Rev-Up Your Vehicle Wraps [The Smart Way]

The expert’s guide to boosting ROI on your next fleet vehicle branding project

Go big or go home is certainly one way to approach vehicle wraps. After all, covering your company’s fleet of Teslas in bumper-to-bumper cheetah print would likely garner some attention (might also defeat the purpose of those stealth vehicles but hey, whatever you like!).

Here’s where Thysse’s vehicle graphics guru lets you in on a little secret: 

“Vehicle wraps don’t have to involve over-the-top designs, obscene spending, or even cover your whole vehicle to turn heads on the road.”

Director of Specialty Graphics/All-around Cool Guy, Jim Hagen

Instead, making some intelligent design decisions upfront, and choosing your install partner wisely, can produce an impressive final result without going pedal to the metal with your budget. First up, consider how much coverage you really need from your wrap.

First off, realize that you do have a gamut of wrap coverage options. However given that the nature of this article is to serve as a ‘smart’ guide we’re choosing to focus on one in particular. Whether you’re a first-timer, or looking to refresh your current vehicle wraps, our team is particularly partial to, well – partials. In fact, we often recommend partial wraps to our customers over full wraps. Why? For starters, partial wraps can:

  1. Make a BIG impact: If done right, partial wraps can actually look like a full wrap, creating the illusion that the entire vehicle has been covered in vinyl. You’ll look like you’ve spent a fortune on your fleet when in reality you just had a smart design created and applied by experts. By the way, we’re available. 
  2. Increase ROI: Since you’re only covering part of the vehicle, partial wraps tend to result in significant cost savings. This will be especially worth considering if you’re looking at installing graphics on an entire fleet. 
Was this van black to begin with? We’ll never tell.

Next up on our list, is to consider where (and how) each component of your design should be placed on the vehicle to make the biggest impact. Unlike a billboard, your vehicle graphics are only seen from one angle at a time. Consider placing any text on the back of the vehicle where it is more likely to be read.

“Always put the business card on the back,” says Jim.

Drivers parked behind you at a stoplight or in rush hour traffic will have plenty of time to absorb your messaging – even scan a QR code. Text to consider including in your design are things like your: 

  • Business’s name 
  • Contact information 
  • Social media icons 
  • Bullet points describing what your business offers 

The sides and the flat hood of your vehicle, on the other hand, are prime real estate for things like beautiful color graphics. The sides may also make a good home for a quippy slogan or tagline. However, choosing your design components and getting them in the right spot is only half the battle. 

Our last placement tip is to consider how the design “transitions” from sides to back, or back to sides.

“Many designers haven’t had to design in 3D. They think flat, and not how the stripe or design would transition from one side to the other,” says Jim.

At Thysse, we design and install our vehicle graphics with seamless transitions in mind. So in those really cool three-quarter angle photos with the wheel slightly turned [think Fast & Furious photoshoot] the design appears continuous and flows as it should.

Feeling smart yet?! Because number three on our list, incorporating trends, should be used wisely. While there is never a shortage of flashy fads cycling through the vehicle graphics industry, incorporating them into your design randomly (or for the sake of achieving the ‘wow’ factor) isn’t recommended. Keep in mind that any trends you choose to include in your wrap should still reflect your brand. 

That said, trends like reflective films, camouflage, unique textures (embossed vinyl), and green materials are all things to consider when thinking about your wrap design. Reflective pops are a surprisingly affordable way to increase safety and attract extra attention. According to the ATA, reflective films garner 14 million impressions annually, compared to 10 million when traditional fleet graphics are used. 

A trend that will likely never go out of style is incorporating compelling, professional-looking graphics in your wrap design. Choosing a partner capable of producing complex, high-resolution images is – in addition to partial wraps – another relatively-easy way to make a simple job look incredible. All trends considered, paying attention to other vehicle wraps on the road, what you like (and dislike) is a great place to start in deciding which to incorporate. 

Sorry, we can’t help with your marriage. However choosing the right partner to install your vehicle graphics is critical if an impressive, long-lasting wrap is what you seek. We’ve already waxed poetic about why things like expert color management are so important for a brand. Moreover, your vehicle graphics provider should serve as an extension of your loyal brand police. An experienced installer/designer can create an exact rendering of your brand’s visual assets using the latest tools and technology – such as the Pantone Matching System

“It takes experience and skill to maintain brand integrity on a vehicle wrap. Our team is really good at making a brand look good and consistent on every surface.”

Jim Hagen, Director of Specialty Graphics

At Thysse, our vehicle graphics team is constantly evaluating the quality of our materials based on what else is available in the market. Testing new substrate samples to see how they perform, how they stretch, tolerate heat, hold color, and how they conform to the peaks and curves of a vehicle is a regular part of the job. The mom-and-pop shop down the road may be able to offer the lowest price, but a full-service brand experience provider like Thysse has the staff and experience to not only expertly install your graphics, but to ensure the integrity of your brand. Yay! We’re great!

Technical expertise aside, Thysse’s vehicle graphics team understands that your vehicle wraps are more than just choosing the right materials and design. 

“When an employee gets assigned a new vehicle – it’s a big deal. Our team realizes that new vehicle graphics are like an unveiling. We want to make sure it’s special, and that the wrap looks just right.” 

Jim Hagen, Director of Specialty Graphics

From higher resolution images to increasingly attractive, durable, and inexpensive materials, there’s never been a better time to consider getting a wrap! For more information on Thysse’s vehicle graphics services, motor on over to our main page to explore on your own. Or, if you’d just like to talk shop with Jim, drop us a line here.


Six supercharged signage categories and what they bring to the table for your business.

Brand signage serves to positively impact your business in a number of ways – from aiding in brand awareness to informing and persuading visitors. Something we discussed in-depth in our last post, and emphasized with an ‘actual’ metric ton of stats from everyone but your mother

That said, certain categories of signage are better suited for accomplishing specific tasks than others. In the world of brick-and-mortar retail and Facility Branding, you might hear frequent references to a few major classifications of signage. The power of these categories tend to be tapped more often because of one very important reason: They work! 

