November 13, 2012 AdminHBA Design, How-To, People

When a popcorn machine isn’t just a popcorn machine…

As the Marketing Coordinator here at HBA, I am occasionally tasked with some very interesting projects. And by “very interesting”, I mean “seemingly random”. Exhibit “A”: Tricking out the Popcorn Machine that comes with us to most trade shows. (Hint to exhibitors– Popcorn machines draw bigger crowds than recycled pencils. Although we have those, too.) Forgive my haste in tricking out the popcorn machine and failing to get an accurate “before” picture. The first and third pictures were swiped from the internet, and the second was taken moments after the machine was completely disassembled. The top had to be de-wired, and the glass side panels also had to come out. (Fairly simple process, but probably would have been best to label each wire as to where they would return after re-assembly.)

My idea was to bring in some of the HBA red, and add a couple of logos and our tag line. I was unabashedly excited to finally have a project to use the Martha Stewart etching paint that recently came to stores, and decided this was the perfect time to give it a “go”. Based on a project in my college Sculpture design class (All those art classes finally paid off- thanks, Dad!), I thought Auto paint was the way to go for painting the metal top. Exhibit “B” clearly shows it was not the correct method (Almost zero coverage after using the entire can). I went back to the store and purchased some Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x coverage paint instead. (Which worked like magic.) Additionally, hindsight is 20/20, and the top should have been sanded with a fine-grit paper and primed. Like much of Generation X (or Y?), I just got excited and wanted immediate results. (Kids these days.)

Other supplies included etching paint, stencil paper (sticky back, so it could be re-used on two panes of glass), stenciling brushes, a light table, and a few extra items I always have on hand (x-acto knife and cutting mat, to be exact). I made my logo and tagline templates in Indesign, and after printing them out, took them to the light table to trace onto the sticky-backed stencil paper. After (careful) cutting, precise placement, and appropriate stenciling methods, I quickly realized the words “Architecture” and “Interior Design” were not going to cut the mustard, as they say. The logo was the only thing that survived the first attempt at using etching paint.
In fact, the paint + stencil didn’t give the clear crisp edge I was looking for. (I didn’t even bother with stenciling the tag line along the top edge, based on the results of the glass etching.) It was a good result, but not good enough. Option B was to send out the stencil templates and have them made in to vinyl stickers. But not before I re-assembled the machine for a quick event in the meantime, leaving the etched logo just for kicks.

The etching paint was scraped off with my trusty x-acto blade, and the vinyl stickers were then applied to each side, as well as along the top edge. (Make sure you have some kind of straight-edge to apply the stickers with, in order to press out any air bubbles.) And VIOLA, a star is born.

  Kelly Goldman