March 2021 Newsletter

Custom Promotional Merchandise 

Nutrabolt (C4) Promotional Challenge Coins

We can now print promotional items such as pens, coffee mugs, face masks, and more!

We are always looking for unique jobs we have done to share with our customers, and this is definitely one of those. This really unique opportunity presented itself when sports nutrition company, Nutrabolt (C4), reached out to us to produce challenge coins to grow their military presence. 

Traditionally, a challenge coin is a small coin or specially cut medallion, with an organization’s insignia or emblem pressed or embossed into it. The challenge coin is carried by the organization’s members, or put on display. They can also be collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. Historically, challenge coins were presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. 

Nutrabolt wanted a way to create brand awareness and brand recognition on military bases, and decided to lean into military traditions in order to do so in a special and memorable way.

Nutrabolt is getting ready to roll out their C4 yellow cans in the military through their beverage distributors. The idea of creating a challenge coin came from one of their distributors who covers several military bases. They plan to present the coins to distributor sales teams covering the bases, as well as store management on-base. The challenge coins will be used for displays, incremental placements, and as a tool for brand recognition that falls in-line with military customs.

We love getting to work on special projects like this one, and really appreciate when customers come to us with creative ideas we get to help bring to reality!

For more information on promotional items please contact Ryan, at Ryan.Bruce@MillerIDS.com 

 

Wheat Paste Photography Printing 

Featured Artist: Sarah Wilson

*photos courtesy of Sarah Wilson*

Sarah Wilson is an Austin-raised photographer and cinematographer. Her passion for photography and storytelling was born here, at Austin High. Sarah pursued a classical photography education at NYU’s Tisch School and remained in New York City throughout her twenties. She started as an intern and assistant for some of her photography heroes, including Mary Ellen Mark, Ken Schles, Robert Clark, and James Evans before creating her own body of work.

Since 2000, Sarah has worked professionally, balancing personal projects, documentary films and editorial assignments. She has worked for The New York Times Magazine, Time, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Texas Monthly, and others. Her work has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Sarah is also teaching Expressive Photography at ACC’s Department of Professional Photography, encouraging students to pursue personal projects, alongside their commercial work.

As a documentary filmmaker Sarah has served as Director of Photography and Producer, working alongside her husband, Director Keith Maitland, on the films, TOWER, an animated retelling of the 1966 UT Tower shooting, and A SONG FOR YOU: The Austin City Limits Story. Both films premiered at SXSW in 2016. TOWER received three SXSW awards, a Critics Choice Award, and the Emmy for Best Historical Documentary. Their newest documentary, DEAR MR. BRODY, was set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival—but both were cancelled due to COVID-19. Sarah said, “We are excited that the film was featured at the SXSW virtual film festival last week.”

“I like to photograph people- I love telling stories…but I also like to be in the lonely West Texas desert, photographing in the stark landscape.”

Essentials Q&A

What pulled you to honor and highlight these women essential workers?

As the pandemic set in and our community was asked to shelter in place, I quarantined with my immediate family. As a photographer, my work was not deemed essential, but something about the word ‘essential’ really spoke to me. I became especially grateful for the workers that were keeping our community safe and moving forward. I started to think about the women workers, many of whom were juggling responsibilities at home, while facing this public health crisis due to their ‘essential’ work.  Inspired by these women, I felt an overwhelming need to recognize their courage, so I started taking portraits of essential women workers in Austin, on location, outside, at their workplaceAs the body of work started to expand, I decided to submit the work to the City of Austin Museums and Cultural Programs grant, called ArtsResponders: Social Practice Responds to COVID-19. I was excited that the project was selected, but that was just the beginning.

How did you find these specific women to photograph?

In partnership with the Dougherty Arts Center and ArtsResponders, we put out a call for entries for people in the Austin area to nominate the essential women workers in their lives.  We chose 15 honorees to photograph out of over 100 nominations, and instead of having an indoor gallery show, we decided to present the work as large-scale wheat-pasted portraits on the sides of participating buildings throughout Austin.