Having a basic understanding of each, and the core purposes they serve for a business, is a great first step in deciding where to place your focus. Note that while we’ve laid them out here in tidy listicle format, these categories are not mutually exclusive


Arguably the most powerful category of signage in terms of immediate impact, Point of Purchase (POP) signage refers to vendor-provided signage and displays strategically placed in a retail store to draw attention to a product. We’re so very impressed by the power of POP signage to influence consumer behavior, that we’ve actually done a full-frontal deep dive on the subject here

POP advertising can be used to promote sales, highlight seasonal products, product features, and announce new items. It can consist of one sign, or be used to create an entire signage ecosystem – a reset. POP signage provides an opportunity to influence customers at the time it matters most. Say you’re in a store with 30 different brands of toothbrushes. Which one will you choose? You might gravitate toward the one with a sign directing you to “Feel the Tongue-Scraping Action!” Even the slightest nudge toward a unique product feature or promotion can be enough to move a product from shelf to cart.


It was the Greeks and Romans who first laid the foundation for modern wayfinding solutions. Fast forward a few thousand years to the invention of modern cities, and one might say humanity took the wayfinding ball and ran with it. Now the subject of countless studies, wayfinding signage is defined asinformation systems that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space” (SEGD Association). Subtle color cues, font choices, even different icons and imagery can impact the way a sign is observed and interpreted. 

This category serves to get visitors from point A to point B in massive facilities like airports and hospitals. It can aid in the flow of foot traffic, and in the retail world, can direct consumers to the products they intend to buy. In less expansive facilities wayfinding signage creates separation between departments and/or identifies collaborative spaces. When done right, wayfinding signage can even serve as an extension of the brand itself.


Before you can move product out the door, wielding the power of your handy-dandy in-store POP advertising, you first need to get people in your door – that’s where exterior signage comes in. Exterior signage is categorized as that which lives outside the four walls of your establishment. This class requires substrates and hardware that can withstand the elements in all four seasons, from coast to coast. 

Exterior signage can direct patrons to your business (think sidewalk signs or billboards) and identify it once they arrive. Exterior signage is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and works with your logo and established visual standards to create a recognizable brand. It also serves to lure in your customers, and as a mini visual ‘preview’ of what customers can expect to find inside your doors. 


Vinyl clings are defined as graphics printed on ultra-thin vinyl with adhesive backing, which are then cut and carefully applied to surfaces like windows, floors, vehicles, walls, and ceilings. Vinyl graphics range from small logos to full-on wall murals, and can serve a near limitless number of purposes for your storefront. Want to learn more about the process? Check out some of the wacky lingo involved in a vinyl graphics install. 

In addition to adding substantial aesthetic appeal to your window displays, clings can be used to enhance privacy on street level office buildings, or inform shoppers about promotions, safety measures, menus and store hours. They’re both an accessible and effective way to give your storefront a refresh without committing to expensive or permanent fixtures. Though it’s worth mentioning that with proper installation and appropriate substrates, vinyl graphics can last for months or even years! Take the lobby in your office building, for example. Vinyl graphics can be used to turn the blank white wall behind reception into a welcoming experience that represents your brand and core values to all who enter.


Signage doesn’t always require that you invest in ultra-durable substrates or heavy duty mounting equipment. There are a plethora of substrates to choose from that look polished, both rigid and flexible, while serving a wide range of applications from overhead banners to window signs. 

Temporary signage serves to draw attention to one-off events, tradeshow booths or special promotions that have a shorter life span. Any retailer who’s ever faced a Black Friday weekend and come out alive should be intimately familiar with this category of signage! 


That’s right, it’s 2021 and just about everything short of your morning pancakes has gone digital – now including store signage. Digital signage utilizes an electronic medium, usually a screen, with the capability of displaying dynamic (think GIFs and video) digital content. Screens are mounted in strategic locations around the facility, and can be controlled via one centralized location for efficiency.  

Similar to wayfinding, digital signage and its impact on consumer behavior is a hot topic for research. It’s particularly appealing to certain businesses because once installed, it’s extremely cost effective and involves zero waste. Content can be updated almost instantaneously, and can feature interactive content like animation and live feeds. This category of signage is highly versatile, and often used to communicate information to large audiences. Take airports for example, which have a regular need to inform travelers of critical safety regulations and flight status changes at a moment’s notice.  

While this is not an exhaustive list, familiarizing yourself with these signage standbys is a great place to start in deciding the best option for your business and customers. However, choosing the right type of signs for your storefront is just the lead in. 

The most effective signage is that which reflects the quality of your products and services, as well as your brand’s unique identity. Partnering with a printer like Thysse, who handles projects from design through installation, ensures consistency of brand standards across multiple assets, print processes and store locations. 

Have questions on substrates, or a creative idea you don’t see listed here? Drop us a line on our contact page and ask for more details! Or head to our Large Format services page to scope it out for yourself.

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Boosting Sales with Brand Signage

Why Your Store’s Signage Should Never Be an Afterthought

Ever passed a window that made you whip a u-ie,  just to take a peek inside? Maybe you’ve snagged a bag of BOGO tortilla chips, ever-so thoughtfully placed in a display next to your usual salsa? Chances are, it’s happened more than once. 

From alluring window displays to the tiniest of shelf talkers, few elements deliver more impact for a brick-and-mortar locale than in-store signage. In a consumer study conducted by Brigham Young University, products with signs outsold products without signs by 18%. 

Think of it this way: Signage presents an opportunity to influence consumer behavior at the very moment it matters most – at the time of purchase. And with retail traffic up 44% since the beginning of 2021 (Forbes), it’s prime time to consider how you’re communicating with customers in store.


What would Starbucks be without the iconic green mermaid? What would McDonalds be without the infamous, golden arch? These businesses are prime examples of how signage can work with key brand assets to build recognizable spaces, displays and products. Even when the logo appears on a sign without the business name, we still know precisely which brand it refers to. 

Incorporating custom signage that serves as an extension of your brand (through consistent use of color, fonts, and imagery) builds brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand is, the more it stands out amongst competitors, and the higher the likelihood it stays top of mind at purchase time.

