Bright Prints, Big City
City Graphics LLC | Fraser, Michigan
Mark Voorhees, founder of City Graphics, LLC in Fraser, Michigan, has been working in graphic design since he was sixteen. “I wake up every day and can’t wait to get to work,” said Voorhees. “I truly enjoy my job.”
After working for years for various sign businesses, Voorhees opened City Graphics, LLC, in 2008. He began with a Roland DG plotter but soon got requests for printing projects. Eight months of research led him to the showroom at Wensco Sign Supplies, where he purchased the Roland DG VersaCAMM VS-640 64” printer/cutter. “When I saw the metallic and white ink printouts from the Roland DG VS, I was sold,” said Voorhees.
“It's all about separating yourself from the rest,” said Voorhees. “Our work sells itself. Being able to print with white and metallic ink really helps my work stand alone.”
City Graphics is a full-service sign shop and one of Michigan’s leaders in the graphics industry, offering vehicle and boat graphics, interior signage, backlit windows, banners, posters, and decals. A skilled graphic designer, Voorhees manages the shop’s designers and extensive sales and support team, along with overseeing all printing and installations.
Voorhees estimates his workload is approximately 40% vehicle graphics work, and he often produces wraps for commercial fleets such as the 30 wraps they did for Dover Grease Trap Company, along with wraps for smaller firms. City Graphics also creates graphics for a number of corporate clients including Kuka Robotics, for whom they developed wall murals and the graphic decals Kuka uses on its robots.
Voorhees values the print quality he gets with the Roland DG VS’s new print head technology. “The output from the Roland DG is incredible - it just looks three dimensional.On the faces I print, you can see every strand of hair and even the texture of the leather on gloves - there’s no pixelation whatsoever,” said Voorhees. He relies exclusively on Roland DG’s ECO-SOL MAX inks, noting, “Once the ink disperses, it’s like glass.”
Voorhees uses the VS’s metallic and white ink to generate outstanding accents. When creating exterior window murals for Wahoo restaurants, Voorhees used metallic ink to lightly brush over the fish, and used white ink for the eyes and other accents to make the design pop. “The looks you can create are phenomenal,” said Voorhees. “The white and metallic accents really bring the graphics to life.”
Voorhees uses Roland DG’s VersaWorks software to RIP his designs. “It’s just a fantastic program,” said Voorhees. “It logs everything, which I really love. I can just click on a logged job and fire it again - it comes out exactly the same.”
City Graphics recently completed an extensive design and installation project for a new local restaurant called Woodstock Burger Company. The project involved wrapping the interior of the main dining room with 46 photos from the 1960s. Voorhees used software to graphically restore each one of the photos, working with color hues and saturation to maintain the balance of color throughout the series of photos. Voorhees then designed a graphic film strip, positioning one photo in each frame, and printed the strip as a banner measuring 21 inches x 80 feet that was installed along the top of the main dining room walls. In addition to the wall banner, City Graphics designed, printed and installed a 7 foot x 21 foot interior wall mural as well as the restaurant’s logo, interior and exterior signage, directional signage, menu designs and menu boards.
Voorhees relies on referrals and our sales staff. “It’s all about separating yourself from the rest,” said Voorhees. “Our work sells itself. Being able to print with white and metallic ink really helps my work stand alone.”