Sign & Digital Graphics

March '18

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224 • March 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S This month's guest is Reed Silberman, owner and CEO of Ink Monstr, a graphic design, print and installation shop in Denver. Q: Why is Ink Monstr more than just a wrap shop? Ink Monstr is not just a job, it's a lifestyle! I have done some- thing different in our industry that wasn't a thought to shop owners before Ink Monstr was created. Now this style is becom- ing more and more popular with start-up shops and established shops alike. We created the first artistic lifestyle brand in our industry that has a cult following all over the country! Ink Monstr is an award-winning shop made up of artists that provide the highest level of graphic design, custom illustration, large-for- mat prints, and top-quality installations. We also have taken the next step in the evolution of our brand. We now offer dye sublimation fabric printing with the purpose of manufactur- ing private label cut-and-sew apparel. This is something that no one else in my industry is doing. We spent the past two years developing our own fit patterns, fabrics and building our seam- stress shop. We still produce soft signage for retailers and trade shows; however, we are now known for being one of the pioneers in Denver for private label apparel manufacturing. Q: When someone on the street asks you what you do for a living, how do you describe your unique business to someone unfamiliar with your industry? If you asked me this question 15 years ago, it would have been a long drawn out answer about what a "wrap" is and how we print these massive stickers, "wrap buildings" and so on. These days, people are more familiar with vehicle wraps, and the vari- ety of applications modern day materials can be used for. We still focus a great deal of attention on educating our clients as to what's possible, new materials and innovative applications. Q: Over your 14 years in business, what are the biggest techno- logical improvements you've adopted to help your business get ahead? We have used new technology all over the office. Whether it be Cintiq tablets; project management software; modern ways to market and promote the business; bigger, better, faster print- ing equipment; and of course, all the new technology in vinyl and fabrics. We built a brand new, state of the art, 10,000-square- foot facility in 2012. Since then we have been growing and are able to handle a much larger volume of business, and accom- modate more staff. Q: After moving your business to a larger building, what tips would you give other business owners who are looking to move their company from things that you learned from the move? The most important thing when finding a place to move your business in knowing not only what your needs are right now, but what your needs are going to be in five and 10 years from now. You have to consider scaling your business and growing into the space over time. This may be a scary thing at first, and you might feel like you are over-extending yourself buying or renting a property that is too big for your current needs. However, if you are serious about growth, this is the right move. In our industry it is a challenge to move every time you grow out of a space. Make a commitment to yourself and your business to make it happen. Q: What are some of the best perks to being an Ink Monstr employee? When you are an Ink Monstr employee there are many perks to the job. We get to work with some of the biggest brands on the planet. These brands often allow us to participate in the events they are activating. We get to travel, meet different musi- cians and artists, and have access to opportunities we ordinar- ily wouldn't have. I also allow my employees to use our materials and equipment to work on their own personal unique artistic projects. My employees usually make their families some pretty amazing holiday gifts as well. Q: What is the most ridiculous request a client has made of you that you've still been able to fulfill? Ink Monstr has wrapped almost everything over the years. Our motto is "We can wrap anything ... except people." But now we can do that with apparel. From full helicopter wraps, large scale buildings, museums, snowboards, furniture and even a pair of high heels for a fashion show. You name it, we have wrapped it! I would say an item that I have wrapped that sticks out the most was definitely not the biggest project, but one of the most challenging. A set of bowling pins for Pabst Blue Ribbon. Not only was it fun, but very challenging as well. Q: Ski or snowboard, and what's your favorite ski area? Snowboarder for life! I was a skier beginning in 1987. Began snowboarding in 1990 at a time when snowboarding was frowned upon and not allowed in most resorts in the country. I moved to Vail in 1999 and was an instructor in Beaver Creek. I would say that I still love those two mountains the most as far as the U.S. goes. Snowboarding is what gave me the life I have now. If it wasn't for snowboarding I would have never been inspired to start Ink Monstr. For that, I am forever grateful! Chat Matt Chat WITH Matt Matt Dixon Managing Editor Reed Silberman Matt Dixon is the managing editor of Sign & Digital Graphics magazine. He can be reached at mdixon@nbm.com. SDG

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