According to Neilson’s Global New Product Innovation Survey, almost 6 out of every 10 people surveyed said that they prefer to buy new products from brands that they already know and are familiar with. In fact, consumers in both North America and Latin America stated that brand recognition was the second biggest reason why they would purchase a new product; the first reason being the price.

MADE YOU LOOK! | Signage Attracts Attention

Signage presents an opportunity to tell your brand’s story on a physical, interactive level. Effective signage creates an experience for your customer, rather than just another ho-hum trip to the store. Incorporating themes that highlight your company’s history, mission or values elevates consumer engagement and makes their visit a more memorable experience.

Consistent, professional-looking signage also functions to build trust with the consumer, as the perceived quality of your signage sends a distinct message about the quality of the business itself. According to FedEx, 68% of customers believe that signage reflects the quality of a business and their products. For instance, if you encountered a sign for a furniture store that appeared dingy and outdated, you might also assume that the furniture on the sales floor would be dirty and have a faint smell of last night’s fish dinner. 

Additionally, enticing outdoor signage and window graphics can have a significant impact on the way a storefront performs. Nearly 76% of customers said they entered a store or business they had never visited before based simply on its signs (FedEx). 

“PLEASE STAY 6 FEET APART” | Signage Informs

What would happen if you walked into a giant, sign-less grocery store? Perhaps you’d wander aimlessly through four different snack isles before finding the gluten free crackers. Maybe you’d scour the shelves in three different canned food isles before finding your jar of pickles! As benign as this scenario seems, a similar one involving an emergency hospital setting is, well, a lot less fun to imagine. 

In addition to boosting visual interest and brand awareness, signage also serves the critical function of informing and educating visitors. It aids in navigation and organization, something referred to as wayfinding signage. It educates customers on unique product features and highlights sales and promotions – all of which have been proven to significantly boost sales and basket size.

In-store display signage highlighting a specific product feature benefit. Image credit: Pinterest, REI164VM

Finally,  if there were to be, say, a global pandemic, signage could serve to communicate important safety protocols. Throughout 2020-21, many facilities utilized signage like directional wall and floor graphics to manage the flow of foot traffic. This helped to maintain safe distances between visitors, ultimately allowing stores to stay open and operational.

BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR! | Signage Persuades

Here’s a thought-provoking statistic: When customers arrive at a store, they often lack specific purchasing goals – 82% to be exact. Instead, they come with a very general list containing things like ‘socks’ or ‘bananas’. Shoppers then decide which specific brand of socks or bananas to purchase on the spot. 

This is where the persuasive power of Point of Purchase (POP) advertising comes in, significantly increasing impulse sales and cross-selling opportunities by targeting consumers when it matters most – purchase time! Merchandising similar items together (like chips, salsa, and guacamole ingredients) with an engaging sign is proven to increase basket size. Consider this large U.S. grocery store chain, that increased basket size by 19% – despite hurdles presented by COVID19 – by simply incorporating signage into smart displays. 

Image credit:

Take this shelf talker, for example, highlighting the wholesome values of a well-known food brand. A simple, informative sign attached to the shelf below a product can attract enough interest to drive a customer to put this product into their cart over other gajillion similar brands next to it. 

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK | Signage is Efficient

At Thysse, we like to think of store signage and facility branding as ‘set it and let it’ marketing. Intentional long term signage can provide advertising for years on end without requiring much maintenance. Hence over time, signage requires less of an investment than other forms of paid media, yet still has a lasting impact on sales. 

Signage can be fabricated using materials that withstand everything from searing sun to polar vortexes. It can be built to last for days, to be changed seasonally with every store reset, or years. It can be installed in a near infinite number of ways, from vinyl floor decals to elaborate wall mounts and ceiling hangers.    

Printers now have access to more green signage solutions than ever before –  substrates that are recyclable, compostable, and shortest-distance stocks allow you to keep your messaging fresh in the marketplace without having to break the bank or fill the landfill. 

Effective brand signage is both an art and a science. Understanding how to make your various pieces work in harmony – and choosing the right materials, messaging, and install methods – all play an important role in achieving your desired level of permanence and performance. 

Thysse has a dedicated team of experts, from designers and color management staff to experienced fabrication specialists and installers, who understand your brand signage serves as a direct reflection of your businesses. We also understand that getting your signage where it needs to go is half the battle, and offer streamlined kitting and shipping services to make it happen. 

Trusting Thysse with your signage offers the unique opportunity for a collaborative partnership. Have some ideas of your own? Not sure where to start? Give us a shout! Or head over to our Large Format page to explore more on your own.

An Interview with Thysse’s Director of Specialty Graphics: Jim Hagen

He’s Not Square, But His Graphics Are.  

Meet the guy behind your next Specialty Graphics installation.

Based on our last post, which demystified some absurdly ‘out-there’ industry jargon, you know Thysse’s Director of Specialty Graphics is a witty, downright likable guy. Sure, being the jovial sort makes every communication and project more enjoyable, fostering a highly-collaborative environment for your Specialty Graphics installation.

But did you know he’s also an indisputable expert at his craft, with years of experience and an infectious passion to match? We asked Jim to set his squeegee aside for a moment to give our clients a glimpse of who they’d be working with if they trusted #TeamThysse to fabricate and install their next Specialty Graphics project. Here’s what the guy behind the magic had to say: 

Thysse: How would you capture the essence of what you do in a thirty second elevator pitch? 

Jim: I install graphics and displays in your space to improve brand awareness. My team and I digitally print and cut custom, full-color graphics, and install them to bring our clients’ designs to life within their facilities.

You’ve been working in the industry for a respectable length of time. How long has it been? Do you remember your first project? 

Jim: Let’s just say if my career were a child, they’d be a young millennial hopefully in grad school by now. My first vinyl graphics job was lettering a Mazo Cheese tanker truck. My installation was awful. Wrinkled, crooked with a ton of bubbles. It was so terrible that the guy felt bad for me. Said it looked great, paid the invoice, and gave me a giant wheel of cheese. That was in 1994. I think I still have some of the wheel of cheese left.

Jim, it’s time to toss that cheese! Wrapping objects of all shapes and sizes with ultra-thin vinyl involves a pretty niche skill set. What led you to a career in this field? 

