Augustana University custom wall graphics/wall wrap

Augustana Music Department’s Wall Wrap

By | Client Features, Wall Wraps & Custom Displays

Custom graphics and photography in wall wraps: an alternative to hand painted art.

In this Q & A, we sat down with Eric Van Beek, our Large Format Specialist who installed this piece of art at Augustana University’s music department.

Where did the inspiration for this wall wrap come from?

The inspiration for this idea came from Augustana themselves. They had the vision for this “time collage” and HenkinSchultz graphic designer Tammy Larson came up with the design and did an amazing job. Augustana had the idea to show a timeline from the early days of their music department to the current era of what the the department looks like today. This piece features professors, students, concerts and more all brought together in the glow of Augie gold. Splashes of muted color with century-old photos make this a breathtaking blend of art and history.

What materials were used for this project?

The wall graphics were actually printed on material very similar to what we use to wrap vehicles. It’s an incredibly advanced, conformable vinyl that can be heated and pressed into the deep texture of a cinder block wall. It’s a very high quality 3M material. We also used an ultra matte finish laminate to prevent glare. Glare can be a major distraction when light reflects off of a textured wall. Because of our techniques, specialized tools and experience the graphics actually look hand painted but in actuality it’s high res photography.

What tools and processes were used to adhere the vinyl and laminate to the wall?

Different sized rollers and heat were used to press the material into the textures and grout lines. The rollers look quite simple, but are surprisingly specialized for certain widths, depths, shapes and also hold up to very high temperatures. These along with heat guns, squeegees, blades and a lot of experience can create a beautiful, durable & unique addition to any space.

And because this wall wrap is in a temperature controlled environment, it can be expected to last a very long time?

Correct. Vehicle wraps are exposed to a wide range of temperatures and sunlight and can last up to 10 years. This wrap is exposed to students (chuckle), but will last as long as Augustana wants it to.

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Galaxy Gaming car wrap

How To Guide on Vehicle Wraps: Not a DIY Project!

By | Vehicle Wraps

If you do a Google search on how to wrap your own vehicle with vinyl graphics, you’ll find quite a few DIY videos and tutorials with mediocre instructions, tools and results. The simple fact is that vehicle wraps are not a DIY project. They can often end up looking like a large faded bumper sticker or blistered paint… a waste of your time and money. But for anyone still wondering about how detailed a process vehicle wrapping is, we’ve laid it out for you.

Before you get started: questions to ask yourself:

  1. How long do you plan on keeping this vehicle? Vehicle wraps can look good for many years, so having a plan to keep your vehicle for several years should be kept in mind.
  2. Is the vehicle in good condition? Hopefully the mechanical and physical condition of the vehicle has tens of thousands of miles to go.
  3. Does the vehicle color match the brand you are trying to promote? Is your car blue, but your company’s brand is red, black and white?

The first steps for a quality vehicle wrap:

  1. A good wash will help our specialist with the installation. If you have bugs, rail dust or other debris (excluding rust), we’ll be able to remove it with special chemicals, so your wrap comes out with a smooth finish.
  2. Logo and design – Hopefully you already have a logo that you plan on keeping for a while for your business. If not, reach out to us and we’ll work with you to create the perfect design.
  3. Look for inspiration – What information do you want your wrap? You can find several examples on our vehicle wrap portfolio page. Our pros go by the Rule of 3’s – meaning your wrap will be most viewed on average for 3 seconds from about 30 feet away. What do you want them to see in that timeframe?

Start the design process:

In order to get the design process started, you’re going to need these three things:

  1. Adobe Illustrator or similar vector program. Photoshop may work with higher resolutions, but a vector program will be quicker, easier and more accurate.
  2. The template for your make and model for your vehicle. The HS Sign Shop has access to virtually every make and model of every vehicle made.
  3. Selected vinyl material. There are hundreds of colors and textures of wrap vinyl to choose from. There’s metal fleck, high gloss, low gloss, matte and even carbon fiber, metallics and chrome to choose from! Not to mention ink-jet printable vinyls…which require laminates to protect and help insure the wrap will stand the test of time and weather.
swatches for vehicle wraps

Swatches with different colors and textures.

Ready to print!

So you have your files looking good and ready for the printer! Your next step is to find a large format printer capable of printing 3M vinyl – the best in the industry! Really there is no substitution when it comes to vinyl suitable for vehicle wraps. Keep in mind the temperatures, precipitation, road conditions and any other extremities your wrap will face. Cheap vinyl will not hold up to these extremities and only last months opposed to years with 3M vinyl.

How much is a vinyl printer? Vinyl printers start at a few thousand dollars and go up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Once you purchase the printer, you will need a place to store it. The printer and laminator will generally need a minimum of 250 square feet of floor space and should be in a temperature-controlled environment.

Eric Van Beek with large format printer

Eric Van Beek standing next to HS Sign Shop’s large format printer.

Vehicle wrap vinyl must be laminated.

In addition to the large format printer, you’ll also need a laminator. Without lamination, your vehicle wrap won’t last longer than a few months – even less based on weather and driving conditions. A good laminator will start at about $10,000 and go up from there. You’ll need ample amount of space for this too.



