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Life of a Commercial Signmaker, Vehicle Wrapping in Toronto

In December 2015 we drove to the north quarter of Toronto and took a long walk around Sign Source Solution.  This sign making business is becoming famous for their skill at wrapping automobiles in custom printed and specially cut vinyl.  The vehicle wraps photos on Sign Source Solution website shows a dozen different wraps on all manner of different vehicles, compact cars, to Cadillacs, SUVs and delivery vans, truck tractors and trailers.

Leading The Evolving Science of Vehicle Wrapping

Writing commercial slogans on transportation vehicles is not new. The practice can be traced back to the street vendors in London England in the early 1800s, (as no doubt ‘hawkers’ in every large city in the world have painted their names or wares on ‘hackney carts’ for time eternal). It was especially popular in the American west when covered wagons advertised gospel shows, patent medicines, hair tonics, circus acts, and later on Wild West Shows. Cartage companies in particular have always painted marketing messages on their carriages.

Probably the first mass media adoption of vehicular advertising happened on railroad cars promoting Five Roses flour, T. Eaton’s catalog (here in Canada) and their rival Sears in the US at the dawn of 20th century.

Wrap advertising on automobiles or ‘vehicle wraps’ is a wholly new advertising medium that came into being almost one hundred years later in 1993 when taxi cabs in Berlin were wrapped in vinyl to protect their original paint and resale value.  That’s because in the mid 1990s film vinyl became a viable competitor to paint of all kinds. This new material made it possible to print large scale graphics using digital printers called electrostatic printers. The next revolution came with the first production vinyl film-cutters, capable of fast printing, mass production, and never-before-seen detail.

Vehicle Wrapping Is Possible Because of the Discovery of Vinyl

Waldo Semon, vinylFuel Ghoul described the science of vehicle wrapping and contributions made by Waldo Semon that led to the deployment on the material on cars one hundred years later.

Chemist and inventor, Waldo Semon, found a way to plasticize pure polyvinyl chloride (PVC) — a synthetic polymer discovered by German chemist Eugen Baumann in 1872. In pure form, PVC was brittle and difficult to process. First attempts at using the plastic in commercial applications failed as a result. In 1926, Semon invented the vinyl still used today

The reason the vinyl wraps are becoming so popular today is because this medium works; vehicle wrapping is estimated to have the cheapest cost per impression over a five to ten year period than any other medium including the internet. With just a little imagination and the right creative services provider, many local businesses could easily integrate vehicle-wraps into their marketing mix. This tactic works well for neighbourhood bars, restaurants and cafes, beauty salons and specialty retail shops such as florists, clothiers and pet groomers.

Raymi Toronto was at Sign Source Solution and learned about wrapping cars with Avi Barak and got a good look at the entire operation.  She wrote a paragraph about vehicle wrapping on her Minx blog too.

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Wrapping cars in printed vinyl is only a few decades old.

The first vehicle wrap in the entire world was thought to have been created for Pepsi soft drink company in 1993. It was used to wrap a bus promoting its Crystal Pepsi product. It wasn’t long before bus wrap advertising was everywhere and the new form of vehicle graphics trickled down to smaller businesses and consumers.

Storia PR - vehicle wrap on Volkswagon

SMOJoe detailed new age wraps made with printed, and cut vinyl, backed with an impermanent adhesive. Impermanent because you have to get the vinyl off the smooth metal surface of the car at some point in the vehicle’s lifespan. Printing on vinyl in high resolution and in any color is far superior to painting cars with chemical paints. Vinyl wraps, if applied correctly, are durable, weatherproof, don’t peel, and are easily removed.

Vehicle wraps have become successful as a form of advertising because they work. Just look at these vehicle wrap advertising statistics and you’ll understand why.

shanny in the city, Shanny mini cooperThe wrap design for Storia PR was well received entirely because of the book – the logo and brand elements could certainly be improved.

Shannon Tebb from Shanny in the City wrote about a vehicle wrap on a Mini Cooper, and described how the marketing would work in her business. She positioned the pink and white car as a potential reward that her matchmaking and party planning business might someday achieve.

