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A Gold Medal in Graphics

Ampco Grafix helps promote the Winter Olympics in freezing conditions.



Nearly everything to do with the Olympic Games is carried out at an enormous scale. By far, the Olympics bring together more athletes from more countries than any other sporting event. Millions of tickets are sold for hundreds of events in dozens of sports. And some of the world’s biggest cities vie for the chance to host the games. It only makes sense, then, that the marketing efforts for the Games are on an equally large and impressive scale.

To promote the fast-approaching 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, British Columbia-based Ampco Grafix—through a partnership with 3M (a 2010 games sponsor)—was charged with producing two enormous window graphics for CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, which has broadcasting rights to the upcoming Games. The graphics would be displayed in the windows above a music retail shop in a high-traffic area in central Vancouver.

The graphics, designed by CTV, were sent to the print provider as Adobe Illustrator files. Ampco Grafix made only a few necessary color corrections in Illustrator before outputting sections of the graphic onto 3M Scotchcal Perforated Window Graphic Film and 3M vinyl using the shop’s EFI Vutek 3360. After CTV gave its approval on the proofs, Ampco produced the final graphics, using both the Vutek 3360 as well as a Vutek 150 to help reduce printing time.

The two graphics—one depicting a figure skater and a freestyle skier and the other a speed skater—measured approximately 1365 square feet and 801 square feet, respectively. It took 17.5 hours to print both graphics. The graphics were finished with the shop’s GBC/Pro-Tech Orca III laminator and 3M Scotchcal overlaminate film. Finishing took 46 hours.

After production was complete, the graphics were installed this past January above an HMV music store by 14 Ampco employees. Installation took a whopping 433 man hours due to the cold, wintery conditions the installers were up against and the number of pieces involved in the install.

Another challenge the shop had to work around: Canadian laws concerning window coverage. By law, only 10 percent of buildings are allowed to be covered by graphics, but CTV pushed for 100-percent coverage allowance. The 100-percent coverage was finally granted on the grounds that the graphics were celebratory in nature.


In business since 1967, Ampco Grafix operates out of a 63,000-square-foot facility located in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and employs more than 100 graphics professionals. The company specializes in large-format digital printing, screen printing, event graphic management, and installation (and removal) of graphics on a wide range of surfaces.

Ampco Grafix



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