Elite Sign Gives Texas Tech Stadium Spirit
(February 2013) posted on Fri Feb 01, 2013
Frosted window graphics embellish facility renovation
By Steve Aust
Although Lubbock is only the 11th-largest city in the Lone Star State, with roughly 300,000 metro-area residents, it’s known as The Hub City because it’s the largest urban area in the Texas region known as the South Plains. Thus, its economic significance is greater than its sheer size would indicate. It’s the home of the Buddy Holly Center – which honors the Lubbock native and “Father of Rock Roll” – and Texas Tech Univ.; both make tourism an important cog in the local economy.
In its fourth year in business in Lubbock, Elite Sign & Design devotes approximately 25% of its business
to window graphics, shop owner Toby Stephens said. One of its more high-profile projects involved creating frosted window graphics for Jones AT & T Stadium, home of the school’s Red Raider football team. In 2012, the University embarked on a stadium-expansion phase; school officials hired Elite to create frosted window graphics as both a subtle iteration of the school’s signature “Double T” logo and to conceal the construction mess from fans.
Initially, the university wanted the windows covered completely. But, the material’s [3M’s 7725SE-14 dusted-crystal vinyl] rigidity would’ve required seams. Instead, Stephens suggested adding a reverse-applied logo and stripes to create a more appealing pattern and conform the graphics to the material’s roll size. After the shop devised the graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5, Stephens plotter-cut the pattern for the 122 x 72-in. window graphics on a Roland SolJet Pro III XC-540.
From website traffic, the shop has also gained several tanning salon and spa customers. After having created the graphics with Adobe software, or implementing an iStock photo, Elite created graphics with either 3M IJ35-10C short-term film, if the customer prefers opaque windows, or Clear Focus Imaging’s perforated film, if two-way vision is required. For these, it prints graphics on the XC-540.
Toby Stephens of Elite Sign & Design Goes Beyond the Sign: He wraps baby medical helmets with fun and attractive custom designed wraps free of charge.
April 24, 2012 (Dana Point, CA)-- Wrap buddies was started in June of 2009 by Tommy Strader, founder and President of 360 Wraps in Dallas, TX after he received a phone call from a father of a small infant asking if 360 Wraps could wrap a helmet for his little baby. When Tommy experienced the positive impact the wrapped helmet had on that one family, he realized that doing the baby helmet wraps for families for free was a way he and his team at 360 Wraps could make a difference and give back to the community. After a sizable donation was pledged to help fund the program, Wrap Buddies became an official non-profit 501(c)(3) using donations to expand the program reach into wrapping scoliosis braces and prosthetic limbs for children and to wrap medical devices at children's hospitals.
Since then, the shop has wrapped more than 700 cranial bands, all donated, which are used to counteract moderate head deformities in young children. Most patients find them through online searches and word of mouth...until Toby Stephens came along.
With a Little Help From My Friends...
Toby Stephens hit the ground running with his new business, Elite Sign & Design, opened in Lubbock, Texas in January of 2010. He founded the business in partnership with Sign Biz, Inc. (http://www.signbiz.com) a business developer specializing in the sign industry for 22 years. Toby quickly moved up the ranks in the Sign Biz Network, quickly achieving proficiency in dimensional signage and vehicle wraps. He shared his insights and actively engaged in the very active message group that connects all members of the Sign Biz network.
Late on a Friday, May 6th of 2011, he sent a special message to all 200+ Sign Biz Members around the world: “Hello all. I want to tell each of about a great non-profit program called Wrap Buddies. 360 Wraps and Wrapbuddies.com of Dallas, TX is looking to add partner shops across the nation to provide free doc band wraps for children. I am proud to say that we are a partner shop and actually did one of these for a sweet baby girl here in Lubbock, TX. If you are interested in becoming a partner shop just visit http://www.wrapbuddies.com to see more about the program (free to apply and no fees).I tell you the feeling you get when you see the look on parents' eyes when you're done is fantastic!”
