Within recent history, 2008 had to be one of the most challenging years for print providers. Between the credit crunch and the faltering economy, things just seem to go from bad to worse with 2009 shaping up to be an even tougher year.
The Top Shops were not immune from these events and many have seen a distinct impact on their 2008 revenue figures—much like everyone else. But, all of them have remained optimistic about the future of the industry and their business despite the sluggish economy. While growth expectations for 2009 are not ambitious, most of the top shops have weathered similar storms and are well-prepared for the current situation.
While we see a number of the same shops on this list from previous years, no two businesses are alike. They come from all walks of life—digital color shops, reprographic shops, photo labs, service bureau, production facility—and from all over the US. Some have a single location, while others do business out of multiple locations over a wide geography. Some businesses are focused primarily on black-and-white or color images, while others do a little bit of everything.
The age of our companies averaged out a little under 25 years (24.92 years), with our oldest and youngest hailing from Texas. Thomas Reprographics, based in Richardson, TX, was established in 1956, marking its 53rd year in 2009. Dallas-based XL Digital Graphics was the newest, established in 2003. This year's list includes 78 total locations (down from last year's 91), with 21 more planned for 2009—one less than the numbers from 2008. While most shops had only a handful of locations—ranging from one to five—Thomas Reprographics boast 33.
The Top Shops offer a range of capabilities and services including analog and digital printing technologies, installation services, warehousing and distribution services, and creative/design services, among others—depending on exactly what their customers need. As an average, 49.40 percent of the top shops' output is wide-format (36-96 inches in width), followed by grand-format (96-inches plus) at 23.36 percent, medium-format (24-35 inches) with 16.44 percent, and the remaining 7.8 percent in small-format, 14-inches and smaller documents.
While banners and signs (19.88 percent) make up the largest application on average for the shops, retail and POP displays (13.44 percent), engineering drawings (11.38 percent), exhibit and trade-show graphics (10.62 percent) are bringing in good share of revenue for these companies. Fleet and vehicle wraps (8.93 percent), billboards (8.69 percent), backlit graphics (6.74), posters (6.48 percent), fabric and textile printing (3.82), specialty graphics (3.32), and fine art applications (2.76 percent) round out the rest of the applications. But what's next?
TOP SHOPS 2009
|1.||Thomas Reprographics Inc.||Richardson, TX||www.thomasrepro.com|
|2.||Ferrari Color||Salt Lake City, UT||www.ferraricolor.com|
|3.||Crush Creative||Burbank, CA||www.crushcreative.com|
|4.||GSG||New York, NY||www.gsgnyc.com|
|5.||Gigantic Color||Dallas, TX||www.giganticcolor.com|
|6.||Source One Digital||North Shores, MI||www.sourceonedigital.com|
|7.||Perkinson Reprographics Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||www.pri.us|
|8.||Sharpe Images||Winston-Salem, NC||www.sharpeimages.com|
|9.||Pictura Graphics||Minneapolis, MN||www.picturagraphics.com|
|10.||Point Imaging||Hobart, IN||www.pointimaging.com|
|11.||Image King Visual Solutions||New York, NY||www.imagekingvs.com|
|12.||Inkjet International||Dallas, TX||www.inkjetintl.com|
|13.||XL Digital Imaging LP||Dallas, TX||www.xldigital.com|
|14.||Mathison Co.||Fargo, ND||www.mathisons.com|
|15.||Bloomingdale Signs By Tomorrow||Bloomingdale, IL||www.bloomingdalesigns.com|
|16.||Precision Color Digital Imaging||Las Vegas, NV||www.pcolordi.com|
|17.||Vista Color Imaging Inc.||Cleveland, OH||www.vistacolorimaging.com|
|18.||Big Ink Display Graphics||Eagan, MN||www.inkbig.com|
|19.||MegaPrint Inc.||Plymouth, NH||www.megaprint.com|
|20.||Dimensional Silk Screen||San Diego, CA||www.dimensionalsilkscreen.com|
|21.||Fast Signs||Antioch, TN||www.fastsigns.com/210|
|22.||Academy Reprographics||Albuquerque, NM||www.acadrepro.com|
|23.||Sealand Graphics||Bennington, VT||www.sealandgraphics.com|
|24.||Solar Imaging||Gahanna, OH||www.solarimaging.com|
|25.||Road Rage Designs||Spring Grove, IL||www.roadragedesigns.com|