Stickers And Writing Make An Impact

stickawallStickers have been an integral part of Jakprints since we started in 1999. Stickers are stuck everywhere in the shop, but one wall in particular is covered– and we mean covered. From top to bottom, the wall underneath can’t be seen. Layers of stickers have accumulated on this lobby wall over the years from bands, businesses and clothing lines. So we were pretty excited when a high school teacher from Pennsylvania reached out to us for some stickers to put on wall of his own.

Tom Mooney started teaching 12th grade English at North Allegheny Senior High School in Wexford, Pennsylvania 14 years ago, but his love for stickers started way before that. We were thrilled to hear that a print product was making such an impact, so we asked Tom how it all began.

Judging by this project, we’re guessing you’re a sticker fan.

I’ve always loved stickers. I’ve covered my basement doors, desks and now a wall of my classroom. Stickers are this small art form that usually has real visual appeal. No one is interested in a boring sticker. A cool sticker gives you pause. You stop and consider the perfect place for it. It has value.

How did the idea for the sticker wall come about?

I wanted to prove to students that writing has an impact, so I had them write a business letter to companies they were interested in. Responses came pouring in, and pretty soon the classroom was covered in response letters. We decided to change things up this year and email companies to request a sticker from their brand. Stickers came in from all over the world, and the wall was the best way to display them. It’s really taken off from there.

sticker-wallHow many companies have responded?

I have personally received 89 responses, and that’s just from the companies I’ve contacted. We’ve had companies from Canada, France and even Norway send stickers. We’ve gotten stickers from local businesses and even a small shaved ice vendor in Hawaii. I’ve lost count of how many responses we’ve received. It’s wonderful.

What response has the school had to the project?

It’s infectious. It’s not just my class that is involved anymore. A student of mine has a younger sister that has started contacting companies on her own. She has a spreadsheet of several thousand stickers she’s received. Thousands! The yearbook is planning a page about the wall. My colleagues have started reaching out to people on their own time. I’m not one for fanfare, but I’ll admit it’s humbling.

sticker-wall2What do you want students to take away from this project?

This project is another way to show students what writing can do. It proves that companies are people and that people like to help. Writing is a powerful tool that can tie people together who might’ve never made the connection without it. The stickers that companies send us are physical representations of that connection.

 

Tom’s sticker wall is an example of the power that print products and writing hold. Both writing and stickers are thought provoking, raise awareness and bring people together. Jakprints is happy to have contributed to the class sticker wall, and we hope the project continues for years to come.

Keep up with the sticker wall  and get inspired to make a sticker impact of your own.

 

Die Line Creation With Craig Winzer

cwinzerPrint projects come in all shapes and sizes. Custom Die Cuts are the perfect way to break out of the box and give your product that unique boost. Jakprints wants to make creating a beautiful, one-of-a-kind product as easy as possible, so we offer free die line creation. That’s one less thing for you to worry about when you’re looking to knock out a truly unique product.

We turned to Craig Winzer, a member of the File Creation Team and successful illustrator, to break down die lines and tell us about himself.

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Streetwear and Lifestyle Brands with Byron McKoy

m1There’s a lot that goes into creating your own brand. Luckily, we know some incredible people in the scene that give great advice on starting your own label-like Byron McKoy of Hide & Seek Clothing.

Knowing what your target audience wants is a huge part of making a successful product, and Byron knows just how to do that. With introverts in mind, Hide & Seek offers apparel that lets those less social and more emotional wear their hearts on their shirts.

What got you interested in creating your own brand?

I was in a touring band in the late 2000s, and one of my roles when I wasn’t swinging a mic around was to design merchandise. While this band dissolved a few years ago, my love for designing t-shirts grew. After years of chaotic traveling, my head was full of inspiration. With hands more idle than ever, I dove right in.

What brands or artists inspired you to get started on Hide & Seek?

In high school, all of my favorite bands produced branding that was suspiciously similar. I dug around and found that this was thanks to Rob Dobi. His ability to conjure emotion while working primarily with silhouettes and minimal colors captured my imagination almost immediately. Without Rob, I doubt I would be doing what I am today.

byronmckoyHow do you define streetwear and lifestyle brands?

Streetwear and lifestyle brands go hand in hand. Both represent a style that is more personal and connects with a group more than a major brand or label. They represent a shared and specific disposition.

I design clothing for anxious, introverted people who prefer spending their time on the couch drinking coffee, reading books and petting pets. So maybe seatwear is more appropriate?

IMG_0924What do you think is the most important first step in starting a brand?

Don’t. Well, not until you have something you truly believe in. We’re currently in an amazing place where producing clothing is easier than ever. Don’t abuse that. Put in the work. Spend the hours before and after your day job improving second, third and fourth drafts of designs. Talk with people. Create your brand. The others are already taken. When you’ve got your vision on lock, find a great manufacturer. Make short runs and talk to your customers to see what they want.

Starting a brand of your own is not an easy task. But with a solid idea of what your brand is and constantly striving to improve, it can be a success. Thanks, Byron, for the great advice.

