJ’s decals in the past — according to Art City Wraps (Oshkosh, WI) Co-owner/Designer Carla Marquardt — “that particular shop knew that something this scale needed to be designed and installed with someone that specializes in large-scale wraps.” And so the job moved east to Oshkosh.

The family members had a few ideas for the design, Carla says. One was a road that turned into a heart and then into a ribbon. After about a month of discussion and using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for the design, she presented an initial idea from their concept, which the Lauersdorfs loved. “But in my head I knew I wanted something different for it,” Carla recalls. “So, about four days later I sent an idea with the concept of the final draft and they said they trusted me, so I went for it.”

Art City imaged the design on a combination of Avery Dennison MPI 1105 Wrapping Film and DOL 1300Z Series Clear Cast Vinyl, using their Roland TrueVIS VG3 large format inkjet printer-cutter. The job sold for $10,000.

The wrap has been updated since Brian Lauersdorf’s unfortunate passing.

The wrap has been updated since Brian Lauersdorf’s unfortunate passing.

“Normally we can do a 53-ft. box in a day or less, but with the corrugated surface on the sides we wanted to slow stuff down,” Carla says. Joshua Marquardt, co-owner and lead installer, performed the majority of the installation on the corrugation. Then Art City’s second installer Kyle Schultz came through and trimmed everything. So, this install, which Carla says required “great attitudes for all of that corrugation,” lasted two and a half days.

One of the biggest challenges Art City faced was trying to figure out a way to incorporate all of the ideas in a way that was different and attractive enough to make people look at it. Also when designing a corrugated trailer one must always keep the corrugation in mind because registration needs to be hit, Carla says, on a ton of movement and flow that has to happen. “I tend to use a lot of gradients and patterns, [but for this project] I tried to not use as many of them so that there were not too many things that the installers were aligning,” she adds.

One of the possibly overlooked things that transpired for this job, in Carla’s view, is that another shop sent it to Art City in the first place. “I think many times there are a lot of ‘sign’ shops or graphic shops that just want to make money, so they will tend to take anything and everything.” She’s impressed that JJ’s local shop looked at this project and said to themselves, ‘If they want a show truck they need to go here.’ In doing so, that local shop spared their blushes of not doing the wrap as well for their customer as their previous work.

“It is a pretty amazing thing and then the client drove a little over an hour to work with us,” Carla says. “I always think that is a pretty special thing.” With more than 15 years in this industry, she continues, one of the lessons that seems to take a while to learn is that it is OK to say no. “It’s super-cool to take on projects that make you feel good, and that give you some creative freedom or push your limits as an installer, but also to know your limits as a designer or an installer, and pass on something that is out of your lane.”





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