Any plans to do another project in this same style?

I think I caught the wheat paste bug! Now I feel like everything has to be big and public!

How did you decide on wheat paste?

With the ArtsResponders grant, I needed to keep my budget low, while at the same time creating a public art exhibition. Weatherproof photographic materials can be very expensive to print, and just as expensive to install. While brainstorming presentation solutions with Annie, my rep at the Dougherty Arts Center, we came up with the idea of wheat-pasted portraits. I was definitely inspired by the artist JR, and his large-scale wheat paste installations. I decided we needed some large-scale portraits of women workers here in Austin!

What has the feedback been like on the photographs?

We’ve had a very positive response to the work, through the local news media, on Instagram, and word of mouth. Yesterday on Instagram, I saw that a nurse had taken a photo of herself next to the large-scale portrait of an ICU nurse. In the comments, she said that seeing these 19ft tall portraits made her feel that her hard work on the frontline was also being recognized. This is what I intended- that each of these portraits would come to represent the thousands of women in our community who have worked so hard to keep our community safe and moving forward. This project is a big thank you!

How did you choose Miller to print the photos?

I chose Miller because I’ve been a customer on and off over the years, and the location was very convenient for me. I did some research and found out that Miller could print 36” x 48” on a lighter weight paper, which works well for wheat paste. After the first round of test prints, I learned that Miller has very quick turnaround times, and has a super-friendly staff. It’s a treat when Larry brings my order out to the parking lot…what a nice guy! 

Anything else you want to add?

Another exciting aspect of the project is the Instagram site, @essentialsatx. We not only feature photos of the large-scale portrait installations, but we also post the images and stories of all the nominees even those that weren’t selected. It’s starting to become a great online community and a way to honor these awesome women.

Essentials Instagram: @essentialsatx
Sarah’s Instagram: @swilsonfoto
Sarah’s Website: Sarah Wilson Photography
Sarah and Keith’s Film Production Company: Go-Valley

February 2021 Newsletter

TX Winter Storm Relief 2021- Custom Wall Hanging

Custom Die-Cut Wood Prints

Our friends over at Hemlock & Heather reached out to us to see if we wanted to be part of their efforts to help with the disaster relief after our unprecedented weather this month. We of course said yes and the limited edition Texas Strong Wall Hanging was born!

Before we get any farther, Hemlock & Heather is only taking preorders through tomorrow, March 2, so if you want one, order now! 100% of the proceeds from the Texas Strong Wall Hanging will go to I Live Here I Give Here‘s Disaster Relief Fund

After the winter storm that hit Texas hard, Kris and Kelley of Hemlock & Heather knew they had to do something to help those who were devastated by the unprecedented weather conditions and its aftermath. So many families, so many businesses were without electricity, heat, and water in freezing temperatures. So, they got to work on that Friday morning sketching out a concept for a Texas Wall Hanging that they could sell to support relief efforts.

“The idea behind the design for this 8″ Texas Strong Wall Hanging was simple: we wanted to convey hope and strength. So, we married retro colors we love to the suggestion of dawn breaking on a frigid Texas.”

Because, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

We are so glad to be apart of something directly helping fellow Texans, and are thankful to work with such great customers, and now partners, like Hemlock & Heather! 

 

Fine Art Scans and Printing

Featured Artist: Kate Fitzpatrick

Kate Fitzpatrick is a painter and illustrator whose work focuses primarily on animal portraits and animal stories. She is originally from Indiana and studied film in Georgia. She spent years working in reality TV in Los Angeles before eventually making her way to Austin to focus on working full time as an artist. Fitzpatrick said the art scene in Austin has been incredibly rich and supportive. 

