On the 13th of September, I took a stroll through the 40th and famed Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain Georgia (just outside Atlanta). I met some great artist professionals and talked to a few we see routinely too (like Brian Jasinski of the Jasinski Bros (who's booth is always busy btw!), and Scott Henderson). I especially enjoyed meeting Mr. Thomas Burns of Atlanta Vintage Travel (www.AtlantaVintageTravel.com), Mr. and Mrs. Deeds of Deeds Fine Art (http://www.deedsart.com/), Robert Jones and his Fine Photagaphy (http://www.robertjonesphotography.com/) and a couple of others (Sparrow folk art for digital reproduction and Ms. Moline with her "natural letters" imagary) I had equal pleasure meeting and speaking with as well.
All these artists are good company to keep and we are excited about talking to them more about potentially meeting their printing needs, but also about featuring some of their art in the featured artist section of our gallery!
We pulled off a good job this past weekend, and in a hurry! A conference in Niagara Falls NY requested a mural for their stage backdrop. A group shot of the organizers was to be taken just prior to the convention start on a thursday, and it would be installed the next morning on friday! We were contacted a couple weeks prior which did give us a chance to set up the border which contained the Lifewalls brand (thank you NGPP!). The total print size was 12ft x 6ft. The file we received was a compressed jpg from a Nikon EOS, 6 mega pixel camera. The medium chosen was a 20oz Type II vinyl (scrim-backed polyester by Majic). (We had advised the organizers that to ensure the best output we'd need at least a 12mp file taken from a tripod on the optimal file type and other details like lighting and focus.)
The group shot of their group became time prohibitive, so individual and group shots were taken, which allowed us to improvise with the layout to create a better (higher dpi image to RIP). A great shot of the American side of the Niagara Falls was included which served beautifully as the backdrop for the Niagara Falls conference. Though we didn't hit the 71 sfph print speed, we printed using the 1440 x 720 dpi at it looked great. I did also find that (at least for now given our current computer setup), exporting the native file out as a "pre-press" pdf file gave us the best reproduction of color and best resolution. Our design software currently has an export limitation that precludes us from other options (and will be updated). The images were delivered to us (via email) at 1pm -- 3 tiles on a continous roll of Type II vinyl was delivered the next day before 10:30am (thanks Fed-ex!) Despite a typo and not having quite enough time to digitally correct and enhance the client-supplied image files, the project was a success!
We are in talks with Leo Ticheli (ref: http://leoticheli.com). He's good and a nice guy too, we met him at the Virginia Highlands Art Festival in Atlanta GA. Some of his stuff, I see as a calming juxtaposition of edgy and classic, the composition feels timeless and serious and somewhat whimsical all at the same time. He is ready to be on Lifewalls now. I have offered to announce his gallery on the home page and the gallery landing page. We should all select our favorites from his collection over the next two weeks...we can meet to downselect if we need to.
Installs Lead: The GS6000 was developed (by Epson) to be a standout commercial outdoor printer. Offering solvent printing on thick media both help attain a durable product for outdoor use or for heavy traffic areas indoors (like your Starbucks project).
The GS6000 uses 8 colors including an industry first orange and green ink, helping to hit those pesky brand colors out there. What thickness was the veneer you mentioned? The GS6000 has two print head heights you'll recall---producing a range between .08mm and 1.5mm (max ~ .051 inches)!
I just finished a large format digital mural for Starbucks in Atlanta. It was a wood veneer with a heavy cloth back which I had seen before. It was not an inlaid (marquetry) logo, but a printed logo on the veneer to look like an inlay of different colors of wood. The panels had a slight overlay, about half an inch, but adequate to make a great double-cut match. There were seven panels for the logo, each eleven feet tall. The color blend was perfect, but the seams would still draw because of the power of the special paste.
