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B & E Graphix
Great graphics, great web site and an even better attitude
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
I used to be happy if the covering (often one color) stayed on my plane through a whole day of flying – or until a tree or the ground knocked it off. Now in the era of gorgeous AFR planes I find that while I might like the covering scheme the included sticker sheets usually suck. I also am not a big fan of manufacturers who pre-apply their logos (advertising) on an airframe for which I paid hundreds of dollars.
When I bought my Pilot 26% YAK 54 at Joe Nall 2014 by the time I got home I knew I would not be decorating it with freebie stickers. I did glare at the pre-applied “Pilot” logo for a bit but was impressed enough with the plane/kit to let them slide on that one. While I was building the YAK I also cruised the Internet looking for graphics worthy of my YAK. That’s how I came across B & E Graphix and my RC life (and my planes) has been a little happier ever since.
B & E Graphix is a lot like having your own graphic designer on a shelf in your shop somewhere. They have a large number of really nice looking graphics already designed and on their site for you to see. But, you can usually tweak those designs with different fonts, color, gradients, size and more. I spent hours running up their server time playing with potential designs for my YAK.
Something I really appreciated was that their web site is very professional, actually works very well and appears to be designed with the user in mind. The B & E Graphix site stands in stark contrast to so many reputed web sites that look like the owners weird cousin built it while on weekend passes from a disappointing institution. Whoever built the B & E Graphix web site did a very good job.
As you make changes to a graphic the price updates right there in front of you. They don’t sucker you in by hiding the price until checkout. You see how your changes are impacting the look and price as you go. That is refreshingly honest for an Internet site and makes it easier for you to stay within a budget.
B & E Graphix also has a slew of ready-made manufacturer logos for engines, radios, planes and more. All can be tweaked as needed to work best with your plane. They also have a bunch of “packages”, a group of decals designed for specific model planes from a bunch of popular manufacturers. A really cool feature here is that you have to choose your wingspan so that they actually fit your plane! And here again, the price updates if the wingspan makes a difference there.
For my YAK I chose individual YAK-specific graphics, tweaked the colors and sizes and completed my order. Then when the stickers showed up I realized that my turtle deck on the YAK had two sides but I had ordered one sticker…. I emailed B & E Graphix and no sweat; they had the graphic file with my changes and could whip out a duplicate for the other side. They made me look good again, and balanced.
When I bought a trailer to haul my ever-growing air force around its big blank sides just begged for a sticker or two. I went to the B & E Graphix site and started playing with my web site URL in the text design utility. They offer predefined styles and I found one I liked. I did tweak the colors a bit and then told the utility that I wanted it 48” long and the price changed to tell me I was still in budget so I ordered them. And, yes I ordered two this time because I remembered that the trailer has two sides.
I also ordered a bottle of their application fluid that makes installing the stickers way easier. The adhesive on these stickers is impressively strong and the application fluid gives you some work time to tweak the position and squeegee the wrinkles and bubbles out. I thought it was ironic that I used the same credit card to work out the bubbles and wrinkles that I used to pay for the stickers.
Most recently when the time came to jack up my Extreme Flight 60” Edge 540T and put in a fresh airframe I also looked at the B & E Graphix pre-designed packages for my plane and ordered one to spiff up the new build. I should note that I decided all this early on a Monday morning with a fun fly coming the next Saturday. By Tuesday afternoon I had gotten the email from B & E Graphix saying that my stickers had been shipped.
I am something of a realist in that I expect good quality things to cost more while realizing that cheap things are cheap for a reason. The folks at B & E Graphix are not giving their products away but considering the equipment and materials necessary to produce these graphics their prices are very reasonable. Because B & E Graphix offers their customers so much versatility in the design of the graphics including gradients, they must be using a printing process that is far more costly than simply cutting vinyl. However they are managing to do it, I think B & E Graphix gives modelers a very attractive bang for their bucks.
I expect that some of you “know” (the Internet is rampant with card-carrying members of the aluminum foil in the hat brigade) that I work for B & E Graphix or am somehow related. The reality is I don’t even know the names of the owners. I am just a very impressed customer that loves the quality of the stickers they produce and the equally impressive care they afford their customers. In today’s get-rich-quick world B & E Graphix is head and shoulders over the sea of crappy web sites and non-responsive (and worse) customer service that permeates the Internet and business world.
My father used to say that putting new windshield wipers on a car seemed to make it drive better. I have noticed the same warp in reality when I fly a plane with B & E Graphix stickers on it. We all like to be proud of our planes at the field and I can think of no better way to enhance the visual appeal of our models than to install B & E Graphix products. Plus I really do think it flies better with them on……maybe.
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All Flyingrc.net written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by Tom Hintz and Flyingrc.net 2013-2016. Materials may not be used in any way without the prior written permission of the owner.