POP Printing & Hardware

Bokland Custom Visuals, Albany, NY, is excited to offer a wide variety of graphics and hardware for Point of Purchase and other retail applications.

For over 50 years Bokland has been a photographic printer, but like many companies in this industry, has had to change and evolve as time has progressed. This evolution brings many new and exciting possibilities to the table, including Upstate NY's most comprehensive selection of POP products. While most print shops that do large format print work generally use an inkjet and some sort of rudimentary mounting equipment, Bokland has invested heavily into the digital printing and finishing technologies that make us a perfect fit for anything having to do with the retail graphics world.

The bottom line is that we offer printing and finishing capability that spans any application. By offering 3 distinct printing methods (Digital photographic, UV curable direct to substrate & solvent inkjet) along with our "digital die cutting" capability on our 5'x10' computerized router, we can effectively produce the right product for you job!

Our product range includes: (See examples in our gallery)

* Posters
* Banners
* Wall Paper
* Table Tents & Displays
* Hanging Signs
* 2 Sided Signs
* Dimensional & Shaped Signs
* Repeatable Sign Programs
* Custom Product Displays
* Counter Mats
* Prints For Sign Frames
* Gondola Signs

In Addition to having all of this printing capability, Bokland Custom Visuals also offers great complimentary products from Mark Bric Display. Please visit our hardware pages to learn more about what is available!

Any way you cut it, Bokland offers the right products and services to make your next POP project as success. try us to see the difference.

Saratoga is a Winner

Bokland recently completed a great project at the Saratoga Race Course that tested all of our abilities, Backlit signs, banners, custom cut signs, custom banners, and even multiple piece signs. Working with Decrescente Distributors and CenterPlate concession services, Bokland not only produced all of the signs but also designed a whole new look for concessions at the track. With tons of work to do, and only a week and a half to do it in, we were very pleased with the results, we hope you think so too!

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Getting Your Projects In The Works

Preflight: The first step in producing a job at Bokland Custom Visuals

When a file is submitted to Bokland Custom Visuals for reproduction, whether it is being output on our LightJet 430 printer, our Gandinnovations 1224 UV Cureable Direct to Substrate printer or any of our other large format printers, the first step is preflight.

Preflight is the process where a qualified technician checks the files submitted for a project to make sure they meet all requirements necessary and that all necessary elements for proper printing are included. This step ensures that we can meet the clients deadline and also create a finished product that meets the clients expectations.

Some of the criteria we look at includes: proportions, image quality, resolution, fonts and many others. Once the file has passed our preflight process we can proceed to create a quality large format product on our LightJet 430 printer, our Gandinnovations UV Cureable Direct to Substrate Printer or any of our other output devices.

Bill Booth - Graphics Specialist, Bokland Custom Visuals

Unique Signs Fuel POP Business

About a year ago, Bokland Custom Visuals introduced its new Craft Brewing focused arm, named Beer Sign Specialists. When most companies think of POP material the overused screen printed poster or window sign comes to mind. Bokland wanted to go a bit further, offering a very nich centered industry (Craft Brewers) a sign option that allowed them to advertise who they are with products that are more indicative of their market.

Beer Sign Specialists was born of the idea that Craft Brewers are ultra passionate about what they do, very eco-conscious, and fiercely independent, in an industry where 2 companies (not to be mentioned here), own a huge chunk of the market. These companies aren't above stealing ideas, leveraging retail space through distribution channels and simply making the job of being a craft brewer a difficult one. It's nice to say that most of our customers handle this role, usually with tongue in cheek, brewing superior ales, lagers, stouts and almost any other kind of beer you can think of that have character and attitude.

Beer Sign Specialists allows many of these breweries to creat unique signs that leverage the fantastic art and tastes of these beers. By creating beer signs on materials like wood, metal and almost any other flat substrate you can think of, the signage possibilities are endless. Customers even have the ability to include dimensional elements and shapes that allow them to create signs that are without question, better than what the big breweries do.