Sarafino Olive Oil delivery van

Sarafino Olive Oil website administrator at blogged a vehicle wrap design for their delivery van in their earth tone brand colours with logo and slogan. This is a bigger project than a car and uses twice as much or more material. Its important to remember that bigger vehicles also require more design time. The price for this vehicle wrap was about $2500 and that includes everything but the design which was gifted to the company for free.

vehicle wrap for yoga school in Grimsby

Claire Matthews the owner of Yoga Truly in Grimsby blogged about how her free vehicle wrap could help her marketing as she expands her Yoga school business to Port Colborne with the understanding that she would be driving for at least an hour everyday; this could be an easy way to turn that negative ‘waste of time’ into a positive advertising and marketing exercise. She also blogged about how she would have to consistently be a good driver and not cause as any offenses that could make negative brand impressions, or worse…

Deb Lewis, CityEvents, party promoter, event planner in Toronto

Deb Lewis considered getting the vinyl vehicle wrap because she reasoned that the bright pattern would increase branding and expose her to more opportunities. The art would also increase morale among the droves of volunteers she frequently deploys at events especially outdoor events in the summer.

Snappy Towels -

Since the beginning of time, small business owners have been seeking ways to stretch their marketing dollars and out-perform their competitors. Vehicle wraps work all year long, three hundred and sixty five days per year, for five to ten years, making the actual amortized investment manageable for most small businesses—a few dollars per day,

Vehicle Wrapping at Sign Source Solution

The whole story can be glimpsed in one picture on the Vehicle Wrapping Mash-Up Expression on the New Hive. A primary issue associated with wrap advertising is the reduction in the ease of visual interpretation of the advertisement and you can see this designer has the magic touch.

People Get Tanned for TIFF Parties

On Monday Sept 14th 2015, Raymi Lauren White also known as Raymi Toronto visited Urbansun tanning salon to artificially darken the skin on her body in time for a TIFF party the following evening.  She thinks it makes her look more beautiful and I have ever reason to believe she’s right. This is her story, Raymi Visits Urbansun Tanning salon in Toronto.

Raymi gets spray tan at Urbansun

You can get the whole scoop on the #ACTRAGetsLoose party by reading her personal blog post about the making of a well tanned Raymi the Minx and I got some great pictures at the event itself and wrote this article about the ACTRA Hang Loose Media TIFF party on Toronto is Awesome magazine. Raymi was welcomed onto the red carpet by a barrage of photojournalists and her brown skinned self against the ACTRA backdrop appears in Jen McNeely’s comprehensive account of the event in SheDoesTheCity com.

tanning salon, Raymi the minx

Urbansun has excellent modern equipment available to facilitate all types of tanning including sunless tans which is what Raymi ended up getting for the best results in the shortest period of time.. All of the items offered for use in every Urbansun salon has been carefully selected and evaluated for comfort, safety, and effectiveness as a tanning instrument. Most of their collection has been imported from Europe, and you would be hard pressed to find a similar offering in the Toronto area. You can see more pictures in my Livejournal blog about Raymi at Urbansun tanning salon.

From a quick session in one of our stand ups or industry leading high-pressure beds, to a relaxing leisurely tan in one of our intermediate beds, to a few moments in one of our facial tanners – we offer a wide selection of items allowing you to easily customize your tanning results.

Here is a list of their equipment

  • Mystic Tan
  • •  Euro
    •  Passion 34/3
    •  Elixir
    •  x7/Starship
    •  Diva 7
    •  800
    •  880
    •  1100
    •  1050
    •  Chili Power

All month Urbansun is having a lotion promotion,

lotion promotion at Urbansun

All different types of lotion is present at the counter, including some very exotic brands..

tanning lotion at Urbansun

There are many more much higher quality images on the Urbansun tanning salon website photo gallery..

Raymi on the red carpet at TIFF

Here’s my pasty white face for a comparison

Rob Campbell at TIFF Party

Good times

Joe Chan, Bluechem-Canada

Bluechem Fuel System Cleaner Propels Race Car Driver As Sponsor

Joe Chan, Bluechem-CanadaJoe Chan was recently profiled in an online magazine article which enumerated the many different steps involved in becoming a professional race car driver.  Eligible Magazine: How To Be A Professional Race Car Driver lists four distinct phases of career development with the last being the most difficult – finding sponsors. Getting an education and wining races is easy compared to finding money to keep racing. Joe is fortunate to have a racing parts business and has made himself an industry insider becoming a Spec Lube distributor and Bluechem Canada Fuel System Cleaner supplier to the consumer market.

