For most of us, ISA’s International Sign Expo 2009 was a nice surprise. The pundits – and I may have been one of them – expected a cheerless show. After all, the economy is in ruins, right?
Wrong. For ISA anyway. ISA says its 2009 International Sign Expo was “a resounding success.” Nearly 18,000 people from 92 countries attended; the exhibit hall featured 500 companies and 1,600 exhibit booths. Even better, the attendees brought their checkbooks. And positive attitudes. Every digital print machine manufacturer told me they’d sold more than expected.
Obviously, signmakers, a hardy group, have decided the best way out of the present economic quagmire is through work. Maybe it’s because work is an American thing.
The 1st Annual Lowen Certified Wrap-Off, with 96 contestants signed up, excelled. First-place winner Dustin Shelley, owner of Atlanta-based It’s a Wrap Graphics Inc., and his girlfriend, Lisa, drove home in a new, Ford 250XL pickup. It was wrapped, of course. Lowen Corporation’s HP Scitex TJ8300 printer produced more than 7,000 sq. ft. of 3M material for the event.
Other wrap demonstrations dotted the show floor. Roland DGA Corporation displayed a partially wrapped Toyota Scion Xb, which nicely demonstrated the advantage of digital, print-and-cut systems. The florist motif design comprised leaves and flowers over the vehicle’s white paint. In my opinion, it was the best looking wrap at the show. Maybe it was because the design didn’t include human skulls.
If I could change one thing, it would be to outlaw the inclusion of human-skull images on vehicle, or other, graphics. I mean, this skull thing has gone on long enough. Today’s designers, who confuse Gothic design (the Notre Dame Cathedral, for example) with Visigoth barbarianism, need to move on. Or back, perhaps, to study the curvaceous lines of Frazetta’s Egyptian Queen.