Double SOLJETs Provide Sturdy Platform for Small Vehicle Graphics Business
Azure Vehicle Graphics | Austin, TX
Starting a business is an adventure filled with twists and turns. Just ask Pete LoBrutto, president and founder of Azure Vehicle Graphics of Austin, Texas. In 2003, after 15 years in the software industry, he decided to take the plunge into small business ownership.
Today, Azure Vehicle Graphics boasts more than 100 customers across the U.S. and Canada. The cornerstone to this company’s busy production environment is a pair of SOLJET integrated printer/cutters.
One of the company’s most unique applications is a wrap completed for a “dollar store,” which sells a wide range of products priced at $1.00. To drive home the marketing message, the store’s delivery vehicle was “wrapped” in a giant one-dollar bill design. “We had to check with the secret service first to verify that we could legally scan a dollar bill,” LoBrutto said.
LoBrutto maintains that the most difficult jobs typically involve wrapping highly stylized, curved vehicles.
"Picture trying to take rectangular pieces of vinyl and designing and applying them to the contours of a Volkswagon Beetle," LoBrutto said. "In cases like this, the job becomes almost a 3D wrap. Our installers have expertise to handle these contours. It’s truly an art."
“Picture trying to take rectangular pieces of vinyl and designing and applying them to the contours of a Volkswagon Beetle,” LoBrutto said. “In cases like this, the job becomes almost a 3D wrap. Our installers have expertise to handle these contours. It’s truly an art.”
For most of its work, Azure Vehicle Graphics designs using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and outputs to the SOLJET using Roland’s own VersaWorks RIPsoftware. Design files from customers can be scanned as well for use as artwork. Once designed and printed, the graphics are laminated and then applied to vehicles by the company’s trained installers.
“The SOLJET printer/cutter’s versatility makes it ideal for this modular expansion strategy,” LoBrutto said. “I know that whatever direction my graphics business takes, the SOLJET is engineered to handle it.”