Jim: In the Air Force I trained to repair avionics systems. Turns out, repairing aircraft electronics is pretty dull if you’re looking to scratch your creative itch! After helping a few friends with their logos and promotional materials, I decided to invest in my own vinyl graphics equipment. I did that as a side gig while my day job was still in electronics. Eventually, it turned into a second full-time job and one had to go! I chose the better option.

Have you ever wrapped any of your own spaces or equipment?

Jim: It’s always been easier for me to work on projects for someone else because I’m helping bring their vision to life on a piece they love. After all the years spent working on clients’ projects, two years ago I finally did a color change wrap on an old car of mine, now fondly known as Stella.

Is there a project you’ve always wanted to work on? 

Jim: I’ve always wanted to work on wraps that “theme” children’s areas in hospitals. I once wrapped a mobile X-ray machine at American Family Children’s Hospital to look like a fire truck. That way when it’s wheeled into the room, it doesn’t look so frightening. 

People who haven’t worked in the industry may not realize the skill and craftsmanship involved in a project. What are some of the unique challenges and considerations involved in an installation?  

Jim: Installing graphics in a space or on a 3D object is much different than a website or a flat printed sheet. The graphics need to flow all the way around. Sizing the graphics correctly, then executing the installation to match the client’s original design is a huge undertaking. It’s a giant leap from the computer screen to the walls in a reception area! 

Have you had to learn any special skills to execute an install?

Jim: Ambidexterity? Over the years, I’ve learned to write, knife cut, scissor and squeegee with both hands. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where only your left hand can reach what you are working on. 

Word on the street is that you have some pretty epic hobbies outside of work. What do you like to do in your free time? 

Jim: I’m definitely all over the place with what I like to do in my free time. I’m a nerd for vinyl records and vintage electronics, like the 70’s Marantz™ receiver I’ve been repairing. I think the old gear just sounds better! I’m a hack on a water ski and surfboard, and enjoy spending time with our horses. I don’t barrel race with them like my wife does, but I do love a very fast trail ride! Oh, and I can’t forget cruising in Stella.

 What’s something that might surprise a client about the install process? 

Jim: Some clients look oddly at me using a propane torch to heat the vinyl I’m installing. It’s an open flame typically used on hard-to-remove metal hardware, or to remove paint from furniture. I like to use a propane torch because it’s cordless, easy to control and the heat is instant. 

Knowing a quality install from a poor one might not be common knowledge for the average person. What are some common mistakes to watch out for? 

Jim: Each project brings its own challenges, and if an installer doesn’t take time to create accurate templates and detailed installation guides, it can really affect the longevity and impact of the final product. Creating square borders for leveling, and ensuring perfectly straight graphic overlaps can mean the difference between an exceptional and average installation.

What are the benefits of working with a company who can manage both the production and installation aspects of a project? 

Jim: In short, accuracy and efficiency. Your printer can evaluate your design, modify it to suit the space, and produce the graphics with the installation in mind. If necessary, they can design around trouble areas like door handles and outlets, all while considering the existing architecture and furniture. When it comes to the ‘wow’ factor of an installation, it’s all about the small, but important, details.

A lot of people don’t get to do what they love for a living, but it seems like this is more than a daily grind for you. What is it that motivates you?

Jim: It starts with meeting business owners and seeing their passion. I’m always honored when a client trusts me to translate and install their designs, that ultimately will help grow their livelihood. I’ve made some great connections with some of the hardest working people I know and gained their respect – that is a high achievement in my book! This sounds corny, but for me, every installation is personal. My business reputation means everything to me. I guess I’m old school. 

Now that you know a thing or two (or twelve) about the man behind the headshot, it’s hardly a surprise why Jim fits the Thysse bill. In 1941, Thysse’s founder set the precedent that we’d define ourselves by our passion, pride, and craftsmanship. Eighty years later, we still take that sentiment pretty seriously around here.

For us, Specialty Graphics is the sum of the whole installation process, from helping our clients translate their designs and fabricating exceptional graphics, to bringing their design to life in a physical space. The connections built along the way are just one more of the joys in choosing Thysse to be where you go with your brand

Got a cool design in mind and need someone to help with execution? Want to go water skiing with Jim? Give us a shout, or feel free to explore more on your own first.

Interested in a fabulous install but not sure where to even begin? We’d suggest starting a conversation with our Experiential Design team to see how we can help.

Translating Specialty Graphics Lingo

He Said What?!

Specialty Graphics lingo guaranteed to make your mom blush.

“It’s skirting because you didn’t glass it right. You’ve got to stretch and torch it before you go back in with the squeegee. Now add a little more sauce, that should do it!”

Wait… what??

Though it reads like a complaint spewed by a disgruntled car wash patron, it is in fact something you might hear while observing a Specialty Graphics installation in your facility.

 In case you missed our back-to-basics definition of Specialty Graphics last week, think of them as the vast category of graphics and signage that can be applied to the windows, to the walls, and all of your equipment during a facility branding project.

Being the innately curious folks that we are, we decided to do bit more digging into this twisted lingo and see what we could find. Care to see the finalists on our list of wild and ‘other-wordly’ terms of the trade? Read on.

From ‘Stud Mounts’ to ‘Skirting’

The first one on the list isn’t that weird, but it is critically important during an install and equally fun to say. SQUEEEEEEGEEEEEE. SQUEE. GEEE. We digress…

As one might imagine, a squeegee is a flat plastic tool used to install vinyl graphics. It ensures a smooth and secure application free from bubbling and lifting edges. “Way better than a credit card,” asserts Jim.

“It’s how I refer to my neighbor’s lawn where it meets mine,” says Jim. Non-habit forming and 100% legal, weed borders are also the square frames cut around an irregularly shaped graphic that are removed before application. Their basic-yet-essential function is to help square-up the graphic and ensure proper alignment during an installation.

Guaranteed to make a middle school kid blush, kiss cut vinyl graphics are those printed on a larger sheet of vinyl, usually with an adhesive backing. The graphics are aligned using a laser, cut into individual shapes and masked front and back with an adhesive sheet. Pull the backing off, expertly apply with your squeegeroonee, and, voilà!

