Thursday, February 28, 2008

Visual art in advertising

As we talked about in our previous post Shop with your eyes, consumers are very visual when it comes to advertising and what motivates them to buy that product. A new study released by the University of Georgia expands this point further. They found that when art is used in conjunction with the product you are trying to sell it is subconsciously perceived by the consumer as being more 'luxurious'. Use this psychology to your advantage when designing the graphics for your campaign.

Visual Art Can Boost Advertising, Study Says: by ARTINFO

ATHENS, Ga.—A new University of Georgia study has found that exposure to visual art in advertising, even if the exposure is fleeting, makes consumers evaluate products more positively, reports. Researchers conducted three studies, including posing at a restaurant as waiters, showing 100 patrons sets of silverware in black velvet boxes with either a print of Vincent van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night or a photograph of a similar scene. Diners rated the silverware in the van Gogh boxes as more luxurious. The two other studies showed that "a relatively unfamiliar artwork can successfully compete with a famous celebrity in conveying a luxury appeal," and "the content of the specific artwork is not necessarily important, but that general connotations of art matter," according to ScienceDaily. Researchers said all of this points to art as a powerful marketing tool.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Liven up your walls

We are very excited about the new services we can now offer with our U/V curable roll to roll / rigid hybrid printer. One of them being wallpaper. It is a perfect marriage of cutting edge technology and design. Imagine creating your own wallpaper design for your home. Or take an image of your favorite locale and turn a wall of your home in to a tropical paradise. The possibilities are endless. USA Today's Weekend magazine agrees.

3 great ways to liven up your walls: by Megan Kaplan

Check out these solutions to take "wallpaper" to a whole new level.

Until recently, wallpaper was a bit of a wallflower in the world of interiors. Paint -- available in an array of colors and decorative finishes -- had all but pushed it aside. "We were wallpaper-starved," says Thom Filicia, New York City designer and host of "Dress My Nest." "And now we're a little obsessed. The idea of bringing interest back to our walls is undergoing a real renaissance." The upshot: wall coverings that are more sophisticated, less difficult to work with and cheaper than ever. So long, fusty cabbage roses!

"Wallpaper has finally caught up with people toady who want to express their creativity without destroying their walls," says Sharon Hanby-Robie, the spokeswoman for the Wallpaper Council and author of "Decorating Without Fear." Decals, digital photo murals and 3-D applications are the trends leading the way....


Innovations in digital technology and printing have taken the mural to new heights -- literally. "We are not restrained by that 27 1/2-inch roll size anymore," Hanby-Robie says. "You can have an image blown up 19 feet high to cover an entire wall." Even better, the oversize options are virtually endless.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Mighty site launched!

After several months of fine tuning, we are proud to announce the launch of the newest version of our website,

There have been many cool additions to the MI site since our prior version. First thing we wanted to highlight is our gallery of artists and their art for sale on the Mighty site. One thing we have learned, is that regardless of the artistic merit of the work, art buyers and consumers really want to know how the artwork will look in a real environment. Don Giannatti of SteelID, who designed our site, put together a stunning flash movie using various pieces of our artist's work that change out above a sleek modern couch. It is a killer perspective that you must check out.

We have also added new service options to the website. One of them being our newest piece of equipment, the U/V curable roll to roll / rigid hybrid printer. This machine can do amazing things. Since our U/V inks are environmentally friendly (no VOC's) our customers can add value to their graphics by being GREEN and PROFITABLE at the same time!

Our company goal is to make big prints and graphics that will make people money. We wanted to create a website that illustrated this point clearly as well as make it crisp, clean, visually interesting, with fewer features and more benefits. We think we got there. Take a look, and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stickk to your goal

You may have already forgotten or given up on that New Year's resolution you made to loose weight, get a new job, quit smoking, or whatever you wanted to improve or change in your life. Stickk is here to help. It is a free online service that will help remind you of your goal (whatever it may be) and keep you on target. Thanks to Don for the find!

You could always use Stickk for Don's suggestion of finally getting your portfolio done. A project that can be a vital and crucial part to your success, but one that many photographers will procrastinate to complete. Of course, we are here to help you achieve that goal as well.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lightroom tutorials

Staying in this weekend? Maybe you can spend your time trying out new techniques in Adobe Lightroom. Jack Nack on his blog has posted links to "a wealth of" Lightroom tutorials from the Adobe Design Center. Check them out. It should keep you busy this weekend.

Speaking of Lightroom, Stephen Shankland of CNET reports that Adobe has plans to support HDR image creation and panoramic image stitching in future versions of their software. More on that here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Always leave them laughing

It looks like more of our “Mighty” Big Prints have made it to Chi-Town.

