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Printer Celebrates NYC's Tribute --Cagle

August 2002
Late last year, the editorial offices at Printing Impressions magazine were inundated with posters commemorating the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks. Editor-In-Chief Mark Michelson had put out the call for printers to submit their patriotic printing, anticipating they would rise to the occasion as they had done 10 years earlier during the Gulf War.

The response was overwhelming, and it took two issues to provide readers with an appropriate sampling of the quality work their fellow printers manufactured out of the kindness of their hearts. There were many thoughtful and provocative pieces, but the night images were particularly compelling. City lights have always been a personal favorite, representing bustling activity and signifying life. Coming from a small town, the city lights conjured awe and inspiration.

Teresa Yeager, marketing manager for commercial printer PSG of Greensboro, NC, was also inspired by the amount of print shops that rolled off posters, post cards and various prints at their own expense. That they collected whatever donations received and submitted them to charities that supported victims, families and the overall recovery effort made it all the more worthwhile.

PSG was one of the many printers who churned out a poster. Yeager recalls a run of just 2,500 to start out. But the printer ended up giving away 130,000-plus posters (and counting) and took in $6,000 in donations that were handed over to a 9/11 charity. PSG was aided by the donation of free stock from its paper vendors.

"We still get calls for that poster," Yeager reveals.

With the one-year anniversary of America's greatest tragedy in half a century upon us, Yeager and PSG felt it would be appropriate for printers to mobilize once more and create posters memorializing New York's World Trade Center. PSG is doing its part with its Tower of Lights Project. Yeager was moved by the Tribute in Light, the twin beams that rose from the spots once graced by the WTC towers on the six-month anniversary March 11. The commemorative lights shone nightly from dusk to 11 p.m. through April 13.

Tribute

Wanting to produce a poster that embodied the spirit and emotion of the Tribute in Light, Yeager contacted Cliff Wassmann, a freelance photographer in California, who had taken photos of the Tribute. Wassmann gladly scanned and donated his photo to the commercial printer on the other side of the country.

Wassmann snapped the photo around 1 a.m. during the last night of the Tribute, as they were illuminated all night during the final day. Low clouds and a mist descended upon the city as he took the photos.

"You wouldn't think a rainy night would be good, but with the light rain falling through the light, it made for one of the better nights," notes Wassmann, who spent four days capturing images.

PSG plans to have the poster ready for distribution sometime this month. They'll start out with 1,000 prints and roll the presses on an as-needed basis.

"Whatever donations we receive will go toward whatever memorial they want to do," says Yeager, who loved the lights but would be happy with any kind of permanent memorial.

Full-court Press

In her hopes to round up fellow printers, Yeager went on a media blitz. The local CBS and Fox affiliates came to PSG and taped footage for their respective morning shows. She's tapped into area radio stations and other forms of media to spread the word to other printers and Americans in general.

"After so many printers did marvelous prints last year, I thought we could all come together one more time for the anniversary," Yeager remarks. "Coming together for things like this is part of what being an American is all about."

Part of that unity involves sharing, and both PSG and Wassmann are more than happy to help out. If a printer would like to produce the same image for a poster or other type of print, contact Wassmann directly at (888) 278-7335. He'd be more than happy to provide a complimentary image like the one shown here, with the understanding that they not be sold for profit, or if any money is generated, that it be donated toward a fund for the construction of a permanent memorial. His work can be seen at artseek.com/wfa.

As for Yeager, her only concern is bringing printers together to help remember something most of us will never forget.

"I really hope and pray that the printers of America unite," Yeager says.

By Erik Cagle
 

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