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Social Distance Marketing Sign

Social Distancing in Your Marketing Strategy

By Blog

Social Distance Marketing SignAmericans have never had the same feelings about personal space as other cultures. Italians and many Europeans believe if you don’t provide a kiss on the cheek in your greeting it’s an offense. Now all around the world, there’s social distancing.

We are huggers though. The hugs vary by generation for sure and differ when addressing the same sex. Younger men have made the “shake and chest pump side hug” popular when greeting each other. Women seem to prefer the “gentle loose hug and pat the back” method.

No matter the intensity of the greeting, all bets are off after COVID-19 and the new norm of social distancing.

The new normal after COVID-19

Our current behaviors will be changed following this current episode. We just don’t know exactly how, and for how long.

No matter how we are used to greeting each other, that method will now likely be changed forever. Likewise, we are seeing that waiting in line has been changed to accommodate social distancing. Be prepared for longer lines with 6-foot gaps between people.

How do we manage this new normal within the marketing environment? What are the new rules that marketers will need to follow? In communication? In merchandising? At events?

Things to consider while creating new rules

Social Distancing Floor DecalWe will have to create new rules for social distancing. But how do we create new business rules limiting behavior while also keeping the user experience positive?

In today’s day and age, how do we let the consumer define the experience?

What is appropriate for some may be inappropriate for others. Everybody wants to personalize their experience. Is that doable?

Sneeze guards or masks for face to face meetings?

Think about face to face meetings and social distancing. How about the server at the McDonald’s counter? Can you really stay 6 feet away from your real estate agent or financial adviser?

Will your server at the restaurant need to wear a mask and gloves when delivering food? Will you need to wear gloves and a mask when going to a meeting? Possibly.

Some retailers have already started installing “sneeze guards” at checkout to keep their staff safe from customer infection. Back in the 1980s the health departments mandated the salad bar restaurants install sneeze guards. The guards are still in place. Will we create mobile personal sneeze guards that can be set up for a meeting? Someone will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the meeting sneeze guards after each meeting. They may become the norm.

Will every business need to maintain a supply of face masks in case a customer demands one? Probably. I can see a branded face mask available just like we have logoed coffee cups, pens and notepads.

Crowd control for the retail and event experience

Some companies (like Westamerica) are already producing vinyl floor graphics that help to direct traffic and create some “rules of the road” for those shopping or waiting in line.

These graphics can be highly customized and even light-hearted, but they all are focused on the goal of creating order amid the new consumer expectations of social distancing.

There are a lot of new behaviors that will be instituted during and after this COVID-19 episode. The alert marketer will keep a keen eye on the consumer sentiment, changing consumer behaviors and an awareness of the tools, technologies and techniques to keep the process flowing effectively.

Keep your eyes on this…but remember your “social distancing”.

Wide Format Printing

What Are Large Format Printing & Display Graphics?

By Blog

Large-format printing offers you many new ways to promote your brand to consumers. Through display graphics, pop-up, and trade show booth graphics, you can use wide-format printing to cut through the clutter and communicate your brand promise.

In a super-size manner, let’s take a closer look at what large-format printing is and the display graphic solutions you can produce with this technology.

Wide Format PrintingWhat is Large-Format Printer Technology?

One large-format printer in the UK describes large format printing as the printing of large graphics onto large rolls of paper or other materials. We agree and would add that marketing with large-format printed projects captures your audience’s attention in today’s crowded marketing landscape.

Graphics Arts magazine has a few ways to define the technology. The category of printer type ranges from a roll-fed or roll-to-roll printer to a flatbed printer. Per the magazine, large-format or wide-format printers refer to those that can print on materials 24” to 120,” and “grand-format” printers go from 120” and wider. The size of the printer used depends on the project it needs to print.

The large-format printer technology is digital, which means it has a computer-based interface. Software and tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based computing, have enhanced both the accessibility and productivity of the technology. The technology is also evolving quickly. As a result, the use of wide-format display graphics has increased in the past few years.

What Kind of Projects can be produced by Large-Format Printing companies like Westamerica

The is a wide range of projects for branding and advertising that large-format printers can accommodate. Generally, display graphics will be viewed by large numbers of people from a distance, like trade show booth graphics or outdoor advertising and vehicle wraps. From construction blueprints to trade show booth graphics to customer wallpaper, we can printers produce many different types of printed projects on a variety of materials.