The helmets help reshape the skull which is not only a cosmetic concern, but also helps prevent other medical concerns. The helmets are very expensive and usually not covered by insurance. Wraps Buddies is a free service that brings much joy to the families of children with Plagiocephaly. “Over a year and a half ago, we were approached by Heather Keister and her daughter Georgia Kate. They were unable to attend a Wrap Buddies session in Dallas and asked if they had locations in Lubbock. Tommy asked them to find a shop in Lubbock and see about becoming a partner so that’s when Heather approached us. Being that I was familiar with wrap buddies, I agreed to participate, 100% free. From there, word spread and we’ve done dozens since. One family was a second cousin of my wife, Karin.”
Wrap Buddies in Dallas asked if Elite Signs could help spread the word to gain partner shops in all 50 states. “Naturally, I extended this invitation to the Sign Biz Network to help achieve this goal. They have partner shops in 20 states now and are hoping to be in all 50 soon. Sign Biz members can make this happen overnight.”
In September of 2011, Stephens was invited to become an Advisory Board Member (http://www.signbiz.com/advisory_board.com) of the Sign Biz Network, representing the Southwest region. “Toby is a highly successful entrepreneur who enjoys inspiring others and truly believes that giving back is a key component to success,” says Teresa M. Young, President of Sign Biz, Inc. “These are qualities we find in all of our Advisory Board Members. His enthusiasm and ability to spread the word about Wrap Buddies has launched many Members of the Sign Biz Network into this rewarding project.”
More Accolades for Elite Signs and Wrap Buddies
Last month, the Sign Biz organization culminated the country’s only nationwide competition celebrating the accomplishments of the Sign Biz Network’s most successful digital sign designers and installers. This year’s “Everything is Marketing” contest entry form said, “Recognizing the impact of marketing across platforms, from brick, to click. Looking for projects that "went the extra mile" and that provided exposure beyond the sign.”
Featured at the organization’s prestigious annual convention hosted in Orlando, Fl at the Doubletree by Hilton at Seaworld, this year’s competition generated numerous entries, judged on the following: Most Media Exposure, Best Branding Impact, Most Creative Overall. Elite Sign & Design (pictured with Young) was named the Winner of the competition for their Wrap Buddies campaign work.
“Sign Biz Members are a group of super-social-media-connected people that are fun, enthusiastic and smart. The team at Wrap Buddies also finds joy in bringing smiles to the parents and families of the children with the helmets. The combination inspires each company that gets involved. It was clear that once again, the Sign Biz Members would vote for a campaign that gives so much back,” says Young. “I am very proud to be associated with such a giving group of entrepreneurs.”
Stephens adds, “We post every child on our webpage as well as Facebook and have gained followers for Wrap Buddies along the way. A local news station asked for local story ideas on their Facebook page and that’s where Karin’s cousin mentioned us and Wrap Buddies. The story was noticed and covered by another news station.” (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GTCZwPi4Qg) To get involved in Wrap Buddies, visit www.wrapbuddies.com to learn more.
If you have any further questions or would like additional information about this news release please contact:
Teresa M. Young, Pres/CEO
24681 La Plaza, Suite 270
Dana Point, CA 92629
About Sign Biz® Inc.
Sign Biz®, Inc.,www.signbiz.com, founder of a worldwide chain of independently-owned digital sign & graphics businesses, provides research, education, technical support and hands-on training to digital sign and graphics industry professionals. Consulting, project management and ongoing education programs and publications are offered through their School of Sign Arts website, an independent organization supporting professionalism in the digital sign industry.
About Elite Sign & Design
Elite Sign & Design is a full-service media communications company based in Lubbock, TX, and specializes in vehicle wraps, digital prints, LCD media signage, and products to fulfill branding and promotional needs. We value an understanding of your marketing objectives, and how effective signage increases success. Our motto: Where there is a “Common Vision” there is a “Common Goal.” Contact Toby Stephens at (806) 368-3643 or visit www.EliteSignDesign.com
Digital Print Sign Company Makes the Move to Dynamic Signage
February 11, 2012 (Lubbock, TX) — On a quiet Saturday afternoon in Lubbock, Texas, Toby Stephens, owner of Elite Sign & Design, clicked “submit” and became a member of a rare breed: The digital print sign professional who crossed over to the bright side and embraced dynamic digital signage as a part of his future. He became a dynamic sign expert.