Here are some examples:

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Get Control Of Your Color

ICC Workflow: Embedding Profiles

One of the first steps in a color managed workflow is choosing an input or editing color space sometimes also referred to as a work space. Input profiles determine a color range or gamut you can work in and they are device independent.They allow you to edit your images in a controlled and consistent manner. Input profiles are used in image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop

Two of the most commonly used input profiles in digital photography are Adobe RGB 1998 and sRGB IEC61966-2.1. The default in most programs is sRGB. This is the common profile used for preparing images for the internet. It has a smaller color gamut and can simulate color consistently on different monitors. If you are planning on printing your image on a large format printer like a LightJet or high end inkjet, you're better off using a profile with a wider color gamut like Adobe RGB or Colormatch RGB. While not all the colors within these profiles are printable they will give you larger and more pleasant range of colors to work in, and better results.

To set up input profiles in Photoshop CS4 go to:
Menu > Edit > Color Settings

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Here's a really important thing to remember -
All your work is for nothing if you don't embed the profile when saving.
The profile you choose to work in needs to stay with file, so when its re-opened
or sent to a printer the colors will display and convert in a consistent manner.

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Paolo Desanctis - Graphics Production


Shape Up Your POS Signs!

Now with our CNC Routing capabilities and our Jeti UV Direct To Substrate Printer your Point of Purchase signs do not have to be rectangles anymore. Now you can make your graphics stand out! Regardless of whether you just want to round the corners of you graphics or make a life size cut out, the file set up is easy. Bring you file into Illustrator and create a new layer to draw your cut path on. Use the pen tool with a stroke. The color of the stroke or the width doesn't matter. Your path should contain as few points as possible to define your shape. Use bezier curves whenever possible and watch out for loops in your path. Draw your path so that the image has as small amount of bleed if possible. Bleed on inside corners is a must! Inside corners will have a one quarter inch radius when we are cutting with a router bit. The attached file will explain this concept further.

Tip Sheet!

That's A Ton Of Prints For Pete's Sake

Bokland is working on the new Saint Peters Hospital project, creating graphics for patient rooms, hallways and waiting areas. There are around 300 total, this is just scratching the surface!

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Custom Lobby Décor & POP Project

Bokland recently had the opportunity to help in the creation of some custom graphic applications for Jeff Baker and Fownes Brothers Gloves (One of Americas oldest corporations)  The project consisted of working with Jeff's great designs to print and finish the graphics that would make up the lobby area in Fowne's upcoming Market Week display in New York City.  Fownes and Jeff Baker had been developing 2 products that work great together, namely Touch Point Gloves (designed to allow the wearer to operate touch screen devices without removing their gloves) and Lobers Ear Muffs (designed with integrated speakers and microphone for listening and talking on personal phones and portable media players).  Our job was to take great graphic design and make graphics to help promote the equally impressive products.  Below is the result.  Stay tuned for more from these great clients including custom trade show graphics as well as POP products!

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Bokland Helps To Decorate St Peters Hospital

Over the course of February and March, Bokland has been busy making some fantastic framed photos for the new wing at Saint Peters Hospital in Albany NY.  By utilizing our unique box mount framing process, Saint Pete's was able to create a fantastic look for many of their patient rooms, hallways and waiting areas.  All of the prints were selected and purchased by Saint Peters via a stock imagery website and are themed according to where they are in the facility.  The production process is photo print, mounted and laminated on to Gator Board and then placed in to our Box Mount.

We think they look great!
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Another Great Beer POS Piece

Bokland just had the opportunity to help in the creation of this great POS cutout with the folks at Heineken and DeCrescente Distributing. It is a full color 40" wide x 60" high piece printed on corrugated cardboard with easel back. Great impact and excellent value!


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Packaging Ideas Using KaseMake Software!

Our new KaseMake software lets us create tons of POP, event and other unique graphics. Cutting, scoring and 4/4 printing are all possibilities.

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Bokland Introduces KaseMake POS Packaging software

Our new KaseMake software lets us create tons of POP, event and other unique graphics. Cutting, scoring and 4/4 printing are all possibilities.

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The President Likes Our Handy Signs!

Last week President Obama visited GE Energy, in Schenectady, NY, to discuss his plan for creating jobs in our country.  During his tour of the facility, incidentally the birth place of GE, he learned about the products that are manufactured there with the help of some signs that we created just for the visit!  In fact, he thought the signs were “handy” and told everyone about them.  Bokland was lucky enough to produce the project through EP&M international (Exhibit Planning & Management of Menands, NY) who handles the trade show and event needs of GE Energy.  Any way you cut it, it was a great project with kudos that don’t come around that often!

