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Jim Chadwick of Wild Apple on the importance of color consistency

Published on November 29, 2012

Jim Chadwick of Wild Apple in Vermont talks to Cary Sherburne about their business of reproducing artwork and the importance of color management and control.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm pleased to be here with Jim Chadwick who is with Wild Apple in Vermont.

Jim Chadwick: Yes, pleased to be here.

Cary Sherburne: It’s probably a little cold up there right now.

Jim Chadwick: Yep, it’s leaf peeper time.

Cary Sherburne: And maple syrup time is coming.

Jim Chadwick: Yes.

Cary Sherburne: Well tell me a little bit about Wild Apple.

Jim Chadwick: Well, Wild Apple is an art publisher and started in the owner’s bathroom in their house and migrated to their barn and eventually we have a full warehouse now.

Cary Sherburne: And so when you talk about reproducing artwork what do you do? I mean, give me an example of some applications that you’re doing.

Jim Chadwick: Well we contract with artists and we have designers in-house as well. And they’ll create digital art or we’ll do high resolution photography. And that’s sort of the core business. We also have a licensing division. As we create digital files creating art we contract the rights for other companies to use the digital files on products.

Cary Sherburne: Okay. And for artists, of course, the printed output, the color quality, the way it looks on the paper, the choice of the stock - all of that is really, really important to them.

Jim Chadwick: Yes, we have very high end color management internally from digital photography to our house-in proofers to our alpha devices, our 29-inch offset press and, of course the MGI DP60 Pro. We find color consistency between all the products pretty good to match.

Cary Sherburne: That’s great. And how do you decide whether it’s going to be offset or digital?

Jim Chadwick: The DP60 allows us to do more test marketing approaches for certain framers. Our customers are framer and so we might do short runs that they’ll do test marketing in a retail outlet like Target or JC Penney, etc.

Cary Sherburne: Michaels maybe?

Jim Chadwick: Yeah. So that product allows us to run 100, 150 of certain quantities. One of the big features of the DP60 was that it does 1236 full bleed. It’s a very popular size press.

Cary Sherburne: Okay. Yeah, that’s a lot bigger than…

Jim Chadwick: That was one of the key reasons we purchased that machine.

Cary Sherburne: Now I understand that you also do self-maintenance on that machine.

Jim Chadwick: Yes, our operator is pretty good at that sort of thing and has been in the business a long time and does very well with that.

Cary Sherburne: Hopefully you don’t have to do it too often, right?

Jim Chadwick: No, I mean, we haven’t seen a technician for months on that machine.

Cary Sherburne: Oh my gosh, that’s great.

Jim Chadwick: Yes. We’ve been very lucky with it.

Cary Sherburne: And so where do you see this going? I mean, do you see more and more people bringing you digital art or are you seeing more photography or how is that changing?

Jim Chadwick: More and more it’s becoming, for us, it’s being more generated internally. When we hire an artist we pay royalties so anything we do internally, of course, we could make more money off that.

Cary Sherburne: Sure, of course. And so what kind of paper stocks are you using? Are there any limitations? You know, because sometimes between digital and offset you’ve got different limitations. Do you see limitations on that?

Jim Chadwick: No, we use an 80 lb. dull cover. Basically we’re doing very high end posters, single sided, four color. And we use the same substrate for the digital device as well as on our press. It’s the same paper.

Cary Sherburne: That’s great. It sounds like a really, really fun business.

Jim Chadwick: Yes. It’s very fun there.

Cary Sherburne: And a great place to live, Vermont.

Jim Chadwick: Right.

Cary Sherburne: Terrific. Thank you.

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