Get your mind out of the gutter! Handing involves creating a mirrored image of a graphic that is intended for two different sides of a piece of equipment. “For example, a horse’s head needs to be facing the front of a truck on both sides,” says Jim, “Because a horse would never run backwards. Duh.”

Jim insisted upon wearing sunglasses for this part. Stud mounts are dimensional graphics that are affixed to the wall using long, threaded screws. Wood or acrylic letters for example, get punched with holes in the back, mounted with screws, and slid into pre-drilled holes in the wall. The final product looks as dapper as the name suggests.

This is in fact not what happened to Marilyn while standing over the manhole. Although similar in ways, skirting in specialty graphics refers to vinyl that’s starting to bunch up around the edges after installation. “Hey, it happens to the best of us,” says Jim. But any good installer knows the remedy – a little stretching or heat before Mr. Squeegeepants usually does the trick!

Is it a close-to-capsizing tented ‘caution’ sign that says ‘wet floor’? Nope! More like a liquid recipe of baby shampoo and distilled water used to apply graphics to glass. Often referred to as “sauce”, we still wouldn’t recommend eating it!

Sounds dangerous, but is relatively painless. This thin tape with a super-strong Kevlar thread in it is applied before the graphics are installed along a future cut line. Pull the thread out of the tape, and it cuts the vinyl in one fell swoop. “I’m almost certain I heard it from a friend, who told my uncle, who then told me, that NASA invented it for installing graphics on Mars,” asserts Jim.

Smoothing out our list is a step in the installation process guaranteed to make your OCD tendencies tingle. This step involves pulling a large graphic smooth from several different sides to get it to lay perfectly flat before adding heat or going in with your squeegeemobobber. “Smooth baby!” Says Jim. He’s added finger guns to the sunglasses at this point.

Whether they’re in plain English or preposterous prose, well executed facility branding is worth well over 1,000 words. Armed with the lingo, materials, tools, and the capabilities to print on nearly anything, Thysse can help your brand speak volumes.

Have an idea for a project you’d like to kick over to us? Give us a shout! We’re always happy to talk through a project.

Prefer to go back to the basics first? Check out the beginner’s guide to Specialty Graphics here.

Is your space doing your brand justice?


If your company walls could talk, what would they say? Would they whisper the names of employees taking extra-long lunch breaks? Maybe spill the juicy details of who’s been hoarding pens from the supply closet? Perhaps they’d blow the whistle on the moocher who’s been tapping into your personal supply of Ranch dressing? They knew those scribbled initials weren’t just for show…

Unfortunately, while the walls can’t divulge the scandalous details of your office happenings, they can serve as a powerful tool to express your brand’s message. Your space can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating culture, values and voice, without having to say a word. When paired with your website, logos, business collateral and other “quiet branding” your company can make quite the statement.

Facility branding is more than just slapping a logo on a wall; it’s the chance to showcase who you are as a brand. We’ve already shone a light on the most over-the-top facility branding capabilities from our Experiential Graphic Design team. Now let’s step back and unwrap the physical components at the foundation of these projects.

What are ‘Specialty Graphics’ and what makes them so… special?

To categorize this graphical multi-beast under one umbrella, we coined the term ‘Specialty Graphics’ in-house to help start the conversation with curious clients (ahem, that’s you). For all of the ‘type A-ers’ reading along, a basic definition could look something like this:

Graphics created using a wide range of materials that are applied to your facility’s windows, walls and equipment.

Yet, try as we may to squeeze them into a tidy corner of our website, Specialty Graphics truly do live in a world of their own. They can be customized any which way according to the eye of the beholder, using a near-limitless range of substrates and install methods. This goes far beyond signage – think wall decals, window clings, cash wraps, and privacy panels. All of them conveying who you are as a company and all of them available to improve brand perception.

An Unprecedented Return On Your Investment

Here’s the part where you scoff at the idea of facility branding as you picture your yearly marketing expenditure being reduced to a single roll of quarters. Rest assured that the scope of these projects ranges anywhere from a single vinyl logo install to a complete overhaul of your facility. And if done right, a little bit can go a long way. Here’s a curated short list of how investing in your space can have a tenfold return on your investment.

Create an Epic First Impression: Your space is more than the place you do business. It’s an opportunity to showcase what your brand is made of to both prospective and current customers. Specialty Graphics can be used to create stronger brand awareness, a walking tour for visitors, even showoff the range and quality of your products and services.

Attract and Retain Top-Notch Talent: Attracting talent on your reputation alone is a nice thought, yet younger generations crave something more. Prospective employees enter your facility expecting spaces that inspire, invoke innovation and encourage creativity. In addition to the ‘wow’ factor for new employees, Specialty Graphics can boost morale and increase feelings of well-being for current ones.

Create Designated Spaces: Well-executed specialty graphics are the junction of form and function. They can create necessary divides between departments or generate feelings of unity in common and collaborative spaces. Wayfinding graphics can be strategically installed in and around your facility to guide visitors and employees, all while serving as a visual extension of your brand.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT (Que 90’s Music):

We’ve told you what they are, and their range of benefits, but how does Thysse do it? Every project begins with a great conversation.

 “It starts with listening to the client talk about their ideas and the vision for what they have in mind. We ask a series of questions to narrow down the scope of the project. In that initial conversation, we talk about what we are capable of, which usually surprises the client. One of our biggest challenges is familiarizing our clients with the vast array of graphic products and processes we offer.”

-Thysse Director of Specialty Graphics, Jim Hagen

After the initial dialog of brainstorming and flushing out ideas, we provide a preview of the project, relevant samples and similar examples of what the final will look like. Any materials less than 2” thick, we print directly on them on our wide format printers. Depending on the scope of the project, some installs can be printed and applied all in one day.

At the end of the day, we want to provide you partnership and flexibility, from ideation through production and installation. Having one team tackle all aspects of your project not only ensures consistency with your brand standards; it also saves you time, money and nights awake worrying about the small-but-important details that could otherwise get lost in translation.

Got a cool project idea you’ve been dying to talk through? Give us a shout! We love to brainstorm new concepts.

Prefer to explore more on your own first? Learn more about Specialty Graphics here.

