The Story of Arkansas Graphics
Learn how we became Arkansas’ most-reliable commercial printing service.
Founded in 1974, Arkansas Graphics is the result of hard work, perseverance, and commitment to excellence.
The story starts more than 40 years ago, when founder Dale Wilcox, fueled by a passion for design, decided to open a small business focused on the provision of high-quality printing services.
Getting the business off the ground wasn’t easy—Dale had to learn how to do everything from make payroll to order supplies—but he pulled it off using grit, determination, and a little $45 a month office at 500 E. Markham street.
With time, word spread about Dale’s business as well as his printing expertise. Soon advertising agencies all across greater Little Rock began calling him about his printing capabilities. By 1977, just three years after opening the doors, Dale moved his nascent company to a more lucrative 8,000 square foot location downtown at 310 Center Street.
A New Partner Joins the Business
In August of that same year, Dale’s future business partner, Mike Broadway, joined Arkansas Graphics, albeit in an unconventional fashion. There was no job application, to resume, and no interview—Mike walked in the door at 310 Center Street and said, “I quit my job and I’m going to start working here Monday morning.” He didn’t ask about salary. He didn’t ask about job title or responsibility. Mike just wanted to be a part of what was happening.
In the coming years, Arkansas Graphics would benefit from explosive growth fueled by an unrelenting commitment to customer service. While other local printing companies refused to call on customers, Dale and Mike believed it was critical to understanding their customers’ needs and delivering on their expectations.
Dedication to Service
That dedication to service allowed Arkansas Graphics to not only weather recessions in the early 1980s and the early 1990s, but be considered one of the Top 50 independently owned printing companies in the United States. By 1995, business was going so well that Dale and Mike decided to make the first of many capital investments, opening a pre-press department (the first in Arkansas), and purchasing a half-size 5/C Heidelberg for $850,000, as well as an Imagesetter for $500,000.
The combination of new equipment and new services led to a boon for the business—it also taught Dale and Mike about the importance of staying ahead of the curve in the printing industry. For that reason, they continued working hard to expand their capabilities as a company in the coming years, going so far as to add a 2mm Komori 6/C with coater in the early 2000s, and investing in Staccato® Screening technology.
Arkansas Graphics Today
As the printing business evolves with the expansion of digital technology and media (more on-demand printing, shorter production runs, higher quality standards, etc.) Arkansas Graphics finds a way to keep pace.
In addition to being one of the top traditional and digital commercial printers in the region, Arkansas Graphics has added marketing to its repertoire, offering customers variable data, PURLs, and QR codes to create targeted cross-media marketing campaigns.
Today as it was 40 years ago, Dale and Mike continue to place tremendous emphasis on service, which is why every customer at Arkansas Graphics—no matter how big or how small—can be sure they’ll get an exceptional level of care when they walk in the door.