Wild Apple Graphics Expands Short Run Capabilities, Targets New Markets With Meteor Digital Press
The next time you walk into a Bed Bath & Beyond, take a hard look at the framed art prints. Chances are that a good portion of those prints came from Wild Apple Graphics, and the print you’re studying was likely produced on a MGI Meteor DP60 Pro® digital press.
Wild Apple Graphics, located in Woodstock, Vt., is an art publisher and licenser to the trade with annual revenues over $4 million. Since 1989, the company 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 (e.g., Bed Bath & Beyond and Target), as well as to furniture stores, the hospitality industry and others. From these sales, 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. They act as agent for artists to place their imagery with a wide variety of manufacturers, from dinnerware to rugs, wallpaper to paper napkins. Manufacturers pay a royalty on their sales, which is split between the artist and Wild Apple.
Wild Apple’s business is brisk, with more than 50 new images released each month. Each year, the company produces a 300-page catalog that lists all the prints available in its inventory.
In terms of production, Wild Apple has an array of inkjet proofers and light production digital, along with a KBA 74Karat offset press, which initially enabled the company to bring a lot of its production in-house and speed up its turnaround time for prints to two to three days. However, as the art market continued to evolve, Wild Apple found it needed to expand its capabilities to be able to accommodate shorter runs of prints, as well as decrease their turnaround time. That led to a year of research into all of the high production digital devices on the market, including sheetfed and roll-fed toner as well as high-speed inkjet.