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Beer Signs Are A Flowing!

Beer Sign Specialists (a Bokland Custom Visuals Affiliate) experienced a fantastic fall, having large orders come in from noteable Craft Brewers such as FX Matt Brewing (Matt Beer & The Entire Saranac Line), Clipper City Brewing from Baltimore Maryland, Uinta Brewing From Salt Lake City UT, And Lagunitas Brewing From Petaluma CA, are among the Breweries for whom we are creating fantastic looking POP wood sign products! Our wood signs work great as POP, retail shwag, and décor for the discerning dorm room or in house bar! beersignsareaflowing-beer-signs1beersignsareaflowing-beer-signs2beersignsareaflowing-beer-signs3

Resolution 101

A very important technical concept to understand when starting any digital imaging project is image resolution.

A pixel is the smallest measurable interval of a digital bitmap image. Resolution is a measurement of pixels. It determines how an image will appear on the screen and how the pixels are distributed in the output, or how the pixel information will be used on a printer. The original pixel dimensions of an image are determined by the capabilities of the hardware that was used to capture the image, usually a digital camera or scanner. More captured pixels in an image means more detail, better gradations and depth of color.

Like many other things in a digital workflow resolution can be thought of in two ways: input and output.

Input is the capturing of pixel information weather through a digital camera, scanner or created/rendered with bitmap image software.

Output is how that captured information is going to be used or distributed. On a monitor, projector, television or output through a printer to paper, canvas, wood, metal or any other substrate.

Even though they are often used interchangeably, pixels per inch (PPI) and dots per inch (DPI) are not the same thing. PPI refers to the number of pixels found in one inch of a digital image or a monitor. DPI refers to the amount of resolution a printer is capable of outputting. Printers use dots of ink to render an image; the more dots a printer can produce per square inch (DPI), the better its quality. The finer the dots and the pattern by which the dots of ink are laidd down also contribute to the quality of the printed image. But this is only half the equation. No matter how great the printer resolution is the quality of output will be determined by the resolution of the original capture. In an ideal situation you want the needed input resolution for the intended output.

Lets say you're working on a large trade show exhibit with multiple images from multiple sources and the main part of your exhibit is a large paneled wall printed about 8 feet by 10 feet. It would be best to set up and edit the images to output size before beginning any layout or design. This will give you an idea of how big you can go and possibly save you from having to rework anything later for lack of resolution. Viewing distance is a key factor in determining how big you can go. It is best to speak to a technician for information on resolution guidelines, but most likely this will be anywhere from 100 DPI to 300 DPI at actual print size for most printers.

To see how much image resolution you have for your intended print size open the image size dialog box in Photoshop under the image menu.

resolution-imagesize-1 Here is a 10" x 15" image at 180 ppi resolution. Uncheck the resample box and enter a new document size. resolution-imagesize-2
This resizes the image and changes the image dimensions without changing the total pixel dimensions. Note how the pixel dimension is locked out and doesn't change. Here at 20" x 30" the resolution is 90 ppi. By doubling the document size the resolution is cut in half. Essentially the original pixels of this image are going to be distributed further apart to cover the new larger size. This also works in reverse when scaling down an image. Making the size smaller gives you more pixels per inch. If you check the resample image box and change the dimension size the software uses interpolation to create new pixels, in effect adding pixels to the image. The interpolation process estimates the values of the pixels needed based on the existing pixels in the image. Interpolation can introduce a loss of quality even though it is adding pixel data. This depends on the quality of the image that is being resampled and the amount of resampling being done. The trick is to use it sparingly. It only really works if the original pixel data is of good quality, sharp, not grainy and not compressed. Then you have a shot at increasing your pixel dimension 15% to 25%. Another tip would be to size up in increments of 5% to 10% at time rather than all at once. This allows the software to make better estimates on the new pixel data. Image resolution is a complex subject matter with many facets. Hopefully this will bring some light to the base concept and be of aid in your next large format printing project. Paolo DeSanctis Graphics Production

New Décor services Create Great Opportunities

Bokland is excited to announce the kick off of our new décor products and services

For a year now Bokland has worked on collecting the right mix of products, all done in-house, to let us call ourselves a true décor service provider to businesses (professional offices, hotels), institutions (colleges, universities, hospitals) as well as retail establishments. The products include framing, wall paper, large prints and now our signature Box Mount product that goes beyond typical framing products. From a printing and finishing perspective, we are as capable as anyone in the Albany, NY - Upstate NY area.

