Team Acme

Colorful Digital Print Powers Growth for Team Acme

Team Acme   |   Henderson, Nevada

Teran Marsell, owner of Team Acme in Henderson, Nevada, is known for saying “you can’t learn this business in an office.” He’s been hands-on ever since he founded his business in 2000 as a mobile glass repair company. 

Teran and his team soon expanded their operations to include window tint and later added graphics as well.  Graphic design and production really took off when Lenn Franz joined the company in 2012 as graphics department manager.  These days, vehicle wraps and graphics make up about 50 percent of Team Acme’s print work, with the rest comprised of custom window, wall and floor graphics along with decals, posters, banners, sidewalk signs, exterior building wraps, exhibit booth graphics, and apparel. 

We caught up with Lenn to learn more about how digital graphics came to be the driving force for Team Acme that it is today.

Why did Team Acme decide to expand into digital print?
Lenn Franz: The graphics side of the business, which was added in 2007, was a little rough initially. When I came on board in 2012, we ramped up our vehicle lettering and wraps efforts, and since then, we've really increased the overall scope of our graphic offerings.

Now we’re very much an all-around graphics shop with a wide spectrum of clients. We print everything from die-cut logos to building wraps. We've produced graphics for pools, SEMA booths, modular banner displays, pop-up booths.  It’s always a lot of fun, as we really push ourselves to constantly produce awesome projects for our customers.

“As soon as I saw that Roland DG was making a high production printer again, I knew exactly what our next purchase was going to be.”

Please tell me a bit about your facility. Does it house all three parts of Team Acme?
Our facility measures roughly 12,000 square feet and includes a two-story office area for our graphics and sales departments. Our warehouse has multiple bays for the vehicle wrap and production departments as well as the glass repair, replacement and alignment areas of our business. We also have a separate, smaller attached warehouse specifically for the tint side of Team Acme. 

Our equipment includes our Roland DG SOLJET, our new Roland DG TrueVIS VF2-640 64-inch wide-format printer, a Graphtec FC9000-160 plotter, the tint department’s 54" DGI film plotter, an Autel ADAS Glass/Camera Alignment station, vehicle lifts, a 64" laminator, welding area, forklift, and more.
 
Who makes up Team Acme?

Currently, we have 12 employees. The bulk of our staff has been on board for the past two-to-six years.  It seems like when we get a solid team put together, it lasts for quite a while. We are a very tight-knit group of people that have adopted a family-oriented mindset.

We all really enjoy what we do here and try our best to keep everything lighthearted and fun when working together. We believe we are more productive when our working environment is upbeat, positive and friendly.

How did you choose your graphics production equipment?
When the graphics side of Team Acme started, we had an old machine from another manufacturer. However, we retired that machine very quickly once we purchased our Roland DG SOLJET XJ in 2007. She was our workhorse for 14 years and did an amazing job. Our new TrueVIS VF2-640 printer is a perfect successor. 
 
As soon as I saw that Roland DG was making a high production printer again, I knew exactly what our next purchase was going to be.  I started using Roland DG printers in 2009 and I’ve run everything from the SOLJETS to the flatbed and even the AJ-1000.  I’m also a fan and user of Roland’s music equipment. For me, Roland is a brand both in printing and music equipment that I have come to trust implicitly due to its amazing quality.

The TrueVIS VF2 was exactly what we were looking for. I was really impressed by the evolution of the technology since the SOLJET XJ came out.  I feel like Roland DG has really outdone itself.  We are very happy with our updated VF2 high-volume printer and we hope that she lasts as long as our SOLJET has.
  
One other thing that really struck me about the VF2: I cannot believe how clean this machine keeps itself. The built-in cleaning solution cartridge is absolutely killer. The wiper blade has a pool of cleaning fluid to rest in and clean the heads with. I am down to manually cleaning the machine once a week. Awesome move – I want to give Roland DG a huge A-plus on that.

Which inks are you running?

We have always used, and will continue to use, OEM inks from Roland DG. Through my experience with generic inks in the past, prior to using Roland machines, I learned that generics clog. Also, they smell terrible and the bulk systems leak. Worst of all, the color is never consistent. Roland DG inks have always lived up to their brand name. 

