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Feb 1, 2010 12:00 AM
Springfield, MO, sign printer nPrint Graphix had just started using a new HP (Palo Alto, CA) Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer when the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” came to town. When nPrint Graphix CEO John Fugitt heard about it, he got in touch with the show's producers and interior designers to discuss wide-format inkjet projects that could be used inside the house they were building for a local family.
The show was thrilled to have nPrint Graphix on board as the episode's official printing sponsor, donating 100% of its products and time. “We get into several different [charity] projects all across the country, but this was a new one, dealing with a national show and the donation of our time,” says Fugitt. nPrint Graphix donations included:
“They hired a professional photographer to take photos of the family, and we printed about 150 photos on gloss HP photo paper within the first day,” says Fugitt. “I was very impressed with the Z3200 that day, because it went so fast and also because of the quality we were getting. It's just an unreal machine as far as quality goes.”
The show took the house from 800 to almost 3,500 sq. ft. “They completely leveled it and started over. But there was no joke about how fast the house goes up,” says Fugitt. “They say people who volunteer always laugh because they'll go get coffee and a donut, turn around and there's a new wall done. The first day, we were there at 7:00 in the morning and they had the foundation done — they were working 24 hours. We left and came back at 3:00 in the afternoon, and they already had all the walls done. We were blown away.”
Fugitt and his team also provided technical support to help the show's host, Ty Pennington, explain how these jobs were produced. “In Ty's special room, which was the living room, they had eight acoustic guitars Gibson donated. We printed each family member's name and a graphic on clear vinyl, then wrapped each guitar like a vehicle wrap,” Fugitt explains. “We would stick the guitar, hand it to Ty and he would say to the camera, ‘Well, I just stuck this graphic …' so I had to explain the process to him. But that's not what it was about for us. It was about the experience. If you saw the family's face — it's surreal when they move that bus and [the family sees] their house for the first time. They flip out, because they have no idea.”
Fugitt says it was a great experience that he definitely would do again. In fact, nPrint already is involved in some more “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” projects.
Denise Kapel is managing editor for AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at email@example.com.
Check out a video of this story in our January 20 APTV show at americanprinter.com/tv/viewing.
In 1996, 18-year-old John Fugitt founded his business as SharpSigns (Springfield, MO) while finishing his high school education. “I used to get out of school at 11:00, go sell signs and attend chamber [of commerce] meetings,” says Fugitt. “We started out as retail and built a substantial business.”
In the past six years, Fugitt has added equipment and moved into wholesale printing for other printers and ad agencies on a national basis — changing the company's name to nPrint Graphix.
“Everyone can buy the same equipment and produce the same graphics, and anybody can say they have great service — and we do,” says Fugitt. “But one thing we pride ourselves on is quality, using HP equipment, and free shipping anywhere in the United States. We took location out of the equation.”
nPrint Graphix also donates banners to “Care to Learn” (www.caretolearnfund.org), a foundation Springfield native Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fund for area school children. “For every dollar that's donated, they donate 10 dollars,” Fugitt explains. “We donate banners, using our HP Scitex XL1500 printer.”
“Customers have been asking us for a versatile, cost-effective alternative to eco-solvent-based printing solutions for the production of a wider range of indoor and outdoor large-format applications, while reducing the impact of printing on the environment,” says Santiago Morera, vice president and GM, Designjet Large-format Printing Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP (Palo Alto, CA). The expanded HP Latex Printing Technology portfolio builds on the HP Designjet L65500, which has produced more than 1.2 million sq.m on installed machines since its general availability in August 2008.
HP's Designjet L25500 printer, now shipping, offers easy, low-maintenance printing of applications from indoor point-of-purchase displays, exhibition graphics and interior decor to outdoor banners, bus shelters and vehicle wraps. Available in 42- and 60-inch models, it uses water-based HP Latex Inks and HP 789 Designjet Printheads, enabling unattended printing with no daily, manual printhead maintenance required, user-replaceable printheads and an embedded spectrophotometer for accurate and consistent color across prints and between printers.
HP Latex Inks produce odorless prints. They are non-flammable and non-combustible, do not require hazard warning labels, and contain no hazardous air pollutants. No special ventilation equipment or external dryer is required on the Energy Star-rated HP Designjet L25500.
New media expands the range to 19 substrates, including seven recyclable and several PVC-free alternatives.