Joe Chan of Paragon Competition is the poster child for the everyman Canadian race car driver. He’s won a few titles over the years, but doesn’t consider himself a professional driver, not anymore. He’s a road racer, and specialty automotive parts entrepreneur.

Lambo3Motorsport has a natural association with vehicle makers and fuel companies. Unlike other racing sports this activity is totally dependent on multinational corporations to make and service the cars. The best drivers are sought out by car companies to race their fastest vehicles because automakers like the association and the publicity of being part of a winning team. Auto racing is kind of an ultimate test arena for parts, tires, lube and fuel.

Bluechem’s synthetic fuel system cleaner penetrates and cleans injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers to reduce carbon emissions and yield better gas mileage. The Paragon Racing team would however only use the sponsor’s product to do a fuel system cleaning treatment to the car engine after the race, or while preparing for the next one, as most races are very strict about fuel additives on race day. Yet their logo on the car makes it possible for Joe to pay his staff and race this season, and May 3rd 2015 he was at Laguna Seca in California competing in the IMSA Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo in the very car seen above, provided by Grand Touring Automobiles in Toronto, another generous sponsor.

Consumers Use Fuel System Cleaner Before Vehicle Trade Ins

autoloan solutions, fuel system cleanerA blog post on the Auto Loan Solutions blog in April listed Bluechem fuel system cleaner as a ‘forgotten car fix’ that could lead to increased fuel savings and less vehicle maintenance down the road.

Joe Chan racing in his Bluechem emblazoned Lamborghini serve to remind society of the perpetual quest for automotive excellence, and the scientists, engineers and even the race car drivers who work to continuously improve vehicular transport and make it safer, cleaner and more efficient for the rest of us.

skin tightening for summer

Numi Spa in Brampton is Beauty Fruit, Laser Removal, Tanning Salon

The Numi Spa, laser removal clinic in Brampton has hybrid fruit trees growing all around the parking lot at 10025 Hurontario St., and if you look closely, you can see they’re still clutching their 2014 fruit crop, in the middle of winter, March 2015.

ornamental fruit in parking lot of Numi spa in Brampton

But are they rose hips or cherry trees?

rose hips or cherry tree

Perhaps they are a new variety of genetically engineered ornamental cherries, cross pollinated with rosehips? They do appear to be a combination of both species. They’re a lovely ornamental tree variety with evergreen fruit! See the discussion about Numi Spa fruit on Urban Toronto.  but are they natural? is the fruit healthy, nutritious and delicious to eat? The consensus here is that if the birds and raccoons are not eating this fruit, then it can’t be very ‘natural’.  But it sure is beautiful to behold, and what’s more interesting is that it keeps its beauty and bears ‘ripe’ fruit well into the winter.

So of course this is the perfect fruit to be found in the parking lot of a laser treatments, tanning salon in Brampton, where everyone works hard to preserve their beauty and look fruitful throughout the winter months and, if you will forgive the metaphor, into their winter years.

YELP, numi spa, tanning salon, laser removal clinic in Brampton

The inner workings of the spa were recently chronicled in amazing detail in this compelling piece of journalism found in the Brampton Momstown | Numi Spa Uses Light to Make Beauty which goes into great detail about the services that use laser light and UV light and even RF or radio frequency transmissions are harnessed here to break up living tissue and make people physically more attractive.

laser vein removal on nose, faceThe science of laser vein removal is compared to IPL or Intense Pulsed Light Therapy on Fuel Ghoul this month, and some of the same pictures are different images taken at the same shoot are employed in that media.

Eligible Magazine’s article about Mid Life Crisis Marketing also used some of the images on Flickr showing the spa services that comprise Numi’s Mid Life Crisis package. Still more shots and a further breakdown of the different ideas in that article are digested on Aroib12 blog about Mid Life Crisis Marketing which was published soon after the initial piece.