Thysse is a G7 Master Qualified Printer – How Does That Help Your Brand?

Color consistency is kind of our business, and we’ve got a shiny new badge to prove it

Even before the first purchase, your brand meets your customer in a variety of ways: packaging, store signage, mailers and vehicle wraps – all creating a perception of your company, its offerings, and, perhaps most importantly, its quality. If these are all working in harmony, that’s a great representation of your brand, and creates strong awareness.

Now imagine each asset, each physical manifestation of your company, being produced in a different facility, with different standards. Each requires different inks, substrates and print processes and variation in each can lead to significant color inconsistencies across the range of materials. We’re not trying to scare you, a small variation here and there is typically within an acceptable margin of error, and likely won’t be noticed by your consumers or prospects. 

So why the hue and cry over color inconsistency? For starters, color is one of the most emotional attributes of a brand. It’s an important part of why consumers decide to embrace (or reject) your message. Color consistency reinforces trust, and inconsistency of colors associated with a brand subconsciously diminishes it – eroding brand loyalty and your products’ perceived value. 

In plain English? Stringent color management is essential to your brand’s credibility. 

The good news however, is that vendors can be assessed on their printers’, processes’, and people’s ability to achieve color consistency, and Thysse just happens to be an expert in all three. Only a printer of the highest compliance level may be classified as a G7® Master Facility Colorspace (Ahem – that’s us).

So, what the heck is a G7® Master Certification?

First things first, it’s a 3-tiered qualification system verified by Idealliance®, a worldwide provider of industry standards in graphic communications. G7 certification at every level ensures your brand is produced with exceptional quality, color matching, and color consistency, regardless of where you do your printing or what device materials are printed on.

G7 is aptly named, as it includes evaluation of Grayscale + seven colors (CMYKRGB); it is a set of global specifications for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. For those who don’t dream in Pantone® Super Swatches however, all this color lingo may be, well, a bit of a gray area. 

Here’s the gist of what G7 allows your printer to do:

  • Align all processes to create a strong, consistent visual identity for your brand
  • Preserve the integrity of your brand standards to the highest degree
  • Consistently match and replicate provided color targets 
  • Make it look like you dropped some serious cha-ching on your advertising 

Can it get any better? Why yes, actually. It can.

In addition to exceptional color consistency, G7 can reduce pain points and make communication with your printer easier by providing a foundation for less subjective conversations about color. Increased efficiency in production and process control also have their perks, including reductions in: 

  • The physical and actual cost of proofing and shipping prior to print 
  • Waste and make-ready overhead time during press runs 
  • Design times which means fewer revisions and quicker turnaround
  • The need to travel onsite for press checks

What exactly does it take for a printer to get certified?

This is the section that usually involves a lot of jargon, Delta E’s and indescript acronyms. Don’t worry, we won’t get too technical – we’ll leave that to our in-house color management team. In simplest terms, for a facility to become G7 Master Certified, each device must be calibrated to a set of independently verified and globally-approved color specifications. Next, the machine’s color files are inspected using a serious instrument with a Mary-Poppins-of-a-name;  a spectrophotometer. Finally, the output is compared to a G7 data set and performance overall is evaluated.

To eliminate any potential for a VW-level cover up, this process is repeated a second time with added specifications. Once targets are achieved within a certain tolerance, the results are sent to an independent agency for review. This final test determines whether a printer passes or fails the G7 certification, and if attained, remains valid for one year. 

So… do I need to fire our printer?

We’ll leave that up to your best judgement, but know that not all G7 Facilities are [qualified] equal. A printer’s compliance determines which of the three levels Idealliance will award. Splitting up the 4-color process into color (CMY) and black (K), the base level (Master Grayscale), notes that a printer can consistently define and reproduce standard curves referred to as the neutral tone ramp. When these are produced well, then all other colors tend to fall in line more easily. A great first step in achieving color stability but evaluation doesn’t stop there.

A Master Targeted Facility takes it a step further by ensuring that, in addition to those neutral tones, its devices are able to print consistently across primary color targets (CMY), and secondary color targets (RGB) as well. Seems reasonable, but we’re not done yet.

The third level and final level of compliance is the most stringent: the G7 Master Colorspace Certification. (Spoiler, we have it!) In order to obtain this title, a facility must demonstrate it can consistently reproduce the entire spectrum of colors. 

That’s the neutrals, the primary and secondary solids, and everything in between – which is about 1,620 patches (about 1,300 more than the level before it).

Also unique to this level, is that the standards are assessed separately for both printing and proofing, with proofing being even more stringent.  

Thanks for the enlightenment, now what?

When it comes down to it, the best way your printer can help your brand is to be a proactive partner. Thysse’s people, processes and yes, even our printers, will ensure that the world always sees your brand in the best possible light. Your brand’s visual integrity is upheld by adherence to your unique brand standards, and G7 or no G7, we take that responsibility seriously. 

But hey, that top-tier, world-wide accreditation of G7 Master Colorspace Facility definitely tells us we’re still where you go with your brand.

Interested in a brighter future for your brand? Head on over to our contact page and ask us for more details.

Badger Group’s Sally O’Brien fills us in on the latest technology in direct mail marketing.

Thysse interviews Badger Group President, Sally O’Brien, about her industry expertise. 

Last month, Thysse finalized a partnership with another family-owned print and marketing services provider from Fort Atkinson, WI. In the weeks following the big handshake, Badger Group staff has been busy settling in to their new home at the Oregon campus and giving the break room Keurig a hefty workout. With the transition now well under way, we stole a rare free minute from Badger Group president, Sally O’Brien, to tap her expertise in direct mail and campaign planning tools and get a read on what it means for our clients’ bottom line.

Thysse: Can you tell us a little bit about Badger Group’s history and what brought you to the industry? 

Sally: Growing up, my family always had a close connection to the print industry. My father bought Badger Press, Inc. in 1975, then located in Jefferson, WI. I worked there throughout college in various production areas and, after a few years working as a music therapist, returned to accept a full-time sales role. The work was something that instantly clicked with me. I really connected with the clients – I think that’s been the most rewarding piece all along! I love helping people come up with solutions to make their business better. In 1990, Badger Group built a new facility and moved to Fort Atkinson. I became President in 2000, expanding my role and responsibilities, but I’ve always focused on the customer side of the business.

