Sign of the times: Firm taps technology to expand

Mike Kelly, co-owner of Your Sign Company, demonstrates a Mimaki flatbed inkjet printer that accommodates a variety of materials in dimensions up to 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. Kelly expects the printer will enable the Grand Junction sign and printing company to expand operations. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)
Mike Kelly, co-owner of Your Sign Company, demonstrates a Mimaki flatbed inkjet printer that accommodates a variety of materials in dimensions up to 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. Kelly expects the printer will enable the Grand Junction sign and printing company to expand operations. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Mike Kelly offers a wide range of products at his Grand Junction sign and printing business — everything from banners and trade show displays to vehicle wraps and wall graphics.

But Kelly expects to further expand his operation — and along with it, sales — with the addition of a machine that can print on nearly any kind of material and at dimensions up to 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.

The possibilities are almost endless, said Kelly, co-owner along with his wife, Michel, of Your Sign Company. “We’re looking at everything all the time now.”

Your Sign Company purchased a Mimaki flatbed inkjet printer — the only one of its kind between Denver and Las Vegas, Mike Kelly said.

The $80,000 printer constitutes another milestone for a 25-year-old business Kelly said repeatedly has been the first to bring new technology to the region.

Kelly said he would have bought the printer even sooner. But he’s been waiting for the economy to improve and with it, business. That’s happened, he said. “Business has been really good this year.”

That business varies and includes everything from banners to exterior and interior signs to vehicle magnets and wraps. “It’s been pretty steady in all fields,” he said.

The Mimaki printer can not only handle many of those products, but also a lot more, Kelly said.

The machine can print on card stock and foam board as well as canvas, glass, metal and wood at thicknesses of up to 4 inches, he said. Moreover, the machine can accommodate irregular shapes.

The machine dispenses ink in blue, red, yellow and black as well as white and clear. An ultraviolet light quickly hardens the ink and shortens the drying time, Kelly said. Gloss and matte finishes are available, as is embossed printing.

One of the chief advantages of the machine is the ability to print directly on materials, Kelly said. Other printers and techniques involve printing first on a sticker and then adhering that sticker to the material. Printing directly on the material shortens the time it takes to complete a job from hours to minutes, he said. That saves time and money.

Kelly said the Mimaki printer gives Your Sign Company the flexibility and capability take on different jobs for different customers. That includes not only business clients, but also individuals.

As one example, the printer makes it easier to print logos and information on manufactured parts, including those made with metals, he said.

Kelly also expects to increase the sales of products for the home. The Mimaki can be used to create large murals as well as print directly onto cabinets, doors and tabletops. Printing photographs on glass with lighting behind can create stunning displays, he said.

The Mimaki can even print directly onto bricks and pavers and could be used to create unique landscapes, he said.

Kelly also envisions demand for cornhole games with customized designs.

Your Sign Company will continue to offer a wide range of products. But Kelly said he’s eager to use the Mimaki flatbed printer to offer even more products, some he hasn’t yet envisioned. “We’ll see where work takes us.”

Your Sign Company is located at 2478 Industrial Blvd. in Grand Junction. For more information, call 242-3924 or visit www.yoursigncompany.com.