Stephens, who is a member of the Sign Biz Network, learned of the course just this month. His business was enjoying strong growth, and the timing was right to look at expansion opportunities.Back in 2009, in the blog, www.LobbyPOP.me for digital sign professionals seeking information about dynamic display sign technology, Teresa M. Young posted, “You may be a Digital p-Sign Professional – offering every wide-format digital print product your clients need. You could also be a Digital e-Sign Professional – giving customers electronic digital signage as well. While “e” and “p” are only 11 characters apart, there is a world of difference between print and electronic mediums.”
Today, with the help of Young and the School of Sign Arts (http://www.schoolofsignarts.com ), the traditional sign industry has access to the most widely recognized certification course for dynamic signage, the Dynamic Signage Certified Expert course, available on-demand.
“It becomes feasible to learn up-to-the minute critical technology factors, because this course can be completed over a weekend,” explains Young. “It is also affordable, at only $195, and so if you are researching whether dynamic signage is something that fits your future, this online course gives you the knowledge to make a wise decision in that regard. It is a small investment for a big return.”
Stephens, who is a member of the Sign Biz Network, learned of the course just this month. His business was enjoying strong growth, and the timing was right to look at expansion opportunities.
Stephens explains, “We are Elite Sign & Design and want to continue to live up to our name. By investing in the future of the sign industry to ensure we provide the latest technology, we are positioned to offer products and services to the explosive digital signage market. The next step in signage is incredibly exciting.”
The Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG), an impartial and agnostic organization working in coordination and cooperation with the manufacturers, distributors, content creators and resellers in the digital signage industry, created the course for DSCE (Digital Signage Certified Expert), a full immersion into the digital signage market for those wanting an impartial and agnostic approach to understanding the complexities of the industry.
The DSCE course covers the scale and scope of the industry and examines the disparate parts of complex digital signage solutions culminating in the 7 Key Elements of Digital Signage. At the conclusion of the course, there is a certification test administered online. Attendees are awarded the DSCE designation upon passing the test.
Those who register for the course online at www.SchoolofSignArts.com also receive a valuable book, Making the Move to Dynamic Signage, a 48-page PDF resource. This guide is designed for sign industry professionals, and approved by founder of DSEG.org, Alan Brawn, CTS, DSCE, DSDE, ISF, ISF-C. It features two Needs Analysis surveys for use with clients and prospects, and sells separately for $75. It’s included free with the low-cost, $195 course. It also addresses the fundamentals of displays and digital signage hardware, and introduces networks and digital signage software along with an exploration of signal alternatives, infrastructure and integration.
Elite Sign & Design now features the DSCE logo on their website’s home page, and Stephens has proudly added the credentials to his signature for business communications
Local Business "Wraps" For A Good Cause
By: Allison Morrison
Updated: January 19, 2012
A local sign company has turned their talents toward a good cause.
Elite Sign and Design has been open for just a couple of years, but already they're expanding their business.
"We do signs and graphics, we do lots of vehicle wraps, banners, business cards," Owner Toby Stephens said.
The company has taken their car wrapping expertise and turned the trade into helmet wrapping.
The helmets aren't your traditional protective caps, but special helmets made for children to correct a flat spot on their head.
Heather Keister's daughter, Georgia, was Stephens' first customer.
"Georgia had a tightened neck muscle on one side, it was called torticollis and because of that, she laid on one side of her head and developed a flat spot," Keister explained.
Keister said the helmet was originally white and got quite a few stares.
"Just walking around town and it's amazing the attention you attract and it wasn't positive attention."
Shortly after, Keister discovered the website, www.wrapbuddies.com.
It's a Dallas based non-profit, that according to its website, began wrapping helmets in 2009.
Keister was interested so she contacted Stephens' shop for help.
"Of course, I agreed 100%," Stephens said.
Keister said after she had Georgia's helmet wrapped, she noticed a difference right away.
"A huge difference, huge, the way she was received was totally different, people just thought it was a cute, kind of an accessory and my older daughter was even a little bit jealous," she said.
Stephens said he's wrapped about a dozen helmets.
He said they take several hours to make and cost several hundred dollars, but he does the helmets for free.
"They go through enough as it is, they're challenged enough in public as it is, to try to make a bad situation, which is not as bad as it looks, better," Stephens said.