She is a lifelong animal lover and that is evident in her work. She is fascinated by animal behavior and true animal stories, from elephant funerals to humpback whale calves breaching for the first time, and much more. These stories inspire her paintings and illustrations. “I love color, thick brush strokes, paint texture, and gold dots, which find their way into everything I do!” Fitzpatrick said. Her paintings are acrylic on cotton canvas or cradled wood, and her illustrations are highly detailed pen and art marker on heavyweight paper.

View her available work in person at Art For The People Gallery in Austin

See more of Kate’s art on her website and on Instagram.

HP Cash In & Trade Up your HP DesignJet: Limited Time Offer

There’s never been a better time to upgrade to an HP DesignJet large-format printer. Whether you’re producing high-quality color photos, POP signs, backlits, CAD drawings, GIS maps, or presentations, there’s an HP DesignJet printer that’s the perfect fit for your business.

Interested in learning more? Email Jim.Stroud@MillerIDS.com or call 512-852-0363

January 2021 Newsletter

Custom Adhesive Outdoor Mural 

Featured Graphics: Metric Mural Final Reveal

Like many other businesses, we are conducting business through curbside service and delivery. We wanted to bring advertising outside where our customers are — plus show off our graphics printing and installation capabilities.

We decided to update the exterior of our Metric store location with a custom mural printed in-house on our HP 1500 latex printer. We used Drytac anti-graffiti lamination to make our mural durable and easy to clean. To prep the wall and give our mural the best chance at adhering long-term, we first had to power wash it. We opted for a fresh coat of paint so that the colors would pop. The final prep was to let the paint “gas out” for 2 weeks. 

We wanted to thank the sponsors of our mural for their support in our Metric makeover. Thank you to Alonzo Suarez of ASM Painting for power washing our wall to get it prepped for the entire process, Clements Paint for supplying our new coat of paint, Tom Page for installation services, and our very own Vittoria Mottler for the incredible design!

The majority of the mural was all hand cut by our graphics production team, and the music note details and logo were cut by our iEcho router. Considering the face of our building endures some pretty heavy sun exposure, we don’t anticipate seeing any quality changes for the first 6 months. After 6 months, we may start to see some minor fading, but the mural itself, under normal weathering circumstances, will remain intact. The adhesive on the vinyl melts into the textured surface of the concrete, so there shouldn’t be any lifting happening (under normal weathering circumstances) for at least a couple years.

As far as the design goes, we wanted to include the ever-growing Austin skyline with the silhouettes of recognizable buildings across the entire background of the mural. We featured a lot of iconic Austin imagery, because Miller is an iconic staple in the Austin print community. The graphic elements are all representative of Austin and Texas as a whole, which we think all Austinites and Texans can appreciate. The blue color scheme comes from our logo, and a pop of new color represents another aspect of Miller growing and expanding, especially in the Graphics Department.

We featured 6th Street, not only because it is famous in Austin, but also as a nod to our long-standing time on 6th Street before relocating to East 7th. We included the quintessential phrase, “Keep Austin Weird” accompanied by a dancing taco, because us Austinites love our tacos. We paid tribute to our home of 100 years with “512 Home” written down the door, and “We Love Austin” further down the wall paired with a horseshoe — because all Texans ride horses. Being in the Live Music Capital of the World, we had to include some music notes dancing across the skyline. We hope that those who drive by our building find some joy from our mural and may be inspired to change up their space with our help.

We had so much fun coming up with all the design aspects, prepping the space as a team, and sharing it with our community! If you want to add a fun graphic element to your building, space, office, even home, reach out to our graphics team; they would love to help!