 

Preserving and Conserving the CVNP

 

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Leaving the planet in better shape than we found it is a top priority at Jakprints, and we want to get everyone excited to take part in environmental initiatives. We’re always looking for new ways to increase our positive impact on the environment, and we have partnered with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to expand our tree planting initiative and collaborate with an awesome organization.

250 Trees For 100 Years Of Service

You might’ve heard that we plant a tree with every order placed, and we’re always looking to join in on other tree planting opportunities. When we heard the CVNP was planting 250 trees as part of their Founders’ Day centennial celebration on August 20th, we knew we had to get involved.

Founders’ Day gives the community an opportunity to give back to the park through trail work, tree planting and the removal of invasive plants. A group of our incredible employees volunteered their time to help plant 250 trees in the park. These trees will help fill the tree canopy and improve the habitat for the native wildlife. We’re thrilled to give back to the park and work with an organization that shares a passion for nature.

National Parks everywhere are going all out to observe this milestone. Find out how a National Park near you is celebrating a century of service and party in your park!

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 2.48.38 PMCollaborating With The Conservancy

It was a no brainer when the opportunity was presented to partner with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Seeing the breathtaking images of the park roll off the press for their member magazine was a real pleasure, and reading about what the park does for the community made us want to be more involved. We’re giving back with monetary donations, volunteering our time for park service and brainstorming new and creative ways to use our resources to give back to the park.

Whether you have a National Park in your backyard or you have to travel to explore one, these parks are important to our environment. We have to work together to conserve them so generations to come can enjoy them in the same ways we do.

When you print with us, you are contributing to our green initiative efforts. When you print with us, you can feel good about it.

Picture-Perfect: Screen Printing Photographs

Nick Amrhein Photo Screenprint Detail

A lot of cool products roll through the shop here on a daily basis. Occasionally something that really catches our eye comes along-in this case; a t-shirt by Toledo, Ohio Based photographer and videographer, Nick Amrhein. Nick used his creativity and incredible skills behind the camera to make a killer t-shirt. Screen printing an insanely photo-realistic shirt that retains all of the detail of the original photo can be tricky, but our expert screen printing team knew exactly how to take care of business.

Seriously impressed, we sat down with Nick to hear his story and learn more about the idea behind his shirt.

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Plug Into Renewable Energy: We Did it And So Can YOU

If you have a relationship with us already, you’re most likely familiar with our history, culture and character. You know that one of our main values is leaving the Earth better than we found it by balancing our consumption through recycling and planting one tree with every order. We have taken those values to higher altitudes and are beyond ecstatic to announce that Jakprints is powered by 100% Wind Energy!

“Say Whaaat” and “How” you ask? Nowadays anyone can do it, even residential homes. We do it and we don’t even have a wind turbine on our grounds! It’s made possible through RECs, which stand for Renewable Energy Credits.  A renewable energy credit (REC) is created for each megawatt-hour (1 MWh, or 1000 kilowatt-hours) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid.

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WMC 7: Three Days That Will Change Your Life

 

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Go Media’s weekend long Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is back August 5th-7th to engage, inspire and educate designers, artists and creative minds. Celebrating its seventh year in Cleveland, this year’s impressive roster of speakers and hands on workshops has us counting down the days until we get to dive into the festivities again. Years past have been a blast with speakers like Jude Goergen and our bud Mark Brickley creating super-educational workshops, inspirational talks and podcasts.

There are an abundance of reasons that this year’s fest will live up to its name as the region’s leading design conference, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top five to showcase the best WMC has to offer.

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The Importance of Photographs

Kids are dressed in their Sunday best, gigantic bows have been strategically placed on heads, and awkward teens everywhere are playing the worst possible picture day scenarios in their brains. Embarrassing photos aside, getting a school yearbook made picture day worth it in the end.

With the Akron, Ohio area currently experiencing high poverty levels, some children in the community don’t get the opportunity to take home a yearbook at the end of the year. They might not have the opportunity to experience picture day either. One Akron based teacher in set out to change that.

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Business Cards: First and Lasting Impressions

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Business cards have been around for centuries. They’re a staple for every business, socialite, student, designer and everyone in between. But with networking sites like LinkedIn and other ways to connect digitally, business cards have transitioned from a requirement to a statement piece. A good looking business card is the perfect chance to show off and ensure you’re leaving the impression you want with your audience. Paper stocks, custom die cuts and painted edges are just a few ways to leave a great first and lasting impression.

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Reduce, reuse, upcycle

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We strive to be good environmental stewards — leaving the environment better than we found it is important, and we believe a strong community has a crucial role in making that possible. That’s why we love our friends at Upcycle Parts Shop.

Upcycle Parts Shop is made up of a dream team that works to reduce waste, strengthen the community and get people inspired by turning one man’s trash into another man’s really cool art piece. We sat down with Michael Hudecek, Business Relations Manager at Upcycle Parts Shop and upcycle artist, to get the details.

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