This is where the similarities stop! As a photo lab for over 50 years, we have developed long standing relationships with photographers and artists that lend themselves perfectly to this new Décor model. Most companies that work in this industry might have printing capability or image resources, but rarely both. At Bokland we see an opportunity to offer a "turn-key" solution to these businesses by bringing our long-term customers to the table as image resources combined with our printing capability.

We have already seen success in projects, working with renowned Photographer, Carl Heilman & Designer Leslie Wiggins on several hospitality & office projects. When clients approach either party, we can pool resources to offer the best imagery and finished prints available, often times with particular attention paid to the specific needs of the client (See image below of Sand & Surf Motel, with an adirondack theme & framed images from Westin Grand Hotel in Washington DC.). By pooling resources, we present ourselves as a better, more specific solution to other companies in the industry.

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Partnering together on these Décor projects brings about new streams of revenue for all of us! Please contact Rick Bokland today to discuss the possibilities of taking part in this new and exciting program.

Bokland & Mark Bric Team Up To Tackle Trade Show Needs!

Recently, Bokland Custom Visuals had the opportunity to visit the US headquarters for Mark Bric Display, near Richmond VA. As a long time vendor of Mark Bric products, we knew that the quality and service of products available from Mark Bric was second to none, what we realized after attending the conference was that a closer relationship between Mark Bric & Bokland Custom Visuals would afford us great opportunites to offer our clients the best display hardware products, packaged with the most diverse graphics available in Upstate NY.

By partnering with Mark Bric we have shortened turnaround times, lowered overall cost of production on most display types as well as broadened the scope of products we can offer, now branching in to POP, and décor applications as well.

With the cost of travel and virtually everything else going up these days, it is nice to know that you can actually get more for your money buy purchasing your next trade show package from Bokland Custom Visuals.

Portable & Modular Trade Show Hardware Makes Sense!

The days of huge custom exhibits that shipped to the show in huge crates that could hold large animals and cost you an arm and a leg to store and move around the show floor are becoming more and more a thing of the past. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to spend ungodly amounts of money to achieve custom looks.

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A typical custom trade show crate like this. That might hold an exhibit like this.

Compared To:
portablemodulartradeshowh-portable-casesportablemodulartradeshowh-26-bb 3 cases like this, that can hold a display like this As a matter of fact, many of todays newer exhibit systems allow you to create substantial looking structures that fit in to wheeled cases that can be shipped via UPS for a fraction of the cost a full sized booth would be. Not only do you save on the shipping aspects of the exhibit, but also drayage, storage and setup. Many times one person can set a portable trade show exhibit up in less than a day. At Bokland Custom Visuals we handle several different exhibit makers hardware, but focus primarily on products from Mark Bric Display. We choose Mark Bric for the quality of the products they bring to the table as well the diversity of hardware they manufacture. Remember that at the end of the day, whatever money you save on the exhibit hard costs, you can spend on stronger marketing and promotion of the show!

Trade Show Awareness

Trade Shows these days are a funny thing, as mentioned in my previous article, costs are up and attendance is down. There still are those heavy hitting decision makers walking the floors however, making choices on whether to attend, how much to spend, how to niche your services, etc., etc, harder to figure out. I just read this past week that McCormick Place in Chicago just lost 2 of it’s largest shows for 2010. The trade show business is definitely a fluid one at best, but I think that there are some ways in which you can leverage the chaos in your favor, especially if you are a small or medium sized business that may not have to rely entirely on tier one, national trade shows to increase your business.

The fact of the matter is that national venues like McCormick Place, The Javitz Center, The Moscone Center are losing their luster in favor of venues like Orlando and even smaller places like The World Trade Center Boston, and resort settings. No, these smaller halls can’t handle big shows, but they do a very good job hosting targeted, niche trade shows and conferences. The question every business considering a trade show must answer is, “Is there enough business to be had in these “boutique” type events?”

A real world example of making these decisions is Bokland’s own experience in trade shows. Twice we have attended the national “Global Shop” trade show, focussing on the point of purchase market on a national level. There were great national prospects walking the show, but there were also literally thousands hundreds of companies competing for their attention. In the end, we walked away with the warm and fuzzy feeling that we had done a national show and looked pretty good doing it, only to find that the ROI never quite came around.

tradeshowawareness-hpim0672 Bokland, At Global Shop 2005, a $30,000 investment in a Trade Show
By contrast, last year Bokland attended the National Brewers Conference in Boston at the World Trade Center. This particular show was two days, cost 1/10 of the amount it cost to do the national show and focussed very specifically on a small niche market. We were able to make a smaller space work for us, we could identify our prospects easily, and weren’t competing with the proverbial 800 lb. gorillas of our industry. We walked away with more business from this specialty trade show than we did displaying twice at the national level. We also advanced our presence as a leader in our particular field within this industry and continue to do so by leveraging this strategy.
tradeshowawareness-p4210652 Bokland at The National Brewers Conference, a $3000 Trade Show Investment

At the end of the day, we all have to ask ourselves where we fit within our industries. Some, unquestionably, have to work on a national level, but the vast majority of small and medium sized service companies do have a choice in regard to what trade shows they attend, and should without question make this a part of their decision making process!

Take color management to the next level

Soft-proofing is an on-screen simulation of how your image will look when output to an inkjet printer, substrate and ink combination or an RGB printer like the lightJet. It is based on an output profile of that device made especially for a that substrate and ink combination. A calibrated monitor is crucial for viewing color accurately and soft-proofing can take your images and color control to the next level. A printer can not reproduce the entire range of colors that are viewable on a monitor, these are known as out of gamut colors. Each printer, paper, ink combination has its own gamut or range of reproducible colors. There may also be a shift in color balance from what you see on your monitor to the print. If you’re sending images or a design project to a printer for output on their LightJet or large format printer, the need for proof prints can be minimized with soft-proofing and you can identify what colors may need a little attention. To soft-proof your image in Photoshop, select View > Proof Setup > Custom. takecolormanagementtothene-choose-soft1 The Proof Setup dialog box will pop up, in the first drop down select the profile for the output you’ll be using. You can request this from your printer or photo lab. Next, select a rendering intent. These are the methods by which out-of-gamut colors are mapped from the working space to the gamut of the printer, paper and ink. Perceptual works well for most images especially if there are many out-of-gamut colors. Relative Colorimetric can be better choice if your image doesn’t have any colors that are out-of-gamut for the intended output. Meaning there is less interpolation in the mapping of color to the output device, where as Perceptual there may be more interpolation in mapping colors, attempting to preserve the relationship of colors inside and outside the output gamut. Black Point Compensation should be checked, this ensures shadow detail will be maintained in the output gamut. takecolormanagementtothene-choose-soft2 The Simulate Paper Color and Black Ink check boxes add a simulation of the whites and blacks of the profiled paper and ink. When a printer profile is made the color of the paper is one of the factors in building the profile, because the spectrophotometer is reading the combination of the ink, and the paper below it. These can be helpful if you are printing on off white or tinted substrates. When you click OK, you will see a simulation of the image printed through your output profile. To toggle between the proof simulation and the normal view press Ctrl-Y. Soft proofing can be a very valuable tool when preparing images for your trade show exhibit, POP poster or décor project. Feel free to email with any questions or to request one of our output profiles. Paolo DeSanctis Graphics Production

Planning Your Next Trade Show Will Yield Results

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As mentioned in last weeks trade show blog, there are better and better prospects available on show floors these days, getting their attention and time is the trick. Here are a couple of ideas to help you to that end, while also helping to limit costs associated with attending a show. Understanding the reason why you are at the Trade Show is they key to attracting the right people to your booth. There are tons of shows, all of which provide some sort of niche when it comes to attendees. This makes picking that right niche the most important single thing you can do in attending a show, especially if you are like most small businesses, with limited time, staffing and money to attend multiple shows. Figure out where you’ll get the most “bang for the buck” and you have taken the first step to success. Once you have done that, crafting the right message and image to portray at the show becomes your next biggest test. Not only do you have to worry about the exhibit itself and how it looks, but also all of the pre-show marketing stuff that has to be done. It doesn’t matter how good you look, if your message falls on deaf ears, you are already behind the eight ball! To this point, you need to know the niche that you will be selling to extremely well. Tailor your message and all of your collateral toward what you already know compels them. Invite the decision makers and influencers to your exhibit for a visit, giving them something in return for their effort. (This might be as simple as a promotional product or as elaborate as a discount off their next order.) Once they visit, be ready to accomplish what you intended to do from square one with that prospect. Most so far is strategy, and that truly is the most important part of trade show success. Of course, if your prospects don’t recognize you when they get to the show, you have obviously done something wrong. While this sounds like a pith from a graphics company to have an elaborate exhibit, it’s really just a check to make sure that your exhibit materials look good and are on point. If you are new to the trade show world, there are several ways to look great and not spend a ton of money in doing so. There are exhibit solutions that cater to limited budgets as well as others that may cost a little more up-front, but that save you money in the long-term by making graphic switches easier and more cost effective. No matter what your level of need, there is a way for you to look great and achieve outstanding results at your next show. We would encourage you to speak with your trade show company (if not Bokland Custom Visuals) to discuss your options. Any good vendor will ask you the right questions to put you in the right exhibit solution for your needs, and once that is done have a selection of quality hardware and print options to fit your particular need.