Thysse: Badger Group started as a commercial printer, and, similar to Thysse, ended up expanding into a breadth of other areas as customer needs evolved. What other services does your team specialize in? 

Sally: We wanted to add more value for our clients, and make their marketing dollars work harder for them. We added digital marketing components to direct mail to increase their exposure and ROI. This omnichannel marketing approach can be created on a campaign level, or on a broader level using marketing automation software to engage audiences over time. We also create web-to-print storefront portals that enable clients to easily order and fulfill marketing materials within their organizations.

Thysse: Can you describe any recent projects that have been particularly effective print campaigns? Or how your marketing services are continuing to evolve the perception of what a printer provides?

Sally: We recently won a ‘best of’ category through Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA) for a unique self-mailer we produced for Madison College. They wanted an interactive piece that prospective students would spend time with once they received it in the mail, so we created a design with multiple folds and flaps that needed to be opened to reveal the content. We incorporated multi-channel digital follow up in their direct mail strategy as well, which resulted in an incredible response rate. They got a ton of extra exposure that they wouldn’t have gotten with just the direct mail piece. 

Thysse: The Badger staff joining the team are experts at applying the latest technology to boost direct mail marketing efforts. What can you tell us about Mail+ and why should businesses consider it? 


Sally O’Brien, Badger Group President

Sally: This means you need to be reaching your audience multiple times to successfully engage them and convert into a sale or action. Using Mail+ adds multiple digital components to your direct mail campaigns to extend your reach across many different communication channels – keeping your message and brand in front of your target audience. It’s a really cost effective way for companies to boost their direct mail ROI.

Thysse: How would you explain marketing automation and its benefits to a company who’s never used it before? 


Sally O’Brien, Badger Group President

Sally: Any company or organization that is looking to grow and fill their sales or lead funnel can benefit from marketing automation. It takes time and planning on the front end to create and implement a marketing automation program. But – once in place, this data-driven, omnichannel marketing campaign works behind the scenes to send out content based on actions taken and qualify leads based on past behaviors. This data is collected, managed and stored in a digital dashboard and can also be linked directly to your CRM for a seamless transition of information.

Thysse: Can you explain the importance of customer data in helping businesses reach the next level of brand awareness and engagement?

Sally: Data is king – you need accurate, detailed data to best attract and engage your audience. The more details you have about your audience the better you will be able to push out relevant content. If you’re looking for a good prospect list – the more you know about your current customers the better chance you have of finding ‘look alike’ audiences to create great prospect lists.

Thysse: What insights can companies gain about their customers by using the marketing automation analytics dashboard? 

Sally: Digital dashboards help you manage the activities happening within your campaigns. They allow you to do things like: 

  • Predict and confirm when the direct mail piece is delivered so you can be prepared for new calls and online leads
  • Track phone calls that were a direct result of your campaign 
  • Tell you how many unique visitors came to your website, how many digital ads were shown and how often they were clicked on 
  • Track email open rates to know who is interested in the content you are creating 
  • Gather survey data collected from personalized URLs. The data can also be reviewed and used for future actions

Campaign tactics can be tweaked during a campaign based on what kind of results you are seeing on your dashboard – giving you the best possible chance for success. 

Thysse: What is the biggest challenge companies face regarding their marketing efforts? 

Sally: The average person receives more than 2,900 marketing messages a day – across multiple communication platforms. That’s a lot of competition for your message to stand out, engage and create action. Organizations need to use multiple communication channels to make sure their brand and message is reaching their audience. These communications need to be personalized so your audience finds value and takes notice. 

Thysse: Is there anything else you would like to share about Badger Group’s partnership with Thysse? 

Sally: Jason [Thysse President] and his team have the same values as our Badger family. Both being family owned and operated businesses, we care about our employees and are able to recruit and retain great team members. In both organizations, customers come first. I needed to be sure that my clients would feel completely comfortable that their needs would be well taken care of with this partnership. This past year with the pandemic, we often heard things about being ‘in this together’. I believe that this partnership will make us ‘better together’ with our expanded teams and services. I trusted Jason and his team from the first time we met and am excited about what the future will bring!

About Badger Group

A family-run business since 1975 and a WBENC-certified Woman-Owned Small Business, Badger Group is a print and marketing services provider specializing in data-driven, cost-effective, targeted direct mail communications. As of June 1st, Badger Group staff became a proud member of the Thysse family and looks forward to providing clients with an expanded range of services and capabilities.

About Thysse

Thysse is an ever-evolving brand experience provider built by three generations of visual communication specialists. We like to say Thysse is “Where you go with your brand,” and provide innovative solutions to back that statement up. We are a design, printing, specialty graphics, and manufacturing company at our core, but we also offer imagination and the tools to customize your project to find the right solution every time.

For questions about the services mentioned in this interview, get in touch with us through our contact page and ask for more details.

Experiential Design Dream Team: Defined.

We thought a few introductions to the team who tinkers with your brand translations was in order. After all, we’ve been playing them up as guides and experts of brand expression, but often they get reduced down to job title when we boast about our unique experiential design makeup. For one blog only, we’re putting a temporary spotlight their skills and storied pasts because it’s about time we bragged about these creative minds.

Loren Zemlicka | Principal

Loren Zemlicka, Design Principal

First up, the guy who started the foray into experiential design at Thysse. A creative in one way or another for most of his life, Loren brought his 20 years of graphic design experience and creative direction to Thysse in 2013 and only looked back to bring a few friends along for the ride (more on them in a moment). A renowned Play-Doh sculptor in his early years, he’s since moved on to molding enterprise brands into hierarchical masterpieces and has been known to moonlight a blog or two. Never content to master one skill, his efforts now stretch to encompass print design, web design, video production, copywriting, photography and of course, experiential (environmental) graphic design.

