Application: Mowing Down the Competition
by Brittany Willes
Bad Boy Mowers, Batesville, Arizona, has built a reputation for striking and durable products. When it came to marketing those products, Bad Boy decided on a dramatic brochure showcasing the hardy "attitude" for which Bad Boy is known. With the help of The Fontana Group, Southlake, Texas, the final brochure for Bad Boy Mowers is as robust and unique as the mowers themselves.
"The client wanted a cover that was visually distinct, had physical elements and conveyed durability," explained Doug Fontana, vice president of The Fontana Group. In order to meet the client’s goals, Fontana Group opted for a combination of spot gloss UV and sculptured embossing to achieve a "visually distinct" product.
In order to create the dramatic visual effects, The Fontana Group began with a matte finish lamination as a base for the cover. A gloss UV coating was layered over the surface of the film laminate, creating the eye-popping contrast in sheen levels. For the physical element effect, "the cover was embossed in order to add a third dimension," said Fontana. This physical element takes the shape of one of Bad Boy’s large, red and black industrial-style mowers. The black and grey Bad Boy logo likewise is embossed on the front cover, creating additional texture and dimension. "We used hand sculptured brass embossing dies which allow multiple height levels throughout the images. These various changes in height levels create natural shadows and allow more depth perception to the touch," stated Fontana. "For durability, we went with a heavier gauge film lamination with a scuff resistant property which allows the brochures to be handled without concern of tearing or scratching."
Before the cover was printed, a great deal of planning was necessary. The Fontana Group had multiple discussions with the client before deciding exactly which coats and techniques would be used for the final product. "There were a number of factors to consider; first being a clear understating of exactly what the client wanted and the message they wanted to convey with the cover," said Fontana. Durability, project budget, maintaining the brand standard and choosing a set of processes which could work together from a manufacturing standpoint were further points of consideration.
Bad Boy Mowers provided the art files for the cover, which the company sent to The Fontana Group for approval prior to the printing process. "This is a very important step that often is overlooked," Fontana stated. "It allows us to reassure the client that we can perform the finishing processes according to the client’s designs." On occasion, initial designs are beyond machine limitations. As such, changes becomes necessary. As Fontana stated, in the case of the unique hand sculptured embossing files, the sculptured design decisions are primarily granted to the brass sculpting artist. "The artist only requires a file or print of the flat image, sized to the actual print dimensions, and nothing more. We have found it is best to limit our input on the sculpting dies and allow the artists to be creative," he said.
"We came up with several cover options, each with different benefits," Fontana said. "We sent them to the client, which enabled them to see and touch the different options." Once the client selected a cover option, and once all files were approved for finishing, the project moved on for final print approval. The sheets were printed and delivered to The Fontana Group to complete its finishing techniques: film laminate, UV coat, emboss and trim. Finally, the sheets were sent across town to the client’s bindery where the cover could be stitched to the guts of the brochure.
According to Fontana, "There were many finishing techniques involved with this project that demanded our best efforts throughout the production process." The Fontana Group’s best efforts clearly have been appreciated by Bad Boy Mowers. "The Fontana Group has been awarded this cover for four straight years," he asserted. "I’m optimistic the reasons are not only for our ability to exceed the client’s expectations, but also because this captivating cover assists in generating sales for Bad Boy. This cover should certainly hold the attention of the reader when compared to the competing brochures in the marketplace. We’re very proud of the finished product."