Typical projects for Large-Format Printing & Display Graphics include:

  • Posters & Banners
  • Foamcore Signs
  • Die-Cut Graphics
  • Trade Show Graphics
  • H-Stake Yard Signs
  • Maps
  • Plexiglass Wall Mounted Signs
  • Frames and Frameless Systems
  • Indoor Wall Signage
  • Window Graphics
  • Floor Graphics
  • Transit Shelter Poster Ads
  • Vehicle Wraps
  • Building Wraps
  • Magnetic Signage
  • Outdoor Building Signage

The materials that can be used for printing vary as well. Called substrates, you can print on rigid materials that you feed into the machine, like metal or acrylic. You can also print on materials that come on a roll like vinyl or paper. The type of substrate used depends on the needs of your project, such as where it will be displayed and for how long, and what the wide-format printer can accommodate with large-format printing technology.

Four common substrate types include:

  • Paper: This budget-conscious and versatile material is easy to use but not durable, making it a popular choice for indoor projects. There are many different paper substrates ranging from paper sheets to cardboard to foam core.
  • Vinyl: For many outdoor projects, vinyl is the go-to substrate. It uses a variety of finishes and serves as a versatile material that can work for many different types of projects.
  • Fabrics: We are excited about the ways we can use fabric to print trades show booth graphics and other display graphics. These materials create a vibrant and unique look that stands out from the competition, particularly when backlit with LED technology.
  • Assorted Rigid Materials: When it comes to printing on rigid materials, today’s wide-format printing technology can be far more flexible. Acrylics, Glass, Metallic Dibond, and even wood are a few of the materials available for wide-format display graphics.

Per experts in the sign industry at, there are some exciting trends for digitally printed large-format printing display graphics. In the indoor space, you see more brand environments, characterized by unique interior branded accents printed on vinyl and other materials and incorporated into the design of the area. From embedded fiberglass graphics to custom wallpaper and furniture coverings, the interior environment can reflect the brand message.

The outdoor uses of large-format printing display graphics have exciting changes also. The utilization of vinyl has enjoyed both innovations to add new visual effects and competition to drive down prices. Moreover, the architectural design incorporates large-scale graphics in glass facades and other complementary ways.

Also, the technology for embedded graphics and dye sublimation on fabric has enjoyed a growth in popularity for tradeshow booth graphics and other events as well as building wraps. There are also many innovations in sign technology, moving from wood to laminates or powder-coated graphics on metal used in trade shows and other free-standing applications.

Large-format printing display graphics have numerous ways to enhance your brand messaging efforts or brand environment. The technology, enhanced by software and other technological tools, is evolving rapidly and can make a wide array of display graphics, from pop up graphics to trade show booth displays and more. Competition is also making large format printing display graphics more creative, beautiful, and affordable than ever before.

The question now is what could large format printing display graphics do for your brand?

To schedule your free consultation with Westamerica Communications today, contact us, give us a call at (949)462-3600, or visit us at

To see more examples of our work, click here to see our project gallery.

Westamerica Communications is the new spirit of communications with creative solutions for every form of media, from web strategies to traditional concepts to print and mail options, and more. Follow us on Facebook.


Webster, Nigel. “What is Large Format Printing?” 28 February 2019. Web. 13 March 2020.
Berger, Craig M. “Digital Print Trends and Technologies in the Sign and Graphics Industry.” Web. 13 March 2020.

Dineen, Tim. “The Characteristics of wide format printing.” 9 June 2017. Web. 13 March 2020.

What You Need to Know about Choosing Large Format Printing Technology Substrates

By Blog

Wide-format printing is an excellent way to stand out in today’s crowded marketing environment at trade shows and other events. We like to say that large format printing technology makes “your big ideas even bigger.” When you couple the medium with a compelling graphic and prime location, using large format printing technology for trade show booth graphics and other special events grabs the attention of your intended audience.

Before designing trade show booth graphics for large format printing technology, you should have an idea of the type of material on which you will print. These materials are referred to as “substrates”. From plastic to wood, vinyl to fabric, you have many options for large format printed project substrates for use in trade show displays or special events.

So, the real question is, how do you choose the right one for your project? We have a few ideas, which are outlined in Printing Impressions Magazine. We encourage you to start by asking yourself the following questions:

What is your budget?

As you can imagine, along with the different options for substrate materials, there are many different price points. Knowing what you have to spend on the project is an excellent place to help you narrow down your options. As PI says, if your budget is on the lower side, go for paper, coroplast board, falcon board, or a scrim banner. Have a little more to spend? Consider acrylic, Dibond with a metallic finish or black PVC board with white ink. Defining what you can afford is always an excellent first step.

Where are you going to use the material?