Kris Marconnet | Senior Designer

Kris Marconnet, Experiential Designer

Kris excels at visual branding elements in corporate, education and healthcare settings. A practicing lawn artist, she’s mastered the intricate turns and specific step counts to create an exact match to the revered Scottish “Royal Stewart” tartan in her own backyard. This latest design received modest praise from the neighbors, though they’re still a little leery after the more controversial piece, “Reclining Nude Eating Grapes.” We wish Mrs. Jensen well in her recovery… What were we doing? Ah yes, bragging about our master illustrator and logo developer. Probably swearing like a sailor internally that she’s the first designer on the list of praise, we’ll have to bribe her with cans of Bubly to make up for it. Like a silent assassin, her 25 years of accomplished design work often speaks for itself.  

Julie Kimmell | Project Manager

Julie Kimmel, Design Project Manager

We want your project to be beautiful, but we also want to be sure it stays on schedule and budget too. Hailing from the picturesque shores of an Illinois farm and a life spent raising hot dogs and bears, Julie is our professional creative management maven. We’re thrilled she left a string of Amazonian corporations, the three-martini lunches, fashion model shoots and glamorous haute-couture lifestyle behind to join our team; who doesn’t long for a hard hat now and then? With over 20 years of experience in creative and schedule wrangling,  Julie supports the team with financials, project planning, estimating and documentation on every design project and thankfully runs that weekly status meeting with military precision.

Allyson Casey | Concept Designer

Allyson Casey, Experiential Designer

We probably shouldn’t brag about theft on here, but you could say we stole Allyson away after collaborating on a multi-year project. Maybe stole is a bit harsh, we are pretty irresistible after all. She joined the Thysse Design crew in 2018 and brought her wealth of knowledge as a designer, art director, and artist along with. She’s also got a penchant for obscure indie folk music. If it’s got guitars, mandolins, or fiddles, you can bet it’s on her Spotify playlist. Typically armed with a cup of coffee and at least one AirPod in, she can nail a brand’s essence in record time, and translate it to walls, windows, and more. We usually pause the stopwatch for that second part.

Jen Braga | Marketing Director

Jen Braga, Marketing Director

We don’t make it a pattern, but sometimes we like the people we work with enough to hire them on our team. She’s been a project manager, designer, brand manager, and marketing specialist, and has a terrible golf swing, so we thought it’d be best to combine it all into one role on our team. Jen is a University of Wisconsin MBA graduate specializing in marketing and branding. She understands the importance of powerful storytelling, targeted messaging and may use the term “unaided brand awareness” approximately 23.5x more often than the average person.

Angie Biermeier | Designer

Angie Biermeier, Experiential Designer

We round out introductions with our very first Thysse Design hire. Angie came from the print design, copy layout and logo development world, and has since broadened her skillset, working in the built environment to create facility branding programs. Think that’s impressive? Wait till you see her Donnie and Marie memorabilia collection. With over 20 years of design experience, we’ll listen to her talk about the Osmond lunch boxes, coloring books, framed (and signed) 8x10s all day because when it comes down to it, Angie is a technical production artist wiz. Truly, her art file setups are a thing of art.

So there you have it, the team who draws the connection between material and messaging, and brings your brand into a new plane. In addition to these key personnel, we also have a staff comprised of a skilled craftsmen and women who love what they do. It is a team woven together with collective expertise and bound by satisfaction of a job well done.

Sound like a crew you’d like to kick it with even when the projects get hard? See if you have what it takes to join the team.

Curious to learn more? Let’s talk. We’re not salespeople. We’re just a bunch of passionate designers who love to talk through a project.

Experiential Design and Facility Branding

Bringing your brand to life in a physical space through experiential design.

University of Wisconsin School of Business – Grainger Learning Commons. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed a custom LED-lit donor wall, custom branded privacy vinyl, dimensional metal letterforms
University of Wisconsin School of Business – Grainger Learning Commons.

We sometimes use the phrase, “your brand is more than a logo.” It’s a way to start the conversation into brand experience and perception, to ensure our prospective clients understand the value of  consistent and quality representation across all lines of production and communications. Ensuring your vehicle wraps are aligned with your mailers, that these pieces match your promo products and work together for your brand is critical for ongoing success.

When our Experiential Graphic Design team works on a project, this idea is catapulted to a new level: your physical space is representing your brand – what’s it saying? Thysse Design understands that slapping a few art pieces on a wall may take up empty space, but it’s likely not improving your guests’ and employees’ experiences in any meaningful way.

University of Wisconsin Memorial Union renovation. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed custom wallpaper, custom wood millwork, hand-painted and formed aluminum, dimensional acrylic, direct-printed acrylic, vinyl graphics, LED lighting, fabric panels, interior and exterior signage, and wayfinding.
University of Wisconsin Memorial Union renovation.

Instead, we avoid haphazard messaging and disconnected art installations, by taking a holistic approach to understanding your brand and your audience. In these discussions and throughout the project, the Thysse experiential design team acts as guides to deepening your brand’s visual identity and to inform decisions about architecture, finishes, furniture, even lighting and electrical outlets. To ensure your brand and culture is best translated into the best graphic and physical form, our mantra is:

“Everything that goes on the wall has to mean something”

Seems like a tall order, but Thysse Design achieves this through careful balance of 3 elements: the message, the design and the materials. All three components have to be present in your space, in equal parts, for a truly effective and impactful finished product. When any one of these elements is lacking, the whole experience falls flat.

Luckily, we are uniquely qualified to build an environment for your brand that turns materials and messages into connections for your space and your brand.  Our team of architects, designers, project managers, copywriters and historians love to weave in a good story of inspiration and enthusiasm throughout your organization, and we especially love to work with people who are passionate about what they do.

San Jose State University Student Union. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed custom wallpaper, custom millwork, hand-painted and formed aluminum, dimensional acrylic, direct-printed acrylic, vinyl, LED lighting, printed fabric panels, acoustic fabric panels, interior and exterior signage, wayfinding, ADA and room signage
San Jose State University Student Union.

Thysse is where you go with your brand, and our experiential team proves that it’s ok if that path is currently a little unknown. We’re here to create experiences that elevate, illuminate, and inform. We believe your story is as important as the materials it’s printed on.

Because it’s your brand, but it’s our name on the line.

Curious to learn more? Let’s talk. We’re not salespeople. We’re just a bunch of passionate designers who love to talk through a project. Drop us a line at