Comedy Sportz brings its interactive improv experience to a new location at 929 W. Belmont in the heart of Chicago. Managing Director, Greg Werstler, was in the final stages of an incredible build out that began nearly two years ago, when Mighty Imaging got the call. As you can see the new digs are insanely beautiful with Greg focused on the slightest detail, however at the end of the day the walls of his stairs and halls needed more than just a coat of paint.

Greg described his place as moderately priced, wheelchair accessible with a full bar that is great for groups that want to enjoy a unique brand of fast, fun and smart improv comedy. Since audience participation is so much a part of the fun, most of the attention of the build out was on the theatre. With the Grand Opening right around the corner, Greg needed the finest visual solutions for his stairs and halls as quickly as possible. This, of course, is no problem for us here at MI since our normal turnaround is only 24 hours for most orders.

After receiving a couple of the 4 foot by 5 foot prints that we produced, Greg was astounded by the clarity and vibrancy of our LightJet prints. Wait until he gets some of our U/V Curable custom wallpaper up on his stair walls. Talk about taking improv to a new level!

Thanks Greg for letting our company play a small part in your Theatre's success, and break a leg!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shop with your eyes

You may not think that large graphics can help you sell clothes, but they can. Jeff Grant from Trio Display illustrates how to create an effective clothing display. Adding visual interest to your display can help you tell the story of your product, and in turn sell more of those items you want to promote.
The ABCs of Clothing Displays: by Jeff Grant

If variety is the spice of life, it’s the cayenne pepper of clothing display. Monotonous, uninspired presentation leads to flat sales and flatter profits.

We encourage our clients to mix the displays to once again create wall texture that is more compelling then a long slatwall covered with faced out t-shirts. You have to mix things up. Try creating merchandising areas in 4′W x 8′H story sections. Use selected fixtures to tell a story that may include:

Clothing displayed face out
Clothing side hung
Folded clothing
Accessories on a shelf
A life style photo or brand graphic.

The story might be about T’s, travel, men’s women’s, trunks, dresses, suits, etc. The message will vary as will the product but the type of fixtures chosen and the presentation will be what captures the attention of your customer.

Large graphics should be incorporated into the layout, especially if yours is a lifestyle store. Use vendor graphics or go with a royalty free site such as to acquire relevant images that can make your clothing presentation sing.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Print a 30x40 from your cell phone

Well, not quite yet. Researchers in the UK and Jordan have been working on a new method of image enhancement using the Swarm approach. PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization) uses a computer algorithm that can intelligently boost contrast and detail in an image without distorting the underlying features. The current application being to help those pesky traffic cameras read your license plate better. If the technology ever disseminates to consumer cameras and printers, like our LightJet, the possibilities could be endless.
Swarm Approach to Photography Improves Contrast and Detail in Digital Photos; Science Daily

There have been several approaches to image enhancement developed by image manipulation software companies and others. However, none comes up to the standards of the kind of image enhancement often seen in fiction, where a blurry distorted image on a screen is rendered pin-sharp at the click of a mouse. PSO, however, takes image enhancement a step closer to this ideal.

PSO is based on a mathematical model of the social interactions of swarms. The algorithm treats each version of an image as an individual member of the swarm and makes a single, small adjustment to contrast levels, edge sharpness, and other image parameters. The algorithm then determines whether the new members of the swarm are better or worse than the original according to an objective fitness criterion.

"The objective of the algorithm is to maximize the total number of pixels in the edges, thus being able to visualize more details in the images," explain the researchers. Such enhancement might be useful in improving snapshots of CCTV quality for identification of individuals or vehicle number plates, it might also have application in improving images produced with lower quality cameras, such as camera phones, that are required for use in publishing or TV where image quality standards are usually higher.

The process of enhancing step by step is repeated to create a swarm of images in computer memory which have been graded relative to each other, the fittest end up at the front of the swarm until a single individual that is the most effectively enhanced.

"The obtained results using grey scale images indicate that PSO is better than other approaches in terms of the computational time and both the objective evaluation and maximization of the number of pixels in the edges of the tested images," they add.

This research was published recently in Inderscience's International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications.

Friday, February 01, 2008

What'd ya know?

The Picture Business magazine in their November '07 issue published an interesting story that traditional film is gaining a resurgence in popularity with photographers. It is hard to believe in this digital age that many photographers would choose film over a digital camera, but they do so with good reason. We have seen the proof when producing large graphics shot on a digital camera versus one produced by scanning a 4x5 piece of film on our Heidelberg drum scanner.
According to the US survey results [Conducted by Kodak], more than two thirds (68 percent) of professional photographers prefer the results of film to those of digital for certain applications including: film's superiority in capturing more information on medium and large format films.
The article goes on to say...
"I find film invaluable because the details and look of the photographs are crucial in re-telling the events playing out in front of me," said Pep Bonet, international award winning photojournalist and founding member of NOOR, a new photo agency committed to documenting social issues worldwide....."The stories may be stunning, disturbing or inspiring. But above all, they are real. There's nothing like film to capture those realities."