Wednesday
Nov072012

Flamin' wrap for Fatback's BBQ

Five years ago in August of 2007 this guy came into our shop with a big ol' grin on his face and a pirate style hoop ear rings in his ears (that is why if you look closely at his logo you will see the pig wearing ear rings) His name was Cory Brinson. He had quit his job as a Fed Ex driver and was about to embark on the most exciting adventure of all, combining his love of cooking with his dream of owning his own business.

He was reccomended to us by another client to get a wrap on his truck. We ended up doing his logo design, business cards, banners, his truck wrap as well as the signage on his mobile BBQ Shack.

Fast forward 5 years. Cory has had a very eventful 5 years. He has won numerous awards including:

• 2011 Grand Champion: Edenton Hog Fest - Edenton, NC

• 2011 Grand Champion: Palmeto Pig Cookoff

• 2011 Reserve Grand Champion: Capital City Cookoff - Lexington NC

• 2011 Reserve Grand Champion: SAM's Club National BBQ Tour

He was also privileged to be invited to the prestigious Jack Daniels BBQ Cookoff. Only two teams in each state are awarded the privilege of competeing in this event.

All of this was followed by mulltiple appearances and an overall 2nd place finish in the TV reality series BBQ Pitmasters.

To top it all off FatBack's BBQ recently opened a new restaurant to suppliment the mobile rib shack. Since the old truck had seen so many miles it was time to get a new tow vehicle for the rib shack. Lumberton Ford was kind enough to help with the purchase of the truck by sponsoring FatBack's. 

Cory brought the truck in and said: "Mark, here is the truck, these are the sponsors do whatever you want", that aways works for me!

Best part of all is as part of my research for design I felt the need to sample the product. : )

 

Tuesday
Feb212012

Design Your Own Wrap!

Our new online wrap design studio is almost done.  It is still in beta testing but is 99% complete. Check it out! You can design your own wrap on your own car and see the finished product. When you are done just click on "Submit for Quote" and we will let you know how much your new design will run.  

 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct192011

Final Post for Cyrus

I told him there was a squirell in the field. As many of you already know we lost our shop mascot and a member of our family, Cyrus the dog, on the afternoon of Friday, October 14th. He had numerous problems with both the vertebrae as well as the discs in both his upper and lower back.  In addition to this we learned last year after a couple of MRI’s that he also had Syringomyelia, which basically means there was fluid in the cord that had formed sacs and damaged his spinal cord. If all of that was not enough, he also had problems with his heart (tachycardia) this was causing fluid build up in his abdomen. Even at rest when he was not excited his heart was beating over 190 beats per min. That caused him to be panting all of the time.

Despite treatment his problems progressed to the point that he was frequently falling down. Thursday night we called our wonderful veterinarian Dr. Kim Krivit of NorthStar Veterinary Hospital. In spite of the fact that she was not on call, she immediately woke up and told us to meet her at her hospital.  By the time we arrived Cyrus "marking" NorthStar as his property. After midnight.she had the doors unlocked and was waiting for Cyrus. I cannot say how much that meant to Betty Jo and I. Cyrus really liked Dr. Kim. Over the years he has bit a few vets, he really did not like them for some reason. But Dr. Kim and Rob were always buddys to Cyrus. He was a good judge of character.  She did a series of X-rays, ran some blood tests, and some other tests. She let us know how much pain he was in even though he never would cry out.

The next day here at work he seemed okay for most of the day. During the afternoon Cyrus walked out to the field next door. On the way he fell down and he never was able to stand again.  We called Dr. Kim, and within just a few minuites she and Cindy were at our shop. She explained to me that he was in much pain. She also reminded me that the only thing he ever wanted in life was to be with me.  Any of you that know Cyrus know that was so true. If I was leaving my office, he was coming with me. Period.  Sometimes if I wanted to go to lunch alone, I would sneak out the back way.

This photo was taken the morning of his final dayAnyway, without the ability to walk, he never would have been happy. We put him on his bed and carried him over beneath a pretty oak tree. Fortunately my parents just happened to be here at the time so he was surrounded by everyone he loved. One close friend (Rob) was driving in from an hour and a half away with a fractured foot to try to get here in time but unfortunately did not make it.

We gathered around, I lay on the ground and whispered to him, told him how special he was, how much I loved him, and how much he had enriched our lives. The last thing I said to him was “I love you buddy” . Finally it was time. He put his head on my shoulder as Dr. Kim gave him the final shot. Slowly his head got heavier and heavier. Then he was gone.

After he was gone I stroked his soft warm ears and wept. What I was weeping for was not “just a dog” anymore that you could say “just a wife” or “just a child”, he was a family member.  I wept for the years he had been my constant companion. I wept for the time we kayaked together, for all the walks we took, for all the squirrels he chased. I wept for how he bonded so strongly to me the very first day we got him. How he always rode with his chin on my shoulder in the car. I wept for how he “purred” when I rubbed his ears and how he always seemed to know where you were going to be two minutes before you did so he could lay down right there and be in the way.  

Now,every time I go through a door I don’t close it immediately because I am so used to him just being there right behind me. Knowing if I did close it, he would soon remind me with a loud bark. The big goofball never did learn how to whisper. If he “talked” to you, you would know it. He was LOUD. As we drive to work, the car seems empty, at work the shop seems empty and at home our bedroom seems empty. Most of all, my heart seems empty.

