ISA’s 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

ISA’s 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise
And no more “Gothic” skulls, please.

For most of us, ISA’s International Sign Expo 2009 was a nice surprise. The pundits – and I may have been one of them – expected a cheerless show. After all, the economy is in ruins, right?

Wrong. For ISA anyway. ISA says its 2009 International Sign Expo was “a resounding success.” Nearly 18,000 people from 92 countries attended; the exhibit hall featured 500 companies and 1,600 exhibit booths. Even better, the attendees brought their checkbooks. And positive attitudes. Every digital print machine manufacturer told me they’d sold more than expected.

Obviously, signmakers, a hardy group, have decided the best way out of the present economic quagmire is through work. Maybe it’s because work is an American thing.

The 1st Annual Lowen Certified Wrap-Off, with 96 contestants signed up, excelled. First-place winner Dustin Shelley, owner of Atlanta-based It’s a Wrap Graphics Inc., and his girlfriend, Lisa, drove home in a new, Ford 250XL pickup. It was wrapped, of course. Lowen Corporation’s HP Scitex TJ8300 printer produced more than 7,000 sq. ft. of 3M material for the event.

Other wrap demonstrations dotted the show floor. Roland DGA Corporation displayed a partially wrapped Toyota Scion Xb, which nicely demonstrated the advantage of digital, print-and-cut systems. The florist motif design comprised leaves and flowers over the vehicle’s white paint. In my opinion, it was the best looking wrap at the show. Maybe it was because the design didn’t include human skulls.

If I could change one thing, it would be to outlaw the inclusion of human-skull images on vehicle, or other, graphics. I mean, this skull thing has gone on long enough. Today’s designers, who confuse Gothic design (the Notre Dame Cathedral, for example) with Visigoth barbarianism, need to move on. Or back, perhaps, to study the curvaceous lines of Frazetta’s Egyptian Queen.

ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

From red to wrapped, in 50 minutes or less, was the challenge at the First Annual Certified Wrap-Off contest, held at ISA’s Sign Expo 2009 in Las Vegas. Forty-eight top installers competed to win a 2009 Ford F250XL pickup and other prizes. Sponsors included Lowen Corp., Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Cyrious and Mac Tools.(Photo credits: Darek Johnson)
ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

A Wrap-Off result
ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

First Annual Certified Wrap-Off grand-prize winner Dustin Shelley and his girlfriend, Liza AuYeung, pose with the new ride. Bluemedia’s Mike Tovar took second place (a $5,000 check and a Lowen Certification for the Installer™) and Laid Vision’s Rob Miller took third (a vehicle wrap designed by Brad Adamic, West Coast Custom’s art director). Dustin, who also owns It’s a Wrap Graphics (Newnan, GA), also won an HP Touchsmart notebook, a truck tool box, a Mac Tools wrapper tool set, Cyrious’ Control OOB Gold system and a Lowen Certification for the Installer.
ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

Roland’s Toyota Scion Xb proved the attractiveness of partial wraps and also demonstrated the positive logic of print-and-cut systems.
ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

ST Technology Reviewers Chris and Kathi Morrison discuss the contest with Sergio Desoto, Lowen Corp.’s VP of sales and marketing, wraps and media.
ISA's 2009 International Sign Expo Surprise

Vehicle-wrapped cars and installation demonstrations packed ISA’s 2009 Sign Expo. Here, a wrapped, quarter-miler attracts both racing and software fans to SAi’s booth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s