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Coming on Strong

Canadian advertisement does the heavy lifting.



Every June in British Columbia, Canada, the BC Highland Games are held to celebrate the area’s Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage. Traditional events at the games include pipe band performances, Highland dancing, a shortbread competition, and the impressive “heavy events,” which include stone put, weight throw, sheaf toss, and the fan-favorite caber-toss competitions. Drawing on the popularity of the caber-toss event-in which a 20 foot, 130 pound pole is hoisted then pitched in the air-the BC Highland Games Committee, along with Vancouver-based creative agency Hangar 18, decided to promote the games by attaching a life-sized cutout of a “caberman” to telephone poles, creating the appearance of an eager Scotsman attempting to lift the pole out of the ground.

The caberman graphics were created by Hangar 18 and then sent to Artistat, a print provider also located in Vancouver, as Adobe Photoshop files. Using its Mutoh Falcon, Artistat first output small-scale proofs onto Sihl TriSolv 135 satin paper with eco-solvent inks. After receiving approval, the print provider output 40 5 x 2 foot images. The job took three days to print. The graphics were then mounted to Fome-Cor and laminated with a Seal 6000 laminator. The Fome-Cor and graphics were cut by hand to the shape of the cabermen. Finishing took approximately three days.

The BC Highland Games Committee installed the graphics, adhering the digitally printed strongmen to telephone poles in the area. The graphics were on display for approximately two weeks. Initially created for the 2005 Highland Games, the cabermen graphics have been used in the years since to promote the games. To keep them up to date, Artistat simply prints stickers each year with the new dates of the games to attach to the graphics.

Working in a 6000-square-foot facility, Artistat employs six people and specializes in short-run digital printing, specifically display booths and P-O-P displays. The job the print shop did for the Highland Games shows its work is fairly coveted as well: While the printed cabermen “attempted” to lift telephone poles out of the ground, pedestrians have had a bit more luck with relocating the lightweight graphics-each year, a few cabermen have been stolen off the streets. Artistat, though, has helped to keep the promotion of the games and fleet of cabermen going strong and has printed additional graphics to replace the missing cutouts.





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