You can peruse the whole Flickr Gallery of photos from Numi Spa in Brampton if you’re looking for even more glimpses inside this high tech house of beauty .

cloud warrior with smart phone answer

Cloud Warriors Brings Competitive Cloud Service to Social Clubs

Deb Lewis, Cloud Warriors, cloud servicesCloud Warriors is a nightclub attraction that tests everyday office worker’s device assisted research skills and mini keyboard typing prowess.  Its just like any other trivia game, except the questions are extremely difficult to answer without some smartphone based internet research. The players must use their devices to search the web for clues and find the correct data, and then tweet their answers with #CloudWarriors hashtag so it appears on a specialized Twitter Wall set to display all replies in chronological order – the first correct answer wins the cash!

Using just two of the five televisions above the bar, and another dedicated video projector and screen in the lounge, Cagneys Wine Bar in Mississauga was transformed into an exciting live game show studio.

cagneys regularsIn this unique space the restaurant patrons became active game show participants, esp when encouraged to compete by a charismatic Host with a wad of crisp green twenty dollar bills. The regulars mingled with nomadic contesters who drove great distances to attend the event. They had all seen detailed and compelling event listings for the Cloud Warriors event on SmartCanucks, Warrior Forums, and Free Ads Planet. and Red Flag Deals and Toronto Jungle and other places.

Rusty Bob on Mindsay describes how Cloud Warriors started, and detailed how the Host socialized with the people in the bar and treated many folks to free beverages and appetizers before and during the game. Menu items were frequently featured in the contest and as related prizes for correct answers.

cloud warrior with smart phone answerCloud Warriors is a live trivia game where the questions are nearly impossible to answer without having the Internet in the palm of your hands. The contestants used their phones to surf the web and and oftentimes what they choose to search is what won or lost their game. Generally speaking the information wasn’t that easy to secure, and usually required doing a really creative search, or using special tools like maps or conversion tables to secure the proper answers.

At one point the Host of the show introduced the team from SURROUND Digital Marketing Agency and with great applause he asked patrons to tweet their drink orders and then promptly paid for the first ten beverage orders that appeared on screen.

Cloud Warriors
The game started off pretty easy with questions about menu items, but got progressively harder as more and more people joined the fray, and the level and complexity of the challenges increased with every task. One highlight of the evening is when the bartender got involved to successfully answer a question about a drink recipe.

And another contest competitor got a lot of laughs by trying to use Siri on the apple iPhone to do his research and surprisingly he had reasonably good results, but she wasn’t nearly fast enough to win him any $20 dollar bills. One of the hardest questions asked contestors to write out the meaning of S.W.A.T. anagram in SWAT Wildlife Racoon Removal – it stands for specialized wildlife apprehension technician.

After four separate rounds of five questions each, the game concluded with one grand prize question to give the event a clear winner

donated by TeraGo Networks, this is cloud service wifi antennaDonated by TeraGo Cloud Service Networks the Grand Prize was an IdeaWorks WiFi antenna that’s specially designed to facilitate a remote computer’s ability to log onto and use networks up to a half mile away. This is ideal for a city like Mississauga which has dozens of Starbucks and other wifi friendly coffee shops and open hotspots all over town. There is a discussion about the WiFi antenna Grand Prize and Cloud Warriors on Howard Forums. .

The audience had a memorable event to remember forever, the staff was impacted by the surge of people into the venue and the increase in tips associated with having prize money buying drinks and meals. The restaurant owner was thrilled with the social media marketing advances and several other local businesses were promoted in the show which adds to the snese of community so vital to businesses not sheltered in shopping malls.

John J with Matthew Robert White

Matthew Robert White, Pop-Up Retail for Valentines – Black Roses

I know exactly how Matthew Robert White makes the Black Roses he sells in his Pop Up Retail Outlets on Roncesvalles High Park and in that rinky dink farmer’s market on Sorauren Ave at Wabash Ave in Toronto, because I showed him how to do it.
Black Rose Valentines, Matthew Robert White

John J with Matthew Robert WhiteAt the Sorauren Farmer’s Market, there is a local beekeeper selling a wax rose standing beside Matthew Robert White holding his bitumen covered black rose, which you cannot really see that clearly against his dark jacket, but i believe the picture expands if you click it. The wax rose is perfect crafty valentine and will be a hot item in Matt’s store.

