One factor that sets AW Artworks in Madison, WI apart from other small companies that specialize in custom canvas photo prints is the artful eye of the company’s owner Andrew Wredberg. With his background in large-format graphic design, he routinely helps clients envision how custom photo prints can enhance their décor.
“Instead of having to go into a sign shop or printing company with clear idea of exactly what they want, our clients know they can come to our studio and get a barrage of ideas,” says Wredberg. “And we can turn those ideas into reality.”
It’s this type of thinking that helped AW Artworks win an assignment to create four extra-large, multi-paneled canvas wraps for the Princeton X Press fitness facility near Madison, WI.
Two of the wraps are 6 ft. wide x 8 ft high. The other two are 15 ft. wide x 8 ft. high. The smaller wraps consist of two 3 ft. canvas panels bolted together. The bigger wraps are made up of five 3 ft. panels that were joined together before being hoisted into place about 20 ft. off the floor.
Wredberg suggested creating the big photo wraps after he saw the high-ceilinged exercise room with its exposed brickwork and cedar shakes on the walls. He knew that the big prints would add more to the health-club décor than traditional poster-sized prints, which would get lost in a room with 25-ft. ceilings.
Not only would the images add a pleasing pop of color to the exercise space, but the right photos would continually remind customers that consistent training indoors helps keep them fit for future outdoor adventures. In addition, the gallery-wrapped canvas prints on 1-1/2-in. deep stretcher bars could be strategically positioned to cover up some of the electrical conduits and circuitry used to power the building’s exterior signage.
As you can see from these images, the canvas prints are the perfect match for the gym environment at Princeton X Press!
Perhaps that’s because Andy and his client spent more time planning the job than actually printing it. Because each wrap consists of two to five 3 ft. panels, Andy had to be ultra-vigilant in setting up the job so the images would look natural and color consistent when one panel abutted another. In some cases he had to take into account how much distortion might occur when the canvas was stretched. In designing the job he also had to make sure that the back braces used to support the stretched canvas didn’t interfere with the electrical hardware that the wraps were created to help hide.
The images for the wraps came from iStockphoto. Most of the images were ordered in the XL size, and were then scaled up even further using Photoshop.
Wredberg used his 44-in. Canon iPF 8100 printer and LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas to output the 25 panels used in the job. After the panels were stretched, he used a roller to apply an even coating of a gloss gel medium that will protect the prints from fading and humidity and make them easy to clean if they get dusty.
When it came time to install the stretched panels, AW Artworks enlisted the help of Misty River Woodworks in Cottage Grove, WI. The company was experienced in carefully positioning handcrafted pieces that were both bulky and susceptible to damage if improperly handled.
This was by far the largest canvas wrap project Andy Wredberg had ever attempted. He had done 3 x 8 ft. prints before, but nothing that required joining together multiple prints.
Wredberg got into large-format printing when he was doing freelance graphic design as a sideline to his full-time job. Most of his work is on canvas, but he recently has begun experimenting with different types of art and photo papers as well.
“We went full tilt into large-format printing about two years ago,” says Andy. “We started AW Artworks out of our house, but our business has grown so steadily that we’re now in our second building. It has some retail space upfront and a studio in the back.”
A lot of the company’s work comes from local artists and photographers who want to convert their work into larger canvas prints for décor projects. Many of them like doing business with a fellow creative professional.
“With the advent of higher-end, inexpensive DSLRs, everyone’s taking better pictures,” says Wredberg. “What makes us stand out is our ability to print large, very high-quality products.”
For more information, visit: www.awartworks.net