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Extreme Home’s Graphic Flair

World Class Graphics produces wall coverings and more for ABC television program.

Big Picture

ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has made a name for itself over the years by rebuilding and refurnishing dilapidated homes for deserving families in need. Thanks to the quick turnaround times offered by inkjet technologies, many of the new houses have incorporated wide-format prints to add some colorful flair.

When Steve Hess, VP of sales, marketing, and product development of Hiawatha, Iowa-based World Class Graphics,' caught wind that Extreme Makeover would be heading to his town, he immediately tracked down its producers to chat about what his print operation could do for them.

Agreeing to donate a week’s worth of staff time and resources to the project, World Class Graphics, along with a contracted construction crew and local volunteers, set out to renovate the home of someone deserving. The show’s producers chose the family of Audrey Gibbs; a recent widow raising six children, Gibbs suffered a brain aneurism seven months after the death of her husband, leaving her legally blind. Ty Peddington, Extreme Makeover’s host, knocked on the door of the family’s farmhouse on a Sunday morning, promising them the home would be brand new in seven days – and so the countdown to complete the home began.

While the Gibbs family was sent on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Boca Raton, Florida, back in Iowa the designers turned to the family’s interests for design inspiration – a result of meeting and having in-depth discussions with the family and staffers going through the home. In fact, many concepts were come up with on the fly.
“We had all of the ideas before production, but nothing was final until the crew met the family and made decisions on what they wanted to do for them,” says Hess.

“For instance, photos were taken of the family farm and of the family during their vacation and we turned the files into wallpaper for a couple of the rooms. The wallpaper that featured the hay bales from the family’s farm, their motorcycles, and the surf lessons given during the family’s getaway were all designed throughout the week. A tremendous number of files were sent to us. We began getting the first files on a Sunday – the day they did the ‘door knock.’ We didn’t get some of the files until Friday morning with a 5 p.m. deadline. Some projects were even done through the night.”

Print-ready PDF files from original Adobe Illustrator files were provided to World Class Graphics, which used its HP Designjet L25500 printer with HP Latex inks and Onyx Postershop v10 for output. Hess and crew produced prints that were used for applications throughout the interior and exterior of the house, including a wrapped garage door, wrapped surfboards (with graphics designed by local artists), canvas prints, backlit signage, and more than 2000 square feet of custom wallpaper. The wall graphics were output onto HP PVC-free Wall Paper, while the surf boards were wrapped in HP Air Release Adhesive Gloss Cast Vinyl with HP Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate.

Along with a new home, the family received money raised by a benefit concert (put on by rock star Bret Michaels and a local high-school football game), a paid-off mortgage, college scholarships, a $75,000 medical fund courtesy of CVS, and much more.

“We appreciated the opportunity to help such a wonderful family. It really plucked at the heart strings. After my family watched the show, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” says Jason Hauschild, president of World Class Graphics.

World Class Graphics went on to help Extreme Makeover with two additional homes, including a motor home wrap, later that year.

World Class Graphics

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