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Getting in a frenzy with Lightbar!

Getting in a frenzy with Lightbar!


The Bristol Hippodrome recently announced the imminent arrival of the new ‘Mary Poppins’ stage musical with a fanfare of colourful signs and banners produced by Frenzy Designs on its new Lightbar RF-640 printer.   

Frenzy-Lightbar2-minTo complement the large format banners that adorn the front of house, Frenzy Designs also applied Lightbar print to the three square metre flex face illuminated signs and the 15 metre long sign panel that crowns the top of this historic theatre. The company, which has been supplying theatres such as the Bristol Hippodrome with signs and banners for over 30 years, is used to changing the promotional graphics regularly as one show comes to an end and another begins its run and, with the inevitably tight deadlines involved, it is frequently required to convert fresh artwork into new signs over the course of a weekend.

Conveniently located between Bristol and Bath and with easy access to the motorway network, Frenzy Designs was originally established in 1981 by Val Bryant, a traditionally trained signwriter whose hand painted lettering skills and illustrative artistry are still greatly demand today.  That said, Val has always moved with the times in order to offer his impressive list of local and national clients a comprehensive range of sign services, including everything from traditional hand signwriting to full colour digital printing and in doing so, has enabled Frenzy Designs to earn a well-deserved reputation for creativity and quality workmanship.

Brewery-Van-1-minIt was quite by chance that Val and his business partner, Matt Pope, happened upon the solvent-UV ink technology that has helped to further evolve their business.  As Val explained: “We were visiting a trade show when we first came across the Lightbar printer but, as we already owned an excellent 10 year old Roland printer/cutter, we weren’t really in the market for another, at least not until we were handed a sample of Lightbar print straight off the new machine.  However, thecolours were so bright, glossy and the print was so completely dry that we were instantly attracted and, more importantly, when I took out a key and scratched at the ink, it didn’t leave so much as a mark on the image!”

The Lightbar RF-640 printer is a Partner Solution that combines the latest solvent-UV ink chemistry with the quality and reliability of Roland DG print technology.   This new ink formulation is odour free and cures the instant it passes through a low energy UV lamp unit, resultingin vibrant, colour rich output that’s dry, durable and ready to use the moment it leaves the printer.


Val and Matt immediately saw the potential benefits, including all the time and floor space they could save by not having to leave print on drying racks to out gas before applying, mounting or laminating and happily, within days of having its Lightbar RF-640 printer installed, it completed both its latest Hippodrome theatre project and a full van wrap for another of its valued customers, Upham Brewery, the south of England’s fastest growing pub and brewery company.

Matt continued  “We’d already wrapped two Upham delivery vans with vinyl printed on our old Roland machine, so, it was important to get the right colours from the new Lightbar printer.  In the end, all it took was a few tweaks of our VersaWorks RIP and a couple of test prints to produce a perfect colour match!”


With the additional speed of the Lightbar RF-640, Frenzy was also able to print the van wrap in half the time it had previously taken, but the real game changer was that they could immediately progress to lamination without having to allow gassing out time. There was though a slight hitch. Matt admitted: “Having printed and laminated the vinyl in record time, we then discovered that the van was a ‘face lift’ model that differed very slightly from its predecessors. The print for the bonnet thus needed to be 150mm wider, but  thanks to the Lightbar printer, we were able to re-print, laminate and fit the replacement panel within an hour, which enabled us to meet our customer’s deadline!”

Following the acquisition of the Lightbar printer, Frenzy Designs has dramatically improved the workflow within its business, thus reducing both its production times and operational costs while also improving its profitability. The company’s next step will be to field test the impressive durability of unlaminatedLightbar print to establish its suitability for an even wider range of outdoor applications. Val concludes: “Impressive as its performance has been so far, I think that our new Lightbar still has a lot of untapped potential and we are looking forward to discovering all of the many ways it can help us to further improve our business!”

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