Our current color configuration on the VF2-640 is White, Cyan, Yellow, Orange, Light Black, Magenta, Green and Orange. We are beyond impressed with all the updates Roland DG has made to this machine when it comes to reducing ink consumption, the method for loading inks into the machine and, most importantly, the color output, especially with the orange. The new higher DPI range and resolution of the print heads on the VF2 result in high-quality print and better color output at every setting.
  
How has the color gamut been?
The color gamut on the VF2-640 is extraordinary. Black and whites are now 100 percent true. Oranges are insanely bright and vivid.  Roland DG has brought in a lot more color gamut on greens as well with the new green ink. Of all the printers I’ve used, the new VF2-640 just blows the others away... especially in the color department.
 
What types of clients do you serve, and where are they located? 
We do work for all types of businesses around Las Vegas, from small businesses on up to major corporations. Our client base consists of quite a few auto dealerships, the Henderson Police and Fire Departments, various Las Vegas casinos, local construction and plumbing companies, all types of fleet companies, drag racing teams, etc.  Honestly, we cater to anyone and everyone out here. 
 
Though most of our clients are located nearby, we’ve also done contract work for customers in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and even Canada.
 
What are the sizes of the fleets you wrap?
One of our clients owns a major plumbing business here in Vegas and we’ve wrapped more than 80 vehicles for them over the past few years. We can take on any size fleet a customer has without a problem.
 
Are you most often doing the design work in-house?

Our client base is very diverse and design requests range from full vehicle wraps to simple printed and die-cut logos. We handle the bulk of the design work in-house. I’ve been the primary designer here for almost 10 years, so most of the art and production has been me knocking things out. Teran and I will collaborate on designs here and there as well. 

Recently, we hired a new junior designer who I’m currently training. The guy has done some amazing work on cars in the drifting scene around the U.S., and he has tremendous creative potential. He’s bringing a lot of fresh ideas to the table which we’re excited to see realized on our clients’ final products. We try our best to give our customers exactly what they're looking for, and to present them with creative, innovative designs.
 
Please give us an example or two of recent challenging jobs.
We’re in the process of revamping graphics for a ton of Lee's Liquors stores around Las Vegas. The TrueVIS VF2-640 handles the color duties flawlessly. The graphics I designed incorporate lots of dark and golden browns, along with oranges and yellows that look amazing when they print. The output times are very reliable and predictable with each location’s prints, which helps so much with project planning and timing, as well as for scheduling installs. 

Last fall, we had a customer who wanted some bright orange custom graphics for his truck. We had the first VF on loan to us from our Roland DGA rep while we were waiting for our new printer. I did a test print for the guy, and while he liked it, he wanted to wait until the new VF2 printer arrived with the actual orange ink. Once our new VF2-640 arrived, I did the same test print...not only was the customer blown away, but so was everyone here at Team Acme who saw it. No one could believe how well the VF2 nailed the exact shade of bright orange that the customer wanted. Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the way his graphics turned out.

What tools do you use to connect with your clients?
 We’re a bit of an old school company. We rely mostly on word-of-mouth advertising to promote the quality of our work, but we also do some web-based advertising via Google Ads. In addition, we use the blog on our website to share ideas. Our junior designer is doing an amazing job with our social media presence. He’s been taking absolutely killer pictures of work going on in the shop and consistently posting them to Instagram and Facebook.

Communication with our customers has always been a top priority. If you don’t communicate effectively with people, things don’t get done correctly and, by the end of the project, the customer feels left out of the loop. We’ve always been big on maintaining close communication with our clients as the work progresses.
 
How did your business do during the pandemic shutdown? Are things getting better for you and your clients these days?
We were very lucky through the pandemic. We managed to stay extremely busy. We had a few major clients that took the shutdown as an opportunity to expand their vehicle fleets and they brought their new vehicles to us for branding.
 
What do you see happening in the next few years for Team Acme? 
We are developing an online store for ready-to-install vehicle wrap kits. We plan on catering primarily to owners of off-road vehicles, rock-crawling and overlanding jeeps, etc.
 
What we've built here at Team Acme over the past 20-plus years is something very special. We really focus on the relationships we have with our team members and our clients. We are anything but corporate. A personal and customized experience for every client is our main goal – and we  have the ideal team and equipment to provide just that.