It’s July Fourth, and Adam Sturm is feeling patriotic, reminiscing about the 40-by-76-foot American flag (pictured) that his firm printed nearly two years ago for a Ground Zero memorial tribute marking the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist tragedy in New York City. With a 15,000-square-foot facility in Long Island City, NY, Apple Visual Graphics used eco-friendly, solvent inks to produce the giant flag on recyclable, lightweight (10-oz.) mesh vinyl run through its 98-inch Mimaki JV3-250 inkjet printer. Panels were taped and sewn. The project required around-the-clock work by a team of 10 people to help maneuver the massive flag around the manufacturing plant.
The flag, printed for Borough of Manhattan Community College, stands out among the high-profile campaigns on which Apple Visual Graphics has worked for other customers such as: the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bulgari watches, City Parks Foundation, Greenpeace, LeSportsac, Moma PS1 nonprofit art institution, New York Islanders (NHL hockey), New York Mets (MLB baseball), Porsche luxury automobiles, Reebok/Rockport Shoes, ScottJames designer men’s clothing, and Telemundo Media. The family-owned company creates custom fabric banners, vinyl window displays (including installation), building wraps, taxi cab toppers, postcards, Every Door Direct Mail from the U.S. Postal Service, and business collateral for some of the Big Apple’s largest public entities.
“We are an offset and digital printer, too, but our wide-format jobs get all the attention because they’re ‘sexier,’” explained Sturm, president of the $4.5 million company that employs 30 people full time. This past spring, the 18-year-old firm used its Mimaki JV-33 large-format inkjet device to output what Sturm called “cool graphics,” at 1440 dpi, for an event at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. There, on May 14, Telemundo (NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language broadcast TV network) announced its 2013-14 programming lineup and the summer launch of TelemundoMas, its new TV-everywhere mobile service. “The 14- by-10-foot pieces were produced on 1/8-inch bent, clear acrylic and wrapped with translucent vinyl,” Sturm noted. “We did step and repeat on some enormous wall graphics, too.”
In 2012, the firm participated in Reebok’s “The Sport Fitness” CrossFit campaign. As part of the global launch, Apple Visual Graphics wrapped 18 shipping containers in Red Hook, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. After the launch event, the containers were shipped to nine populous international cities, including New York, Mexico, Delhi, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Moscow, and Barcelona. After they arrived on site, the cargo containers became CrossFit gym apparatus for a variety of public-relations events. The container wraps also were run on Mimaki JV-33 printers and Avery adhesive vinyl.
Also last year, Apple Visual Graphics teamed with Roy Braeger Events to produce street art for Rockport Shoes, a subsidiary of Reebok International. Printed on a nine-color, 10.5-foot HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed, the adhesive vinyl graphics were turned into a sidewalk exhibition in New York City to announce the truWalk(zero) line for the spring 2012 collection. The launch, featuring performance artist Johan Lorbeer, could be found with various performance artists “levitating” next to the cube to signify the line being one of the lightest ever developed by Rockport. Graphics were produced on a tight turnaround, then installed onto the cube by Apple’s in-house installer.
Apple Visual Graphics puts safety first. For its building wraps, for example, all vinyl is certified as fireproof as well as weatherproof. Rigging and union installers also are available, and deinstallation services can be provided, if needed. For custom posters and banners, the firm offers direct-to-board printing services featuring a selection of Masonite, card stock, and foam mounting materials for added durability.
Eye in the Snow
In April of this year, Apple Visual Graphics used its 16-foot EFI VUTEk 5330 grand-format printer to produce a huge 32- by 40-foot banner for direct-action environmental organization Greenpeace USA. Placed on the North Pole (see photo taken from adjacent mountain top) two days before Earth Day 2013, the giant eye graphic is a montage consisting of some 4,000 facial portraits of Save the Arctic movement members.
“The eyes of the world, at the top of the world, watching over the world … in a statement of defiance against destructive industry in the Arctic,” is how the Greenpeace website described the “global day of action,” In an attempt to attract the attention of political leaders worldwide, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Greenpeace pointed its proverbial naughty finger at “reckless industries” such as commercial fisheries and oil companies, in particular Royal Dutch Shell, Gazprom (Russia) and Statoil (Norway). Since its Arctic campaign began in early 2012, more than 2.7 million people have signed on to at www.SaveTheArctic.org.
Naturally, the Greenpeace job was printed on eco-vinyl with eco-inks, Sturm reported. “We used EFI Bioflex material, which composts in landfills, and eco-solvent ink,” he said. From a logistical standpoint, the mega banner was transported as far north as possible by airplane, then farther north via helicopter. “The last leg of the journey was on dog sled,” Sturm added.
With ties to the community, Apple Visual Graphics prides itself for being Forest Stewardship Council-certified through the Rainforest Alliance’s Smartwood Program. For New Yorkers, Apple Visual Graphics also accepts “Made in NY” cards offering a discount to film, theater, and broadcasting companies which are registered with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film.