Amanda Crow, who owns a PostNet store in Norfolk, Va., knows the value of teamwork. She’s part of a team dedicated to honoring the 74 Naval Special Warfare members who have fallen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as another team helping out Purple Heart recipients called Wounded Wear.
Wounded Wear provides free clothing and modifications for combat-wounded warriors while raising awareness about their sacrifice. PostNet Norfolk does Wounded Wear’s printing and graphic design and brought the print shop’s expertise to a joint fundraising program featuring art reproductions on canvas and archival paper.
The artwork was created by Dave Hall, a retired Navy SEAL sniper and Ellwood T. Risk, an artist based in Los Angeles. Hall set up a target 911 yards away on 9/11 2012 and fired a shot to the target for each fallen SEAL teammate. Risk took that target and combined it with newspaper clippings to create a 50″ x 73″ piece of artwork.
That artwork was then auctioned off at a benefit for the Navy SEAL Foundation and Wounded Wear called Toast to the Heroes. The artwork was sold to local philanthropist and business owner Todd Grubbs for $18,000.
As if that wasn’t enough, Grubbs began looking for ways to provide a steady income stream to Wounded Wear through the artwork. Enter Amanda Crow, who would provide printed art reproductions that would be sold through the Wounded Wear website.
“We wanted to reproduce the artwork, and because it’s art we wanted it done right; it’s not just a poster,” says Crow.
In order to get the printing just right, Crow starting doing research on the most effective and efficient way to do it.
She spoke with Chris Shigley, her customer specialist at LexJet, who provided a plethora of resources and advice on materials, print settings and workflow.
The first order of business was a new printer that could handle the 50-inch width she required. Shigley was able to tie in all the available rebates, promotions and bundle packages for a Canon iPF9400 60-inch inkjet printer that fit Crow’s budget.
“Chris got me an amazing deal on the Canon printer. I never could have done this project without Chris. Or, if I could have done it, it would have taken a lot more time. Chris was great about getting me the information I needed,” says Crow. “In addition to videos on how to use the Sunset Stretcher Bars for our canvas prints and setting up our printer, Chris even sent us videos on how to use the Photoshop driver to print at a higher resolution.”
Crow would reproduce the artwork, entitled UNTIL It HURTS, on LexJet Sunset Reserve Bright Matte Canvas wrapped onto LexJet Sunset Pro Stretcher Bars and finished with LexJet Sunset Satin Coating. Framed reproductions are printed on LexJet Sunset Hot Press Rag 310g.
“The stretcher bars are similar to what we were using before, but you couldn’t get custom sizes like you can with the Sunset Stretcher Bars, and I can get them right away from LexJet,” says Crow. “Plus, the bars that go in the sides that keep the canvas taught are actually screwed in; the other ones we were using before don’t have those. We would see problems where the canvas started to sag and I had to beat the bars back in; the Sunset Stretcher Bars alleviate that issue.”
Crow adds that she had a laptop by her side to watch the how-to videos while she wrapped the canvas onto the Sunset Stretcher Bars. “I’m glad we had the videos and that such a valuable resource is available from LexJet. If I can find the information, rather than calling someone to walk me through it, I would rather have that video or blog resource. I think the videos are amazing. They’re very professional, and I know that making a good video is difficult,” she adds.
Now that Crow has an efficient production process in place, the orders are taken directly from the Wounded Wear website, they wrap the canvas, finish it with Sunset Satin Coating and ship them out. Crow says the print quality “has been amazing;” so good, in fact, that you can see where the names of each fallen Navy SEAL were penciled in, even though they’re faint on the original.
“As soon as we made the prints live, people started purchasing them. The Facebook page has been up for three or four weeks; we have 1,800 likes and we’ve sold 22 prints,” says Crow. “We also sent some prints out to the artist to sign and those will be auctioned off as signed limited edition prints.”
For more information and to help the cause: