Turbo Images is one of North America’s largest graphics specialists, and its innovative work gives flight to some of the continent’s biggest brand names. As an industry leader in solvent-free printed fleet graphics, the company keeps brands like Coca-Cola, Walmart, Pepsi, and many other fortune 500 companies looking fresh while in transit.
In a world where image and speed drive sales, having the best team and technology to take care of fleet graphics is paramount to spreading brand awareness as far and fast as possible. Turbo Images ensures that its clients’ vehicles get noticed on all North America’s roads and for all the best reasons. It is trusted for top-quality materials and printing methods that give clients a clear edge over their competitors. Charles Veilleux, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Anne-Laure Rey, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, recently shared some of the company’s latest developments with me.
Headquartered in Saint-Georges, Quebec, Canada, the impetus that gave birth to the company is as impressive as its subsequent success and phenomenal recent growth. An unshakeable commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is part of its secret.
The company offers clients “the best warranty in the marketplace… We make sure that their brand is well exposed and that they’re using their vehicle as an asset to showcase [it],” says Veilleux.
The company has service centres across Quebec and Ontario. It also has three sister companies that work closely together, namely Turbo Studio, its specialist design department; Lettra Pub; and Team Coach Imaging. These all help to make it entirely self-sufficient in many ways. The latter two firms were acquired during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The company holds several, respected, industry-related certifications, including MCS, a seven-year, full warranty on its eco-friendly vinyl offered by the manufacturer. As one of this manufacturer’s most important and largest clients, it has also been furnished with a 3M Platinum certification. In addition, it holds a G-7 certification, which ensures that its colour matching remains exact and unbeaten. Considering that substrates come in white and that adding lamination further distorts colour, this is a complex task that requires real skill.
Turbo Images equips itself with all the most relevant knowledge and technology to meet or exceed these high standards. “Every customer is different and every branding is different, so every order is also different. We are dealing with a very custom product/service offering. So, we have specialized ourselves in meeting all the needs of our customers. We can do it with the right tools and technologies and knowledge,” says Rey.
The company was founded in 1993 by Veilleux’s father, Pier Veilleux, who also established its culture based on family values and a respect for quality. Veilleux, Senior remains the company president.
“We’re not slowing down any time soon. We need more people to grow the company with us. We’re passionate [about teamwork]. We put customers first and offer them the best customer experience,” Veilleux says before regaling me with a story of how the company came about.
His father, Pier Veilleux, was visiting a prospective buyer for his decals and stickers when he noticed a mock-up for a branded trailer in the office. Veilleux, Sr. enquired about the sketch and learned that it was an upcoming job requiring painted artwork for 162 trailers. He put in his proposal for doing the entire job at ten percent less than a competitor and landed the project without any prior experience in the field whatsoever.
With a new crew, he set to work in a rented space and completed the job in about two months. When the work was complete, he and his team delivered early and within budget. The profits of this first job paid for the land on which its headquarters has been built.
Despite its impressive growth, Turbo Images is still synonymous with tenacity and customer care. It always keeps the bigger picture in mind with eco-friendly efforts that include running its facility almost entirely on sustainable hydroelectricity, reusing packaging from its suppliers to ship its clients’ goods, plus using specialized films, and more.
It is also in the process of aligning itself with the International Standards Organization’s ISO 14001 requirements surrounding environmental management principles. “Since the founding of the company, [the president] already had in mind to be the expert in vehicle graphics,” says Rey, noting that the focus on vehicle graphics “started twenty-eight years ago. This is why we really are an expert in this field.”
Other services and products include all-latex printing, which allows it to work entirely without the toxic solvents that give the traditional printing industry a bad reputation. This transition recently cost Turbo Images a cool two million dollars, reflecting the power of its resolve to be the best printer in the industry and the kindest to the environment. The company also uses and recommends 3M’s PVC- and phthalate-free film, Print Wrap Film LX480C 3M™.
Add to this the fact that vehicles are back at work much faster and it quickly becomes obvious that this new way of doing things is much smarter. Following much in-depth enterprise resource planning, the company’s current large investments are also supporting its goals of becoming Industry 4.0 proficient. Apart from increased efficiency, it means that every department is systematically overhauled to integrate this technology.
The Turbo Images team of 135 people is a close-knit one. For this reason, it could seamlessly pull off one of its most involved projects to date. When Coca-Cola needed just short of 500 trailers wrapped in next to no time, the crew stepped up to the challenge in the true spirit of the firm. The specifications for the project demanded, in some cases, wrapping over old artwork and working in nearly thirty different places with moving targets. The entire project was negotiated over three days, after which it took only seven weeks to complete and deliver some quality branding, again on time and within the budget.
Turbo Images is now also doing a complete rebranding with eco-friendly, 3M vinyl for Telus, Canada’s well-known telecommunications giant. The project supports Telus’ move toward environmental responsibility.
With such fierce capabilities for speed and quality, it stands to reason that Turbo Images has won several awards over the years. More recently, it was a finalist in two categories for some of its industry’s greatest Canadian honours. Canada’s Sign Company of the Year (SCOTY) nominated it for outstanding work, overall involvement, and staff training benefits, while BOCSI awards trailblazers in vehicle graphics. The SCOTY nomination honoured the company’s sterling work on the City of Brampton’s first fleet branding of a forty-foot, fully electric Nova Bus LFSe.
Turbo Images’ superb teamwork and talent for planning also meant that the company weathered COVID-19 and the challenges that came with it with ease. When the lockdown set in, the company quickly regrouped, falling back on several measures that were already in place, like working remotely, for instance. Its strong marketing campaign, which launched before the health crisis, carried it through measures that prevented the company from attending any significant industry marketing events.
But the company is not only known for its quality service. Turbo Images is also known for its generosity in its local region, where being part of local charity organizations is a natural part of being responsible. “We do our best to always stay involved in the community and be a part of the social and economic wellness of the region, as well as supporting some of our clients’ charities,” Rey says.
Turbo Images will also continue to collaborate with organizations on unique wrap projects that spread awareness about important topics, like the roadshow wrap launched by the Universal Womens Network™ on International Women’s Day on March 8 to promote women in the industry. The artwork features one hundred accomplished Canadian women leading industries across the country. The collection of images first appeared on the cover of its publication, 100 Women of Inspiration Book, and now has pride of place on the wrapping of the official truck traveling across Canada, underscoring workplace challenges that women come up against. The initiative specifically aims to promote inclusion and diversity for working women. Women across the country can participate by sharing their stories on social media and adding #SupportHER.
Moving ahead, Turbo Images does not leave its growth up to chance. Its growth plan is shared with the entire company four times every year to ensure that everybody understands what is expected to achieve its common goals and exactly what they are. “We are all aware of what is happening at Turbo Images,” Rey adds. As things are right now, its next goal is to increase the company’s revenue to almost twice its current amount over the next half a decade.
With such an acute awareness of the natural world, its markets’ needs, as well as the human aspect behind every deal, Turbo Images’ success is assured.