To change up your space for the new year, contact Vittoria at Vittoria.Mottler@MillerIDS.com  

Fine Art Scans & Printing

Featured Artist: Anna Lisa Leal

Anna Lisa was born in Laredo on the border of Texas and Mexico. There, her father planted many fruit trees including tangerine, orange, lime, peach and fig. She spent many days playing under and in the tangerine trees in her backyard. She spent hours drawing in the shade of the trees where her mother set her up with a large pad on a bench and Anna Lisa on a small chair. Anna Lisa says she’s been a creative as long as she can remember — whether it was drawing, dancing or creating in other ways. She continued to draw through her high school and college years, recreating images from magazines and doing portraits on request. Anna Lisa left Laredo at the age of 16 and moved to central Texas where she attended college at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Over time, her love of visual art was set aside for more “practical” studies and ultimately a corporate career. In 2008, as part of her personal renewal, she returned to the garden to draw. Anna Lisa said, “Although I lost my sense of time while I drew, I found myself and inner harmony through art. I felt like a child again. I was experiencing the world with new eyes”, and she hasn’t stopped creating since.

She loves to work with pastels because “the colors are unparalleled – pigments at their purest!” She also calls pastels her adult crayons and has explored the medium voraciously from the moment she picked them up. Upon moving to her current property, she spent the first few years creating art through landscaping. When there was no more room for real gardens, her gardens and its inhabitants began to extend into her artwork. 

Anna Lisa’s artwork embodies the patterns of nature, particularly botanicals. She is driven to create paintings which reflect nature’s captivating beauty, and it is her artistic mission to transport nature’s beautiful design to indoor living spaces. As a lifetime Texan, the various floral and animal inhabitants of the Southwest, specifically Big Bend, New Mexico and Arizona are frequent subjects of her work, as well as the Sonoran and Chihuahua deserts. 

“My heart is with the agave. I am moved by the stateliness of the agave and the seemingly endless variations in size, colors and shapes. I enjoy the colorful and dangerous beauty of cactus, the undulation of the agave leaf imprinted by the now unfurled leaf, and the poignant swan song beauty of the agave flower. But, I am also enamored with tropical flowers particularly those in Hawaii and Costa Rica.”

See more of Anna Lisa’s art on her website.

 

 

Mega Banner Sale!!

*Edit* Sale extended through March 15h!

For the month of February Miller IDS, your favorite banner printing shop in Austin, is putting on a MEGA SALE. Our banners can be printed on 13oz vinyl, 8oz mesh, and 6oz speaker mesh.  All of our banners are made locally at our North Austin banner shop and are produced at the highest quality. All of our banners from the MEGA SALE are perfect for construction sites, retail, hospitality, office parties, holidays, birthdays, and so much more! Our custom banners are guaranteed to have a lifetime of at least 1 year, excluding any serious weather conditions and dependent on how many times the banners are taken down and reinstalled. This offer is for welded finishing with grommets, but if you need extended lifetime interior or exterior banner signage, please reach out to Jacy at CSSR7@MillerIDS.com or call 512-381-5279!

In addition to our Austin store’s banner printing service, Miller IDS offers banner installation services with our professional in-house team. There is a 96 square foot minimum order for the sale to apply, so the BIGGER the BETTER! If you are need of design work for your banners, Miller can help with that too! 

 

Featured Graphics: Bright Spot in the Pandemic! “Heroes’ Exit” Mural at Dell Children’s Hospital

Dell Children’s Medical Center has a new addition – a Heroes’ Exit! Ready for a great story? You may have heard of Owen Coulter, a 5 year old boy who went to Dell Children’s Medical in December of 2019 and had a miraculous journey that included a life-saving experience by staff upon his arrival. Owen’s father is a firefighter in Austin. As Owen left the hospital after a 56 day stay, there was a “superhero” departure celebration with dozens of firefighters, police officers, 18 fire trucks, balloons, t-shirts, and even a few costumed super-heroes. The experience was wonderful for everyone there, but especially the hero being celebrated, Owen.

Days later a Dell Medical Children’s Medical Center Foundation board member dropped by the office of Susan Hewlitt (executive director of the foundation). The board member, Marcella Maxwell (who also works at Dell Children’s) said that she couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful exit Owen had. “How can we have every child feel like a hero when they leave?” she thought out loud. They quickly began brainstorming and walking the hospital for ideas.