Your placement and the related environment will have an enormous influence on the type of substrate you choose. We recommend different materials based on whether the final project will live indoors or outdoors, in a temperature-controlled environment or one subject to a varying condition. For instance, if it will be exposed to direct sunlight. However, it should be noted that most (if not all) outdoor substrates can be used indoors; it’s when you want to put a substrate more suited to an indoor environment outdoors that you start to have issues.

The excellent news that PI World notes is there are many different price points for all budgets in materials available, no matter whether the project will be indoors or outdoors.

How long do you need this project to be in use?

The implications here are that some materials are more durable than others. The longer you need the project to last, the more significant the investment should be in the substrate to accommodate those needs.

Now that you have answered these questions, you can begin sorting through your substrate options. Per Graphics Arts Magazine, there are 12 popular large format substrates that most customers choose, which include:

  • Acrylic
  • Black PVC
  • Coroplast
  • Dibond
  • Falconboard
  • Foamcore
  • Gatorboard
  • Scrim Banner
  • Removable Vinyl
  • Smooth Banner
  • Styrene
  • White PVC

Each has an intended application, also, which makes them appropriate to specific projects over others. For example, acrylic is ideal for signage and lightbox applications and is durable for the long-term, but foam core is more cost-effective and great for indoor signage that doesn’t need to be around for a long time.

To read what Graphic Arts has to say about all the substrates in more detail, please click here.

Wide-format printing technology can print directly on the substrate also. For example, we have a VUTEk GS 3250 LX Pro Hybrid Digital Printer, which can handle printing directly on substrates up to 2” thick.

This large format printing technology eliminates the need to mount printed paper on the substrate, which can be clumsy at times.

However, you don’t always have to print on a thick, rigid material to make an impact. There are also large format printing technologies that can make your graphic part of the fabric through a process called dye-sublimation. Using our MS Impres printer, we heat the dye to 390°, which turns it into a gas so that it penetrates the fabric, becoming a part of it.

This technique is excellent for making fabric displays that are easy to transport and especially impactful as a trade show booth graphic, especially when backlit with LED lighting. However, it is also great for making fabrics for recovering furniture or throw pillows, which can be an eye-catching way to promote your brand at a trade show.

When it comes to wide format printing substrates and technology for your trade show booth graphics or special event, you have many options to consider. Begin by determining your budget, your placement, and the duration of the project’s use to help you narrow down your options. Then, explore what options large format printing technology and the substrate materials available offer you to accomplish your goals. You might be surprised to discover a unique way to communicate your brand that stands out by sinking into your prospects’ attention.

To schedule your free consultation with Westamerica Communications today, contact us, give us a call at (949)462-3600, or visit us at

To see more examples of our work, click here to see our project gallery.

Westamerica Communications is the new spirit of communications with creative solutions for every form of media, from web strategies to traditional concepts to print and mail options, and more. Follow us on Facebook.


Dolan, Shannon. “Twelve popular large format substrates your customers should know about.” 30 June 2015. Web. 11 March 2020.

Keene, Brett. “Selecting the Right Substrate for Your Wide-Format Project.” www.piworld. Com. 1 June 2017. Web. 11 March 2020.

Wall Calendars

The Timeless Calendar Stays Alive

By Blog


Wall CalendarsMany clients are already thinking about 2020. Budgets are being prepared and programs are being decided. One of the tried and true promotional programs that offer high customization at a very low cost is the wall calendar. What else can you have hanging up in your client’s home/office for 365 days?

Many of our clients use this tool each year as a way to build awareness of their products and client interaction. Redwood Credit Union, Ohio University Credit Union, and Johns Hopkins Credit Union use the calendar to feature member provided photos. The result is a true work of art. Contra Costa Water District uses its calendar project to solicit children’s art and use each month to feature a drawing.

How will you use a calendar in 2020? Let us share some ideas with you!

Contact us to find out more!!

SpongeBob Characters Come Ashore At Comic-Con

By Blog

Nickelodeon’s agency, Cogswell Design, chose Westamerica to create their booth for the popular Comic-Con Convention in San Diego this summer. The convention generates an estimated 130,000 plus visitors, so the companies in attendance must deliver their very best impressions to reinforce their fan relationships. Combining animation with live-action elements, the booth posed a unique production challenge. Westamerica’s production planner, Scott Jehlik, said, “The client wanted a particular look requiring us to provide unique finishing solutions. We ‘skinned’ the entire structure, resulting in a visual masterpiece.”

Account Manager Raquel Keena, explained, “the highlight of the booth was a dimensional sign of Krusty Krab created from Infinity board that hung from the ceiling above the booth.”