What more homely sight could there be for anyone seeking a flat or house to rent in Brighton than the pebbles of its famous beach? So what a flash of inspiration it was for the city’s leading letting agency, Homelets Brighton Ltd, to send its client service car out and about sporting an all-over covering of pebbles, digitally printed on Oracal 3951 cast vinyl.
In fact, the idea was conceived jointly by Homelets’ Nigel Hughes, and Patrick Weams, who runs Mayday, a Brighton-based promotions agency. And it was Patrick, currently involved in sourcing a printer for a number of building wrap projects, who found the ideal company to wrap the Homelets’ Renault Clio just an hour away along the coast.
“All-over car and van wraps are such head-turners if they are cleverly done, that they are just the perfect promotional medium for local businesses serving a self-contained community like Brighton,” he says. “So when I looked for a supplier for the Homelets’ car, I was also actively seeking a resource to underpin my campaign to sell the wrap concept to as many firms in the area as possible.”
XL-Print of Portsmouth is probably one of the best-kept secrets in the super-wide digital print sector. Established only in 2002, one of two foreign subsidiaries of the Israeli Sahar Signs International group, it has been keeping its powder dry whilst it built a bedrock of satisfied customers among bluechip buyers of billboard, scaffold-wrap, exhibition, vehicle and retail display graphics in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
Now, with a 5m Scitex XLjet and a 3.2m Scitex Grandjet fully operational – and a third large-format machine in the pipeline – managing director, Raffael Kraus, is ready to start shouting about XL-Print’s capabilities to a wider audience.
“We didn’t want to alert the competition to our existence until we had our feet firmly under the table in Europe,” says Raffael, who previously headed up a building wrap production company in Israel. “But having doubled sales in the last two months, increased our sales team and launched a new web site, there is no holding us back.”
The Homelets’ pebble car is a typical example of XL-Print’s expertise in vehicle graphics. The wrap graphics were printed on to Oracal 3951 using the Scitex XLjet from a file supplied by Mayday – and the vinyl then applied to the Renault Clio by XL-Print staff car in the Portsmouth workshop.
“We decided to major on Oracal films for all our self-adhesive vehicle work after a long and exhaustive look at the available options and having trialled a number of different brands,” says Raffael. “The Oracal products are very versatile, good for both long and short-term applications, and are priced very competitively.
“Equally important, the support provided by Europoint, the Oracal distributor, is brilliant. Paul Warwick, their southern manager, has gone to great lengths to familiarise us with printing and applying the Oracal films which have helped us enormously in building our business.”
The Oracal range of cast and calendered self-adhesive vinyls, which span films for plotting, screen and digital printing, are distributed exclusively in the UK by Europoint from branches in Bristol, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Tyne & Wear.