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.