Exploring New Markets with Digital Printing
DigitalArtz | Highland, IL
DigitalArtz founder, G. Ryan Quayle, comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and he feels right at home running his own business. Quayle started off as a teen doing fine art and graphic design work for his relatives’ companies, teaching himself computer design software along the way. After graduating and working in corporate marketing for several years, he opened his own print design and sign shop called Imageworks Creative Group. As his business grew, he changed his focus to large format media and signage inspiring him to change the Imageworks moniker to DigitalArtz.
To maximize his productivity, Quayle invested in the Roland VersaCAMM VP-540 54” printer/cutter. “I had owned Roland vinyl cutters over the years and I knew their machines were bulletproof,” said Quayle. “It seemed like all the other companies were chasing Roland’s technology anyway, so our choice was clear.”
With the expansion of digital print and cut capabilities, Quayle and Creative Director, Chris Eb, l can now offer custom signage, banners, vehicle wraps, posters, and fine art reproductions. They also specialize in custom solutions for all types of graphics, dimensional letters and logos, decals and displays.
Recently, Quayle moved his business from Troy, Illinois to its current location in picturesque Highland, Illinois. The move allowed them to both increase the size of their operations and take advantage of opportunities offered by the nearby St. Louis market. Having a VersaCAMM offers Quayle a competitive advantage in Highland, since there are very few large format digital printers east of St. Louis. “The Roland is really the cornerstone of our production,” said Quayle. “You can do so many things with this machine.”
“I had owned Roland vinyl cutters over the years and I knew their machines were bulletproof,” said Quayle. “It seemed like all the other companies were chasing Roland’s technology anyway, so our choice was clear.”
DigitalArtz is able to serve many needs in its local community, providing wraps for local municipalities and banners for youth baseball teams as well as signage for annual summer festivals. They also handle commercial work, installing way-finding signage systems with digitally printed lettering in office buildings, hospitals and universities.
As businesses search for cost effective ways to advertise, DigitalArtz has seen an increase in orders for partial and full vehicle wraps. They recently completed a project for a local credit union that included wrapping an H1 Hummer and a specially designed trailer that transforms to reveal a mobile ATM unit. “There wasn’t one square inch of that Hummer that didn’t have a rivet or a crease,” laughed Quayle. “It’s great to see the whole ensemble at local events and know we helped make it a success.”
DigitalArtz has also developed a specialty in antique bicycle and tractor restoration, which requires precision work and expert color matching. “Especially with our restoration work, it’s extremely important to replicate the color,” said Quayle. “We’ve always been able to generate the exact shades we need on the Roland.”
Like many shops, DigitalArtz experienced a shift in their business during the economic downturn. “We’ve seen a reduction in real estate and construction signage, but our banner and interior signage orders are up,” said Quayle. “We can always find something to do to help us keep the lights on.”
In recent years, DigitalArtz has branched out, creating interior signage for several retail outlets in the St. Louis market and generating large format art reproductions. “We’re starting to be able to have some fun and get more creative with our proposals,” said Quayle.
“This machine allows us to pursue new markets,” said Quayle. “It can assist with everything from the 'meat and potatoes' projects, to the high-end niche applications.”