Wilmington printing company transforms sets — including ‘Swamp Thing’ — with its graphics and signs
“‘Swamp Thing’ is killing us — this is awesome!”
That was a refrain heard frequently at Port City Signs & Graphics this spring when the company printed graphics for the new superhero production shot at EUE/Screen Gem’s Wilmington studios.
“We work hard to build solid relationships with the art departments and art directors,” says Sabrina Davis, owner of Port City Signs & Graphics since 2008. “They’re one of our favorite customers because of their professionalism and talent.”
Based in Wilmington, Port City Signs & Graphics is a wide-format printing and sign company. Opened in 1948, the company has worked closely with TV and film productions for decades.
It provides vehicle graphics, signage, wallpaper, badges, logos — everything an art director needs to transform an existing environment into the perfect setting. All of its film work has been with productions based at EUE/Screen Gems studios.
“The film industry has been transformative to our business,” says Davis. “Working with TV and film productions got us through the lean years when construction and commercial real estate were down due to the recession.”
In 2012, Port City Signs & Graphics experienced growth attributed directly to the film industry. That year, the company’s largest client was Iron Man 3, which required items printed daily. Davis credits that work to the company’s expansion and ability to buy more equipment.
The Secret Life of Bees was one of Davis’s favorite projects. The production needed honey jar labels that looked aged and authentic to the time period. Davis says her team worked hard to get it right, a rewarding feeling once they saw the labels on-screen.
About an eight-minute drive from EUE/Screen Gems, Port City Signs & Graphics has become accustomed to the fast turn-around and late-evening deliveries productions require.
“We understand the film industry’s needs and we’re happy to meet their tough deadlines,” says Davis. “We’re thrilled to have the film industry in Wilmington.”