The secret to popup retail is hosting timely events that resonate with some distinct part of society at a particular time of the year.  Valentines Day is a great opportunity for sell all different types of roses and chocolates and romantic gifts. But this article is about people making different types of roses,including dried roses and even copper metal roses which are great variations on a theme that might not be as relevant to society another other day of the year. Popup retail is huge trend now as the events can double as internet attractions and travel coupon destinations.

Ired roses dipped in flat roofing tar wrote about how I made Black Roses for Valentines on Smart Canucks and this left this piece on D.I.Y bitumen covered roses on Medium last week by photographing and comprehensively documenting a visit to their their tarpots which are known in the industry as ‘tar boilers’, but which are in fact filled with 500 degree bitumen. Dave the flat roofer at the ToughRoof flat roofing job site in Toronto gave me lots of good information and was very accommodating and even   delved even deeper in the science of the operation on this post on Fuel Ghoul which is my chemical science theme Typepad blog.

Roofing tar may contain coal tar but is mostly petroleum bitumen especially with Canada being blessed with the tar sands in Alberta. This material is certainly a by product of that refining process.

dave beside solid unmelted roofing tar, petroleum bitumen

Roofing tar is solid at room temperature. It gets delivered to the job as a black solid block that when heated to 500 degrees becomes an oily liquid used on flat roofs to fix leaks. It is made from coal tar and petroleum byproducts. Coal tar is a deep brown or black residue, which is made during coal production process. Coal tar must be refined and processed to meet standards for roofing use.

Dave tarring rosesToughRoof seals, bonds or repair areas on the roof that damaged or are slowly deteriorating. Newer formulations of roofing tar are asbestos free, but may contain solvents, surface adherents, plastics and mineral fillers/fibers. Coal tar roof cement is applied by trowel, while other types of roofing tars are applied like paint or caulk.

Most roofing tar formulas are black in color, but some manufacturers have also created versions in lighter colors like silver and white. Some brands of roofing tar can be painted when dry to match the roof’s original color scheme. Roofing tar can be removed by using a tar remover, but removers may cause damage to certain roofing surfaces.

The black rose is certainly beautiful and has inspired both pop-up holiday retailers and copy cats

beautiful black rose

Local Basement Waterproofing Contractor also makes Valentines Day Rose

Bill Korenowsky of Royal Waterproofing is a basement waterproofing contractor in Toronto who also made up some custom treated roses for Valentines Day, but its probably not something Matthew would deign to sell in his fashionable pop-up stores.

Bill Korenowsky with Waterproof Rose

Bill Korenowsky with Waterproof Rose

Bill dipped roses in Bakor Aqua-Bloc® 770-06 which is a one component elastomeric waterproofing compound designed to replace conventional hot mop felt ply and/or pre-formed sheeting systems. It is applied in a single application, which cures through solvent evaporation to provide a heavy-duty, seamless,  rubber-like impervious membrane. This is a liquid applied waterproof product that is good for year round use.

dipping red roses in waterproofing compound

Dipping red roses in waterproofing compound with Bill Korenowski of Royal Waterproofing in Toronto.

Excellent for use on concrete, masonry foundation walls, parking decks, planters and reflective pools its not that great for flowers.  Contractors use with Yellow Jacket reinforcing fabric to treat cracks and joints but the mixture is too stiff to penetrate the plant’s crevices. Heavy bodied trowel grade coating this stuff probably does a wonderful job on cement to provide seamless rubberized asphalt membrane, but it’s terrible for roses.

red rose plastic membrane from waterproofing contractor

In the language of flowers, black roses signify death, or supreme hatred, but a perfectly preserved red rose could symbolize a perpetual romance, and a supernaturally strong enduring love that defies nature.

Waterproofed roses might be considered kitschy or artificial but such a product would satisfy a gift givers desire for originality and quality messaging. The idea of preserving the flower’s beauty in a transparent or beautifully coloured body cast is universally appealing to retailers and romantics.