 I have had many dogs over the years, several Great Danes, two German Shepherds, and others, but none gave me the pleasure that Cyrus did. He was a true credit to his breed. For 6 years he was my friend, a true and constant companion. Some people believe that all things in life eventually balance out. If that’s true, then proof of all the pleasure he gave us is felt in the misery and grief Betty Jo and I feel on his passing.

This photo was from before we adopted Cyrus from Southern States Mastiff RescueI would like to thank all of you, his “Facebook Friends”, many of you know him through visiting us here at Image Graphics. As you can see from his photo album he often took photos with little children that more often than not were fascinated by the “big doggy”. 

There have been occasions when Betty Jo and I were on vacation, and we arranged for him to be brought into work because he was more comfortable here with people than home alone. Upon returning we found more people had been here to visit Cyrus than to see us for work. I thank you all for that. 

With time perhaps we can find it in our hearts to have another Mastiff, but no dog can ever replace Cyrus DaDog. He was the best.

In conclusion I would like to share one of my favorite quotes:

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
Milan Kundera

 

Rest in peace Cyrus - I love you buddy!

 

 

PS. Experts reccomend talking about your loss to help get over the grief of losing a pet. That is part of the reason I wrote this post. They also recommended a photo album or collage. I will be doing that and posting it on YouTube. When I do I will let everyone know through his Facebook page.

Tuesday
Nov162010

10 Vehicle Wrap Dos and Don'ts

6 Do's

1. Decide up front exactly what your are trying to communicate and who your target audience is. 

 

2. Remember you have five seconds to get these three messages across:

• Who you are

• What you do

• How to contact you

 

 

 

2. Sit down with your designer and go over your goals, audience demographics, and your business. A good effective wrap design happens when there is good communication between the designer and the client.

 

3. Keep business cards with you at all times. When your vehicle is wrapped you will likely be talking to potential clients more often. Be sure they can find you again when they need your service.

 

4. Make sure the wrap design draws attention. Important information eg. business name, website, etc. should be easy to read even at a a distance.

 

5. Park at the end of the isle or near the road  in shopping centers. Pull out by the road in front of your business.  In other words maximize the exposure of your wrap (and your business).

 

6. Keep your vehicle clean, waxed and presentable. Your vehicle is your image to the public, if your vehicle is dirty, or your logo and graphics are poor what does that say about your work?

 

4 Don'ts

 

7. Don't have a design that is too busy or confusing. Perhaps you have been in traffic and had a car pass you and said "Wow! Did you see that car"   You may have seen bright colors, and noticed that it was wrapped but did you notice the business name, and what they do? If not, it was too cluttered.

 

8.  Don't try to say too much with your graphics. Usually your business name, web address, phone number and perhaps a service menu is enough text. Remember, your wrap will be a moving target to your customer. Keep it easy to read.

 

9.  Don't cut people off in traffic or share any finger gestures with other drivers

 

10. Don't be fooled by inferior grade vinyl. Make sure you are getting top quality vinyl with matching laminate. Image Graphics uses 3M 180-CV3 with 3M premium laminate exclusively. Don't find out a year or two down the road that the wrap you bought online was a lower grade 3M vinyl or even worse a off-brand.

Wednesday
Sep292010

Poor design = Sign fail

Here is a sampling from around the web of the lighter side of signs and logo design . . . unless you are unfortunate enough to own one of the businesses represented here.  Remember, your companies logos, vehicles, signage and more all represent the quality of your work and pride (or lack of pride) that you have in your business.

Above all when you have a logo designed be careful that it says what you want it to, and ONLY what you want it to.

 

Even in 1917 this had to be in bad taste.

 

 

 

Kind of ironic isn't it.

 

i guess the designer was using the shape of the state to represent a tree being tapped for fresh maple syrup. Looks to me like something else – and I DON"T wan't any on my pancakes thank you.

 


A couple of years ago MicroSoft came out with what they described as an iPod killer.  Called the Zune it was going to revolutionize that market. This logo in reverse shoes that even large companies can sometimes make unfortunate choices when it comes to logo design. 

 

No thanks.

 

 

Who did this design, a blind person? 

 

Your logo visually represents what your company stands for. You companies logo should give potential customers a good first impression of your business.  However for some reason many new startups often skimp on this crucial aspect of their brand and identity.

A good logo can help you build brand identity, build loyalty between you and your customers and can give your business the professional look of an established brand.  A poorly designed logo can hurt your business, it can make your business seem unprofessional, and can give the impression that you are not concerned with quality.

The logos and sign above clearly show companies that did not give too much thought about their image.  While these admittedly are extreme examples, all you have to do is drive down Raeford Rd. to see example after example of companies that don't understand the value of branding.

If you just put some thought and creativity into your logo design you can come up with something that will visually express the positive aspects of your business at a glance.  Even if you are doing your own design take a look at these 26 questionsthat every business should have an answer to before they start designing their own logo.

 

Note: Unfortunately due to the nature of images being copied/pasted/re-shared, it’s difficult to provide proper attribution to most images (most are found on image sharing sites with no attribution).  Therefore – if I used one of your images, please give me a shout and I’ll update with attribution.