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A Hall of Fame Experience

Shockwave Sign and Graphics turns to its HP Scitex FB6100 with white ink to create ‘Dallas Cowboys on Tour.’



A division of Triple D Publishing, Shockwave Sign & Graphics in Charlotte, North Carolina, was founded in 2004 to address the digital market. Shockwave’s business ranges from vehicle graphics for motor sports and fleets to P-O-P displays for the food and beverage industry and major retailers. In 2004, the company occupied 4500 square feet; today it takes up nearly 20 times that space and has about 30 employees.

The company’s equipment includes HP Designjet 5000, 9000, and 10000 models; a Roland 540; a Canon Pixma Pro9000; an IP&I Cube 260UV; three Mimaki JV33s; an HP Turbojet 8300; and an HP Scitex FB6100. “We’re not just a little sign company,” emphasizes managing partner Jeff Walsh.

Shockwave recently drew on the white-ink capabilities of its HP Scitex FB6100 in a job for Spevco, the Special Vehicles Company, which manufactures vehicles for marketing exhibits, entertainment, and other purposes.

Spevco was building a 53-foot semi-truck for the Dallas football team’s “Dallas Cowboys on Tour” program—a mobile-marketing program including a 53-foot Hall of Fame trailer (aka, “rapid deployment vehicle”) that’s taken around the country to provide fans with a Hall of Fame experience. The museum would comprise various elements, including: four informational kiosks on the 2009 Cowboys team, as well as one on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Cowboys through the Years, and one for the Jones Family Charities.

Each museum section would include a printed acrylic image for each area as well as 3D items/memorabilia specific to each topic and much more. Other highlights would include a stadium wall display with various images (on printed vinyl); a timeline display of team history; a wall of fame display; player mannequin displays; hand-sizing stations; a locker-room display with scaled versions of the Cowboys locker room lockers; and more.

Shockwave provided finished printed pieces for various exhibit sections, including the player images on the team wall, player images on the “through-the-years” wall, and all graphics for the four informational areas.


Spevco supplied all the images to Shockwave, and then the print shop got to work on the final output. “We supplied them with quarter-inch-thick acrylic panels up to 30 x 40 inches with photos printed in reverse on the back. But we also flooded the back of the panels with white, behind the photos,” Walsh says.

Group marketing director Sean Miller explains: “If you print a colored image on a clear substrate without white ink behind it, the image is more or less transparent. You need the white ink for opacity, to make the colors bright enough. And it has to be white to bring out the gamut of the ink without giving it a color cast.”

Printing the flood layer was a simple command in Shockwave’s Caldera RIP. “It’s pretty straightforward if you know what you’re doing,” Walsh says.

Miller adds, “Any time you’re printing on clear, there are color issues because of the transparency. You have to build color profiles for clear media that almost over-saturate the colors.”

Spevco handled the final install work.





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