By Wade Swormstedt
Real Change for Real Change
Surf City Graphics wraps charitable parking meters. On August 13, 2014, The City of Pasadena, CA and the Flintridge Center, a Pasadena entity that battles poverty and violence in the community, combined forces to initiate the Real Change Movement, a mechanism for creating homes for the homeless. Surf City Graphics (Huntington Beach, CA) wrapped that rst parking meter and eight more, and placed fl oor graphics below them to encourage people to make credit-card or cash donations via the parking meters. Surf City Graphics owner Michael Dmytrow said 5 more meters are pending ( total of 14 meters) , which means awaiting $1,500 sponsorship's.
Michael said the Flintridge Center and Saeshe (Los Angeles), a branding company, found Surf City Graphics through Google and Yelp Search. Saeshe and Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design created the artwork. Students worked on the project for eight months, and one faculty participant described the process as a “psychological study” designed to see what could motivate people to act. Thus, the students’ initial task was to try to determine how this could be accomplished. For example, they decided to call it a “movement” in order to make it more than a one-time occurrence. Additionally, while a campaign to help the homeless might include stark, black-and-white images to accentuate their plight, the movement’s website states “Using only bright colors, the class created a campaign that could pass for a hip fashion brand. This was based on the idea that people in Pasadena look for the latest trend, at what’s exciting, and what is cool. The campaign, with its bold, vibrant visuals, is one the class felt people would look at, and pay attention to.”
Surf City Graphics first became involved in January 2014 with the R&D for the project. After the college completed its designs, Surf City Graphics used Abode Illustrator software to create the pre-press artwork. Surf City Graphics used its Roland Pro II printer/cutter to print on the 3M IJ180C V3 vinyl, protected with 3M’s 8518 gloss lamination, for the wall wraps and parking meters. For the floor wraps, Surf City Graphics utilized Sign Designs Vutek OS3220 printer to decorate the Asphalt Art media for the floor wraps. Altogether, 36 sq. ft. of vinyl was printed with two colors for each meter wrap location. Overall, Dmytrow estimates the company spent 30 hours in the R&D phase, including 10 hours to experiment with how to wrap a parking meter. After a procedure was standardized, two people could wrap a meter in 1.5-2 hours, while a solo artist would need 2.5-3 hours. Three of Surf City Graphic’s six employees actively wrapped the meters, using felt-tip squeegees, a propane torch, Olfa and X-Acto knives, denatured alcohol, microfiber cloths and shop towels. The three have 17 combined years of wrapping experience.
In business for six years, Surf City Graphics achieves 80% of its business is vehicle wraps and digitally printed signs. Other public work has included a full BBQ trailer wrap for the City of Long Beach Fire Department, South Coast Fire Protection district truck graphics, sponsor banners for the Huntington Beach High School lacrosse team, and retractable banner stands and a gym floor wrap for the school’s Music Guild. Surf City Graphics sponsored more then 40 children's DOC Band wraps through the Wrap Buddies program, Goldenwest college banner graphics and prints.