Wild Apple Graphics Makes Printing Fine Art with MGI Meteor Digital PressNovember 29, 2011
Wild Apple Graphics, located in Woodstock, VT, is an art publisher and licenser to the trade with annual revenues of more than $4 million. Since 1989, it has been a powerful force in discovering new artists, such as Warren Kimble. Wild Apple produces the prints and sells them to retail framers, who then sell the finished “ready to hang” prints to national and regional retail chains (such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Target), as well as to furniture stores, the hospitality industry and others. Wild Apple pays artists a royalty on sales of posters of their artwork, similar to the relationship between an author and a book publisher.
The other side of Wild Apple’s business is art licensing. The company acts as an agent for artists to place their imagery with a wide variety of manufacturers, from dinnerware to rugs and wallpaper to paper napkins. Manufacturers pay a royalty on their sales, which is split between the artist and Wild Apple.
The company’s business is brisk, with more than 50 new images released each month. Each year, it produces a 300-page catalog that lists all the prints available in its inventory—an exhaustive list.
In terms of production, Wild Apple has an array of inkjet proofers and light-production digital devices, along with a KBA 74Karat offset press, which initially enabled the shop to bring a lot of production in-house and cut turnaround times for prints to two to three days.
However, as the art market continued to evolve, Wild Apple found that it needed to expand its capabilities to be able to accommodate shorter runs of prints, as well as further decrease turnaround times. That led to a year of research into all the high-production digital devices on the market, including sheetfed and roll-fed toner as well as high-speed inkjet options.
After exhaustive testing, the company decided to install MGI’s Meteor DP60 Pro press. With key benefits including quality, sheet size and scuff-resistance, Wild Apple found the Meteor DP60 Pro to be the press best suited to its purposes. Jim Chadwick, director of Technical Services for Wild Apple, also spent a lot of time talking to other Meteor owners, and was impressed with the reliability of the machines and the overall positive experience that other users reported.
“One of our most popular print sizes is 12x36” with a full bleed, and the Meteor was the only press that could accommodate that,” said Chadwick. “As a fine-art printer, quality and color consistency has to be absolutely top-notch, not only within the run but also for reorders down the road. The Meteor lives up to our high standards, without question. We also think the no click charge philosophy MGI has is great.”
Since installing the Meteor, Wild Apple has met its goal of keeping little to no inventory on-hand of certain print sizes, instead producing jobs on-demand as needed. It can also now accommodate rush orders and a same-day turnaround.
“The ability to produce true short runs now allows us to be competitive in markets we couldn’t work in before,” added Chadwick. “We can now work with our customers in new ways to help them with test programs for their customers, which require ultra-short runs produced in the highest quality and will allow us to keep growing our revenue stream. This also allows us to better serve our customers’ needs, which leads to a stronger relationship overall.”
About MGI Digital Graphic Technology
Founded in 1982, MGI Digital Graphic Technology designs, manufactures and markets a full and innovative range of award-winning multi-substrate (paper and plastic) four-color digital presses, as well as a complete line of versatile finishing solutions.
A key player in the global market, MGI has a portfolio comprised of several thousand customers in a wide range of sectors, including graphic industry professionals, Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, plastic card manufacturers, silk screeners and photo labs.
MGI is a leader in the professional graphic equipment market and is registered on the Euronext Paris Alternext stock exchange (ALMDG). They received the prestigious OSEO “Innovative Company” & “OSEO Excellence” labels respectively in 2009 & 2011 in recognition of their expertise and innovation in the graphics & finishing industry. In addition, MGI has won eleven international product awards from 2008-2011 related to technological innovation, including the 2010 Siemens Innovation Grand Prix award for the JETcard.
MGI USA, based in Melbourne, FL, is MGI’s fully owned subsidiary that services the North and South American, Caribbean and Asia Pacific markets.