One thing unique about the concession industry is the constant changes that have occurred over the past several years. The graphics on concession stands, trailers, and booths have evolved from standard line drawings, type and cartoons, to more realistic, three-dimensional forms of art. Concession trailers are now two and three stories high with explosive graphics, lights and realistic images that grab the attention of fairgoers. As a graphic designer, I have seen these changes occur in a very short period of time. We now have the capabilities of producing realistic images of food, drinks and other products on all types of substrates such as paper, plastic, cloth, vinyl, glass and even metal.
All of this is possible because of the latest space-age technology that has evolved in computer graphics, inks, software and printing capabilities. The question is, "How can you take advantage of this?" How can you take your current business product, whether it is food or soft drinks, and increase your sales? As a product and package designer for over 35 years, I know that it is definitely all in the presentation. How well is your product being presented? Does it have a professional, clean and sharp look? Are all of the components that are a part of your business, such as your concession stand, plastic or paper cups, deli papers, paper plates, etc., color coordinated and include your logo or trademark? This is important in today,s icon-conscious public. People expect it!
I remember, many years ago in business, we were happy with mimeographed copies --you know, that blue-copied image on paper with the strong odor that schools, churches, and businesses were able to copy in-house. Then a cleaner, sharper image came out with the invention of the copier. After that, it was color printers, laser copiers and now high end digital graphic printers. Because of the advent of these new printing techniques, we are now able to produce custom-printed images on food buckets, paper and plastic cups, half-yarders, and bottles, all at a much lower price then was even conceivable a few years ago. Today,s technology has made it possible and affordable for small business concession owners to have custom-made cups printed in as little as 5,000 and 10,000 quantities. In our business, we have seen over and over again the concessionaire,s profits definitely increase because they moved to the next level: getting their own custom-made products. What,s a better way to advertise your business over the entire fair or event than with your very own custom cup, bucket or food container, especially when it carries your name on it? It,s almost like getting FREE advertising. Customizing your plastic and paper cups is the first step in revitalizing your image, coordinating your look, motivating sales, and hopefully increasing your profit margin. Want more proof - ask your competition!
Nick Verina works for BERK Concession Supply in Warren Ohio as the Creative Director. Nick has a BFA degree in Graphic Design from Kent State University. He has worked in many areas of the concession business creating package designs, new concepts, custom cup designs, company advertising, marketing and etc. Before working for BERK, he was Art Director for an ABC broadcasting affiliate, was an educator, had his own advertising agency with his identical twin brother Michael, and designed graphics for national and international industrial clients.