Normally for this kind of installation you might think Dynamite 111 or a similar heavy duty clay adhesive would be strong enough for the job. Not so. The “priority” adhesive that came with the mural was a cross between 111 and tile adhesive. Unlike clay, when you sized the surface with it (which is REQUIRED) you get a hard, acrylic feeling touch. But when you apply the pasted mural panels, the sizing is activated in a matter of seconds and creates a fast drying bond in less than a minute. I was impressed with it's tight, bubbless bond.
I am not sure if our Epson GS6000 will print on this thick material, but I bet it can. I will save some of the veneer so we can test it and that may lead to a new source for us with Roos International. Dich Roos flew to Sweden this morning, but I will talk with him next week and see if we can meet some of his printing and installation needs.
Great to hear about the big sales efforts. I have been busy with our Featured Artist Section and Services. Recently, I have spoken with a couple of artists for this exciting gallery and service. Mr. McLaughlin is one, he does some nice pencil work of many of Atlanta's own hotspots, like the Varsity, Fox Theatre, The Big Chicken, Old Grady Hospital and more ...
Today I made 16 stops to check out the businesses in my area that I thought could use large format digital printing. It would not be fair to call them “sales” calls because I was 'testing the waters' more than trying to close a sale.
My first stop was Publix. One, because they could become a major client, and two because I saw an opportunity for Lifewalls there.
Publix has two large high walls as you enter. Currently, they have two posters on each side that are small for the space. These are paper prints on foam board. I spoke with the manager (Michael) and he pointed me to Corporate in Lakeland, FL. He mentioned those posters had been in place for 13 years and he would like to see something new as well.
A local branch of Children's Health Care was my next stop. The entrance and waiting areas are plain paints with some pictures. I talked with the staff and they said they too would love a makeover for their environment. Another section of the building is called Sports Medicine they had many large walls with nothing on them. The staff there said they would also like to see some large prints.
Some of the businesses I checked out like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreen's had murals, but only as a guide to product areas in the store. Target only had one large print and it was paper on foam board, but I was impressed with the quality. It had to be at least 6 color at 1440 DPI.
Both Hollywood Video and a Blockbuster in my area are being rebuilt. The HV will be a dentist building soon and Blockbuster is still undetermined.
LA Fitness was a great stop. They had well over 2,000 square feet of large format digital graphics. Most of the high areas and highlight points of 100 square feet on every large low wall. The prints were professionally installed, but the quality of the print was less than what we produce at Lifewalls.
The Manager said they would build 50 more units in the next year.
Coast Dental has three large walls in the entrance and waiting area. Even though the walls are knockdown with vinyl wallcovering below, they are still a good candidate. I will contact Corporate of the chain tomorrow.
Kids R Kids and the Goddard school had painted murals that were done by the staff: not a good candidate for our services.
Heritage Assisted Living Center may be a good contact. They have many walls, mostly painted above paper, with art prints here and there. Graphic murals of happy seniors could upgrade this environment nicely.
The local Kroger's had one large brick wall at the entrance that had potential and I will follow through when the manager is in.
Pet Supplies Plus took over the space that used to be Ace Hardware. The entire front of the store was large prints of happy people and pets. All of the glass in the front of the building was filled with these two-sided murals that were on a mesh-reinforced vinyl. The manager said they were mail ordered from Graphics Industries in Michigan which I did not find with a Google search.
This was only a four hour outing, but I was able to draw some conclusions. Most of the workers in any space are glade to see me and wished for an updated environment. I will need to contact corporate to find the right buyer for the larger potential jobs, but I think that will be well worth while. Many shops are living on a shoestring and will not be good candidates.
It is funny that you mention that. I just finished up a job last week in a high rise condo in Atlanta that had some of the same issues. The walls had been ravaged by the painters who had gotten a little rough while removing the existing paper. I did not mind the bad wall conditions because the homeowner was so excited about the Lifewalls mural. ...
I talked with a potential client this week and she was concerned about a DIY installation. She loved one of our stock pictures, but she lived in a remote rural area and there were no installation experts available. She told me she was quite handy, since she was a country girl, and I assured her she could install our Type II prints herself. ...