Vehicle Graphics – Wrap Wallace’s Wheels
Vehicles graphics are a great way to promote your products, services or shows regardless of who you are. Celebrities don’t come much bigger (or physically smaller) than Aardman Animations’ Wallace and Gromit. Now, there’s a riveting ride, themed around the dynamic duo’s exploits together, newly opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
The tantalisingly named “Thrill-O-Matic” costs little for visitors to the growing coastal resort to experience, but represents a five million Pound plus investment by the Pleasure Beach. The Thrill-O-Matic replaces the site’s Gold Mine ride and was opened in April 2013.
The ride, in the words of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website, “takes a trip through Wallace and Gromit’s adventures, from A Grand Day Out, trying out The Wrong Trousers, having A Close Shave before dealing with A Matter of Loaf and Death and tackling The Curse of the Were Rabbit;” all experiences the ride’s visitors will want to repeat, regardless of whether they’re aficionados of the award-winning Aardman films.
The experience of the ride itself will leave enduring memories but, backup exists too in the form of Wallace and Gromit merchandise which is available in a shop dedicated to the pair at the end of the Thrill-O-Matic.
Atmospheric elements, continuations of the Wallace and Gromit theme, are very much a part of delivering the overall Thrill-O-Matic experience, and the ride’s designers have excelled with stunning scenery and other design components resonant of the duo’s life. Among them, a certain Austin A35 van.
A35s aren’t exactly out there in abundance, especially in the colour and configuration needed to echo Wallace’s wheels. Enter Links Signs and Graphics, and a rather tired looking grey vehicle, an A35 to be sure, but far from what was needed to promote, and add the required touches to the ride when parked outside it.
Jennings Campbell Bibby was commissioned to produce a design for the vehicle graphics and obliged with a theme that suggests the couple’s exotic travels and adventures. LSG then turned the design data into three-dimensional, wrap compliant files and began considering how to tackle the change of the van’s base colour from grey to a rather particular green.
No applied material was available in just the right colour needed to properly deliver JCB’s design, so the team at LSG digitised it, and then produced test patches using Metamark MD7 which was printed using a Mimaki JV33 printer and Mimaki inks. The printed results satisfied on all counts.
LSG printed the base colour for production of the job and used Metamark MD7’s crystal clear mechanically matched laminate to protect the printed material. The proven combination was applied to the vehicle by LSG’s applicators and special attention was paid to ensure that the van’s time-earned battle-rashes and bumps were maintained so reflecting the non-pristine, lived-in character of the vehicle and its experiences with Wallace at the helm and Gromit at his side.
The next part of the job involved the printing of the applied vehicle graphics, again using Metamark MD7 and its matching laminate, and then cutting them using the printer’s built-in cutting facility.
Looking just a little like steamer trunk labels, and leaving the observer in no doubt at all whose van the graphics grace. The labels put the finishing touches to something that’s much more than just a wrap, more an event it its own right, and a cracking job with considerable technical merit too.
The wrapped van, with its fantastic vehicle graphics, is parked outside the Thrill-O-Matic and now forms part of the attractions. That said, the van is MOTd and so could, if called upon, take to the road and onward to who-knows-where. It’s sure to turn heads and produce smiles when it does, thanks to LSG and a very talented creative team. For more information about Wallace and Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic ride on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website here.
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