Time for installation – finally!

So you have your design printed and laminated and ready for installation…now it’s time to wrap your vehicle. You’ve already spent a lot of time designing and investing in your printer, laminator, and shop space – do you have the training and experience? “You’ll need at least one year experience and training before you can complete a full vehicle wrap properly,” according to print specialist Eric Van Beek. Van Beek has been installing vehicle wraps for over 10 years. “Knowing what tool to use when and where comes with practice, and the more practice you have, the more efficient you become.”

More equipment and tools:

Once you get started with vehicle wraps you’ll find that you have a large assortment of tools and gadgets in your toolbox – from blades, rollers, squeegees and magnets to knifeless tape, heat guns and much more

Completing the installation.

Make sure you are in a temperature-controlled environment between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Go slow and leave no room for error. The slightest imperfection will be glaringly obvious. At the end of the installation use a heat gun and go over every square inch of the wrap at 180 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure proper and long-lasting adhesion.

Wrapping up!

If you followed all these steps, you are probably looking at a beautiful car wrap right now! With quality vinyl, ink, laminate and proper installation techniques, your graphics will last for many years to come. Keep your vehicle clean – especially in the winter in conditions where there is salt on the roads. Washing tips to ensure sustainability of a decal on your vehicle include:

  1. Hand wash your car if possible
  2. Use a touchless car wash station, if you can not hand wash
  3. Avoid using a pressure washer

The process for vehicle wrapping may sound tedious, overwhelming and too time-consuming for most people. Not to mention the large investment in the software and equipment that has to be purchased, maintained and stored. Our experts at HS Sign Shop invite you to reach out to them to help take the hassle out of the not so easy do-it-yourself vehicle wrap. We have the equipment, experience and passion to get your wrap done on time, on budget and on your vehicle the right way!

Electric Supply Company truck wrap

Haul In More Customers With A Truck Wrap

By | Vehicle Wraps

Have you ever noticed trucks on the road that are branded with a truck wrap?

Surely you’ve noticed a local plumber or a national moving company with a distinctive truck wrap at some point. What you haven’t noticed are trucks that aren’t using any signage. They pass by without anyone understanding what business they represent.

If your truck isn’t utilizing a wrap, you’re wasting a tremendous opportunity and you need to consult with our experts at the HS Sign Shop today to turn your truck into a giant, moving billboard! According to a September 2016 study by AAA, residents of the United States spend an average of 17,600 minutes a year – the equivalent of 293 hours or just over 12 days – on the road. A study by the Traffic Audit Bureau of Media Measurement estimates the average US traveler is driving almost 40 miles per day.

Think of all those impressions you’re wasting if you’re not taking advantage of that opportunity to market your business. At the HS Sign Shop, our graphic design team will come up with a truck wrap that will stand out when your fleet is on the street. A distinctive design will help your trucks rule the road – we know you’ll notice on your bottom line. We can come up with creative ways to display your logo, website, email address – whatever you want, we can do. If you already have a design, that’s no problem.

Whether it’s one pickup truck, or a fleet of semis, our team can install a truck wrap that will create awareness of your brand. Contact us at (605) 331-2155 for a consultation today!

Eric Van Beek: Large Format Specialist

Check Out HS Sign Shop Large Format Specialist Eric Van Beek on Mixed Thinks!

By | Our Team

How does one become a Large Format Specialist? Check out this interview with Eric Van Beek of the HS Sign Shop, as he tells us about his fascinating journey from being behind the mic as a DJ to mastering the art of signage.

You’ll hear about the craziest jobs Eric has worked on over the years, a special project that he was first in the world to get to wrap, and some awesome ideas on distinctive new graphics and wraps for your vehicle on this episode of the HenkinSchultz podcast, Mixed Thinks!

Hot Harley Nights staff getting notification they won Wanna Winna Wrap contest.

Wanna Winna Wrap Winner!

By | Vehicle Wraps

We’re excited to announce that the winner of our Wanna Winna Wrap contest is (drum roll please…) Hot Harley Nights!

Hot Harley Nights was established by J&L Harley-Davidson in 1996 to raise money for Make-A-Wish South Dakota; to give riders a fun reason to ride; and to showcase Sioux Falls City parks and the surrounding area. The event spans three days and involves a family night, casino run, motorcycle parade, live music, raffles, bike show, silent auction, great food and an outdoor party at a new, soon-to-be-announced location. They have raised over $2.9 million dollars over the past 22 years.

We’re passionate about assisting with charitable causes in the community, as well as helping new businesses develop and grow, and this contest came out of the desire to see startups, non-profits and new businesses who don’t have the budget to get their vehicle wrapped the opportunity to take advantage of this tremendous marketing tool.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) estimates that vehicle wraps boost brand recognition 15 times greater than any other form of advertising. A vehicle wrap can generate 50,000 impressions on an average day.

“As marketers, this is a tool that can’t be ignored,” said Becka Burger, HS Partner/Director of Client Services. “This is a tremendous way to build brand awareness with little investment. You’re wasting a great opportunity to reach the public if your company isn’t utilizing a vehicle wrap. We see the results every day for our clients and are excited to create a wrap for Hot Harley Nights that will increase awareness of their mission and contributions to their great cause.”

