2017 National Sunset Print Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 National Sunset Print Awards. They will be presented with their awards at Imaging USA in Nashville, next month:

1st Place: The Beauty of Innocence – Kimberly J. Smith

2nd Place: Classic – Randy McNeilly

3rd Place: In Flight with Twigs – Uldis Ilvess

There were a total of 31 prints that included a junk boat on a cool and Misty Morning, a celebratory Alabaster Aster, the majesty of a Departing Flight, and even a pack of lawmen in Prepare There’s Trouble. With such a vast array of creativity and artistry displayed by the 2017 Sunset Print Awards around the country, it’s no wonder the judges had a difficult time narrowing the field down to the final three.

Discussing her Southwest PPA win earlier in the year with The Beauty of Innocence, Smith reflected on the photo shoot where she captured the innocence and serenity of a 1-year old, not an easy thing to do! “I could see the artistry in the shot and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to capture the image,” Smith said of the winning image, pictured above.

“Classic” by Randy McNeilly

Photography veteran Randy McNeilly had a total of three wins out of the PPA Southeast district, but it was his wedding portrait “Classic” – a piece that truly captures the elegance and beauty of a bride on her wedding day – that garnered a 2nd place win in the National awards. McNeilly stressed that spending time with each client is an important part of capturing their personality and learning what story is inside, begging to be told.

“In Flight with Twigs” by Uldis Ilvess

For Uldis Ilvess, a fortuitous road trip helped him score his winning shot for Professional Photographers of Iowa. While driving through the country, he spotted a few homes and decided to see if there was anything interesting. Ilvess recalls, “[there] was this fenced-in area with a pond, and in the shrubs, were these birds nesting.” Watching the birds mesmerized him, but he had to get some pictures which enabled him to capture the grace and beauty of the scene.

Along with an engraved crystal trophy, the winners will also receive cash prizes totaling $1,500 for First Place, $500 for Second Place and $300 for Third Place. We want to thank all the participants in the 2017 Sunset Awards and look forward to seeing this year’s winners in Nashville.

Effective Branding with Perforated Window Vinyl

Branding with Perforated Window Vinyl

Establishing and then reinforcing a brand message from the outside in is a goal that Best Brands Inc., Nashville, strives for at each account that sells its line of wine and spirits. Whenever there’s window space to be had, Best Brands is ready to roll, or squeegee in this case, with promotional graphics.

Best Brands Window GraphicsPerforated window vinyl is the most effective way to brand windows. It’s easier and less time-consuming than setting up a display inside the window. It just goes up as a big graphic and lasts for months,” says Best Brands graphic designer Michael Miller.

The photos here represent a variety of different stores that recently received the Best Brands window treatment. Printed on LexJet Aqueous Perforated Window Vinyl (70/30) on a Canon iPF8000, Miller says the results are bold, brilliant graphics that are surprisingly outdoor-durable for aqueous-ink output.

“The life on perforated window vinyl is supposed to be about six months, but usually the store owners will keep them up between six months and a year. If they’re in direct sunlight they’ll fade after about nine months, but if they’re in the shade they’re still looking pristine even after a year,” says Miller.

Window Graphics by Best BrandsMore importantly, the exterior graphics set the stage for the point-of-sale inside, cementing the brand in the mind of the consumer and leading to more sales.

“I don’t know the numbers as far as the effect the window graphics have on sales, but I do know that whenever there’s an opportunity to cover one of our stores, both our managers and the store owners give it top priority. That tells me that something’s gotta be working,” adds Miller.