Why Use Box Mounts?



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Box Mounts Are: • Beautiful ,simple and elegant • Made to fit any environment or décor • Sturdy, lightweight and ready to hang • Quality reproductions made from any photographic, art or graphic original • Archival, utilizing 70 year rated photographic materials • Protected with UV lamination that can easily be cleaned • Made up to any size from 8"x10" to 4ft'x 8ft including panoramas • Easily  ordered online at www.digitalphotoprints.biz • Efficiently produced  so we can provide incredible value Please Contact Rick Bokland for details!

We Do Trade Shows

Over the last two years or so, trade shows have become almost a second thought when it comes to marketing expense. With the economy lagging and transportation costs having soared, it's easy to see why businesses haven't embraced the Trade Show model. The fact of the matter however, is that trade shows are still one of the most viable means of putting yourself in front of the most qualified leads available. Every show affords you the opportunity to meet face to face with the cream of the crop prospects that are out there looking for new vendors and new ways to increase their business.

At Bokland, we have adopted a slightly different approach to trade show participation. With fewer dollars to go around these days, we have several exhibit solutions that help you stretch your marketing budget further by offering great products at exceptional values! Our first step is to work with the best vendors in the industry, like Mark Bric Display. By partnering with vendors we are able to offer a variety of products that fit almost any trade show need at almost any price point.

Our product line up includes a variety of retractable banner stands, static banner stand options that emphasize value, multiple pop-up displays, even some custom look exhibits that let you stand out from your competition without paying the standard $100 psf that others charge. As a vendor we also offer multiple printing options that leverage value, "green initiatives", quality and even a combination between the three. Our exhibit and graphics solutions allow you to be creative, have a conscience, look great and save money all in the same exhibit!

We are located in Albany, NY, allowing us to service upstate NY, The western NY area including Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo as well as the metropolitan NY and Boston areas!

Here are some examples of recent work, for more please visit our Trade Show Gallery!

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Business Décor Provides Fresh Ideas On How To Sell Prints!

For over a year Bokland has been developing our new Décor Services group, combining all of our print making capabilities with new in-house framing and a commitment to partnering with our customers!

Because of our long standing relationship with photographers and artists, we are in a unique position to approach hotels, office management companies, retail chains, hospitals and schools with wall art products that are unique to their area, not some generic, stock art solution provided by a company half way across the country!

We partner with our customers, who have great imagery , to sell unique décor solutions that go way beyond generic products. Working together means that we can offer superior products that fit the application, share in the proceeds of each project and create a sales network that keeps opening new opportunities!

Bokland Helps PIP Celebrate 25 Years!

Bokland Custom Visuals in Albany NY, worked with Protective Industrial Products, of Guilderland NY, celebrate their 25th anniversary at a recent Trade Show in Orlando FLorida. Bokland provided an Orbus Orbital Truss system to PIP with various large format graphics to round out the exhibit. This 30'x50' exhibit space featured multiple graphic panels along with individual structures that allowed PIP to display it's full line of Industrial and Commercial Protective products. Images are below, congratulations on 25 successful years PIP!

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Guerilla Trade Show Marketing Tactics!

In todays business climate, dollars are more important than ever, making decisions on attending and preparing for trade shows more and more difficult. Everything you read, tells you that show traffic is down, travel costs are up and trade shows might not be the best place to spend your marketing dollars.