Congrats to Hot Harley Nights!

Custom Signage Sioux Falls

Custom Signs: Creating Your Identity

By | Business Signage

If you’re opening a new business in the retail space, then your sign is one of the first and most important things prospective customers will see about you. You need to make sure your sign features an eye-catching design. A bold custom sign will help you establish your brand and generate interest from the public.

There are many factors to take into consideration when developing custom signage. We look at the available space you have for the sign, as well as what the area around your location looks like. You want to make a statement with your sign and make sure that it’s located in a place with maximum visibility. Your sign should set the appropriate tone for what your business offers when customers come inside – it should also be intriguing and pleasing to look at by passing foot traffic.

To stand out from everyone else, you may want to consider a look that has unique textures and elements, such as metals or three-dimensional accent pieces that make your sign pop. Neon lights can be put to use to give your sign a distinctive glow. Backlighting behind multiple layers is a unique way to make your sign stand out.

Your sign won’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so contact our team at the HS Sign Shop today for a custom sign that will get noticed. If you’re not sure what to do for a look, our graphic design team can create a sign that you’ll love. If you already have a concept, our team can execute your vision for you. Send us a message or call us at at (605) 331-2155.


Put Your Best Foot Forward…Onto Floor Graphics!

By | Floor Graphics

Floor graphics will get the attention of even the most distracted without being a major distraction itself. You’ve often heard the complaint that society is always walking around staring down at their phones. Well, instead of complaining, you might as well make use of it.

Whether you want to use them to advertise or to creatively amp up your office space, floor graphics are well worth the money. Not only can they be an inexpensive addition to your marketing, they will also make your company distinctive.

When you use floor graphics, you make a strong impression for your clients the minute they walk into the door.

And, the ways in which you can effectively use floor graphics are endless. Some unique ways include: putting it right by the door so that it’s the first thing people see, laying it across a staircase, using it to direct or motivate people, and our personal favorite, pairing them with wall graphics so the graphics flow into and complement each other.

Our team will work with you to design the perfect floor graphic for your space. So, put your best foot forward and give us a call at (605) 331-2155 or visit us online.

Flyboy Donuts vehicle wrap

One Sweet Vehicle Wrap

By | Vehicle Wraps

Flyboy Donuts came to us because they needed a vehicle wrap for their truck and trailer that stood out from the rest. This was a project that tasted good to us!

With six graphic designers and one large format specialist on staff, our team got to work creating eye-catching graphics that showcased Flyboy’s yummy products, then printing and applying the wraps to the vehicles.

Our goal was to make the graphics of the donuts look so good that people had to
stop in to taste them. And our team at the HS Sign Shop delivered.

The images are so realistic, that it’s impossible not to get donut cravings when you see the Flyboy Donuts truck driving by. Great for Flyboy, not so great for your sweet tooth.

Want to check out our vehicle wrap work? Look for the Flyboy Donuts truck driving around town or visit:

LSS donor display

Defining Your Space

By | Wall Wraps & Custom Displays

You may have heard the phrase, “happy wife, happy life,” but have you ever heard the phrase, “happy employees, happy company”? It may not have the same ring to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

A good company begins with a solid foundation. And to build this, you have to not only keep your clients happy, but your employees, too. We can’t promise that they’ll be chipper at 7am on a Monday, but by creating a work environment that they enjoy and engage in, you generate more productivity and a better bottom line.

According to the Harvard Business Review:

“In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time. Importantly, businesses with highly engaged employees enjoyed 100% more job applications.”

Happy employees are not just better employees, but one of the most invaluable components of a company.

Positivity & Personality

So how do you build a positive work environment? It all starts with the space. And no one knows space better than the team at the HS Sign Shop. Come see us to redesign your space and craft the perfect environment for your office. Whether that means building a giant neon sign for your conference room or designing a 3D wall display of your company’s motto, we’ll find a way to transform your office and bring your company’s personality to life. With a work environment that showcases your company and motivates your employees, you’ll ensure that your company is strong from the inside out.

See some of our custom work.

wall decorations

Add a Little Energy to Your Conference Room

By | Wall Wraps & Custom Displays

Meetings don’t have to be boring. Give your office space some character and your conference room some privacy with one of our custom wall wraps or etched glass displays. The HS Sign Shop can design and install distinctive pieces to set your company apart from the rest.

Get the ideas flowing in a space that’s tailored for your office needs. Whether you want a creative space for your employees to brainstorm, a little privacy when you’re making important business decisions, or a place to impress your clients, a wall wrap can take your conference room to the next level and keep you awake when the meeting stretches past the 3-hour mark.

These displays work in offices ranging from small startups in the creative industry to big law firms. Our graphic designers can draw up a display that instills a sense of motivation, inspires creativity, or dresses up a formal office—whatever suits your specific goals.

With a conference room that embodies your company, you won’t be embarrassed to have your clients meet at your office anymore. Come see at the HS Sign Shop and we’ll design the perfect display for you. To see our work visit: