Case Study: Custom Acrylic Table Topper Printing
By Mike Votava |
At a fundraising event held not long ago for Gavi The Vaccine Alliance, these beautifully printed acrylic table toppers were prominently displayed at the center of every table. The piece was designed by the talented Seattle design firm Quesinberry and Associates, and they called on us to be their print services provider.
Acrylic Table Topper Project
These table toppers were printed on ½” thick green acrylic and stand 8″ tall. They consist of two separate pieces, each with small section cutout so that they can be wedged together. The order was for a total of 80 units —And we happily obliged (it’s what we do!).
Production — How it Was Done
The ½” acrylic comes in large 48” x 96” sheets that weigh approximately 40 lbs. each. It took 3 sheets total to complete this project. They were printed on our Vutek large format digital press. Acrylic is mostly transparent but the client didn’t want to be able to see through the imagery. To generate the right amount of opaqueness it required printing two layers of white ink before adding the full color image layer on top. Once the sheets were fully printed, individual pieces (7″ x 8″ in size) were cut out of the large sheets on our Kongsberg CAD cutter.
The design called for the edges to be blue and green (matching the colors that used in the company logo). The best and most cost effective way of doing that was to print ½” wide adhesive labels and hand apply them to the acrylic edges. The labels were printed on 54” white vinyl sheets with our HP Latex digital press and then cut to size using the Summa cutter. The Summa cutter applied what is known as a kiss cut. During the kiss-cutting process, the perimeter of each label is cut out without penetrating the label’s backing material. This allows the labels to be easily peeled off.
Applying the labels was quite the process. First, the edges of the acrylic were meticulously cleaned and lightly sanded to ensure that the adhesive on the labels would hold. Each label was then hand applied and then trimmed to exact size using an X-Acto knife. The Summa does a really great job of label cutting, but it wasn’t precise enough as far as this project was concerned. In order for the table toppers to look their best, the dimensions of the labels needed to exactly match the dimensions of the acrylic edges. It took nearly forty man hours to apply the labels, but we were happy to do it. All the extra effort was highly noticeable in the finished product.
After being fully assembled, the table toppers were carefully boxed/packaged, loaded into the AlphaGraphics Seattle delivery van and driven (at no cost to the client) to their final destination across town.
From what we heard, the table toppers were a huge hit at the event. It is always really great to have the opportunity to work on projects such as this. There is no better feeling than exceeding customer expectations by consistently going above and beyond what was asked of us.
Whatever your next project may be, we would love to be your print partner. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!