At the entryway of the hospital is the HEB Auditorium, which happens to be a perfect passageway and private exit for the kids. Susan immediately went to this spot and an idea came to her for a “hero’s exit” – what if they had a mural here and kids could take pictures as they were released to go home? The idea was positively received by the foundation board, and Susan could not have been more pleased with their unanimous agreement to support the project. The next question was who the artist would be – Susan knew that Becca Borrelli would be perfect!

Becca had designed a coloring book for the kids at Dell Children’s. Becca is an illustrator and has a background in teaching. For Becca this was the perfect project- it combined her love of children with her passion for design. Becca began to weave a compilation of happy imagery from areas in the hospital, making the final memories in the hospital a way to remember Dell Children’s in a positive way.

The final product is a brightly colored mural printed on DreamScape wallpaper. Images include a StarFlight helicopter, the stone water wall from the courtyard, a replication of the donor butterfly wall, and spotlights on art found in the hospital such as the art by Graciela Boulanger gracing the bridge in the lobby as well as the blue dog featured in a George Rodrigue piece found in the hospital.

Becca contacted Miller after having printed with us before. The experience was pleasant for Becca and it was easy to communicate with Destenie (Customer Sales and Service Rep) from the beginning. Becca had been contracted to paint the mural on the wall, but had worked with DreamScape in another hospital setting and knew that it holds up to cleaning and is long-lasting. “DreamScape was the perfect solution we didn’t know we needed, especially with how clean we have to keep it,” said Susan Hewitt.

As the final joyful touch to this fulfilling project, note that it was accomplished during COVID! Installing the piece during this difficult time made it an even happier win!

October Artist of the Month: Pama Monfries

After graduating from University of Texas at Arlington with an art degree, Pama worked as a graphic designer then creative director for 25 years. After that, she worked for 8 years painting portraits and murals full time. Pama was able to make a very good living being a professional artist. 

During that time, she taught adults and children at the art center in her town. She also took ceramics, life drawing and glass fusing classes. Every year she does many commissions of pets and people as well as special memories from clients’ photos.

Pama moved to the Austin area (Point Venture) from Dallas 10 years ago and loves it. Since moving here, she has made several bronzes, lots of jewelry and numerous mobiles. She still makes fused glass and has started incorporating fused pieces in her paintings.

“I come from a long line of strong, creative women who have always inspired me. Creativity was a part of their lives and so it has become a part of mine. We always encouraged our children to explore their creativity. Two of them are art teachers in AISD and one is an actor.” It is important to Pama to always be experimenting with many kinds of art, as it helps keep the creative juices flowing.

Although Pama loves painting, her passion is gardening. She started pressing petals, leaves, feathers and insect wings onto her canvas with paint about 3 years ago. She says she is “gardening” and painting at the same time. “It is very interesting how the petals and leaves change color when dried and pressed. I love to bring them back to life with paint.”

Featured Graphics: Patika Coffee & Superthing Coffee

We are thrilled that we were called on to print signage for Patika coffee on South Lamar.  We produced their safety guidelines and temporary outdoor menu on coroplast and aluminum which make for a durable duo. The folks over at Patika cleverly hung their signage with removable hangers, making sure the signs were secure and weatherproof.

Located at 2159 South Lamar, Patika is open for online and in-person orders. They have plenty of parking at the back of the building and space to wait for your order while maintaining distance from employees and other customers.

We also helped Patika’s sister company, Superthing Coffee, develop contour cut coffee stickers as well as business cards, which created a distinct look for their coffee bags and branding. Superthing is roasted locally and served at Patika as well as Mañana, Brew and Brew, Olamaie, Creature Coffee and a few other places. It is also available online for single purchase and subscriptions at superthingcoffee.com

As you can see, Miller’s takes pride in working with local businesses. Let us help when the time comes to open your business or office. We’d appreciate your support!