In reality, new business opportunities abound on the trade show floor. While traffic may be down, the people you see are probably higher echelon decision makers for the companies attending, in some cases eve owners. Keeping with this idea, with less traffic, you also have more time to spend with the people who do visit, allowing you to qualify leads better, develop better rapport with your visitors, and quite possible even close business that you might not have otherwise been able to close.

Of course, none of this will be at all possible if you don't go to the show or don't make a concerted effort to look your best while on the trade show floor. Attending a trade show if definitely an investment, but for the same reasons that companies are making decisions to incorporate trade show marketing in their mix, show organizers are much more willing to make deals for floor space, making it more affordable to attend.

It is also fortunate that there are many new, value based exhibits available that afford companies the opportunity to look professional and different from other competitors on the trade show floor, for a fraction of the cost that exhibits sold for just a few years ago. Portability, low cost printing methods and reusable hardware, all make it easier for you to attend shows without the pain of high investment.

In conclusion, don't give up on trade shows as a valuable method of increasing sales in your business. What appears to be a possible poor investment, just might turn out to be your cash cow!

ICC Color Workflow: Monitor Calibration

iccworkflowmonitorcalibrati-moncalfx2 If your looking for consistent color from your large format print vendor or photo lab, calibrating your monitor is a must. A monitors color output varies even from out of the box and especially over time as they age. Calibration keeps them operating in a stable and consistent way. Hardware monitor calibration is the best and most accurate way, and in recent years has become much more affordable. You can pick up a monitor calibration package from a leading color solution company like X-Rite for around $200. 10 years ago this sort of technology cost thousands. Hardware based calibration uses light monitoring and measurement devices (spectrophotometer) with color management software to achieve more exacting and consistent results. With hardware calibration the red, green and blue phosphor colors, as well as the white points, are all accurately measured and corrected to an industry display standard. Re-calibrating every 2-4 weeks will maintain the monitor so that the way it produces color will stay consistent over time. If your monitor is not correctly displaying color, then time spent on image editing could actually be counter-productive. Adopting and maintaining a monitor calibration and color management system will guarantee the results on every trade show, large format print, and POP display project that you work on, saving time money and frustration! Paolo DeSanctis Graphics Production

Yes Virginia There Is A Hard Copy!

Regardless of wether you are making a ten foot Trade Show booth, Point of Purchase Graphic, Vinyl Banner or a Wooden Sign, a hard copy will make your job go smoother. Even if your hard copy is in Black and White it can help us catch any errors that can occur in our process. You have all ready done your work of providing your fonts (We recommend outlining fonts) and related graphics. Now we have to process your file in our RIP Software for printing. In the case of Indesign or Quark we may have to create an intermediary file like a PDF or an EPS for processing. Many things can go wrong. Fonts can sometimes can drop out or be replaced with a font of a different manufacturer. Spot colors used with transparency may yield unexpected results or even elements within you file may completely drop out. All of these things, and more, we can catch more quickly with a hard copy. With most jobs we recommend getting an approval print, but a hard copy can help avoid a second approval, saving you valuable time and money.

The Facts On Fonts

When submitting a file to Bokland Custom Visuals that contains text for large format graphic output, there are steps you can take to insure that your project is completed on time and to your expectations. Providing us with all the fonts used is one step. Also, many graphic applications allow fonts to be converted to outlines. Whenever possible, providing files with fonts converted to outlines is the safest way to go. Once you convert all fonts to outlines it is no longer necessary to provide us with the fonts used.

Here are some application specific suggestions:

Indesign: Provide a complete copy of all fonts used or provide the indesign file to us with fonts converted to outlines.

Illustrator: Provide a complete copy of all fonts used or provide the Illustrator (ai) file or eps file to us with fonts converted to outlines.

Quark:  Provide a complete copy of all fonts used.

Photoshop: Provide all fonts used or provide a flattened tiff file. Once your file is flattened, it is no longer necessary to provide fonts.

Indesign, Illustrator and Quark all have a "collect" or "collect for output" option available which will collect all the fonts used as well as linked files. Using this option is the best way to collect all the elements of your layout.

Whenever possible to convert all fonts to outlines, this is the preferable option.

Considering issues with fonts on your next large format printing job will potentially speed your project along and make your next exhibit, trade show or Point of Purchase project a success!

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