Element Graphics Inc
ADDRESS: 250 NW Tyler Avenue
PHONE NUMBER: 541-752-0033
OWNER: Katy Krupp
WHAT THEY SELL: Graphic design, banners and signs, screen-printing garments
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 6 (as of 2012)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Quality products and customer service, quick turn-around. The first thing you notice when you enter Element Graphics (other than the shop dog, Addy!) is the wall display of local event posters and logos. This business is well known to locals looking for quality graphic design, banners and signs, and screen-printing of organic T-shirts and other garments. Owner Katy Krupp prides herself on superior customer service that “you just can’t get when you order on-line.” Woman-owned and women-run, Element Graphics is also known for creative designs and quick turn-around time. “Everything we do is cool!” says Katy. “We get big smiles from our customers when they see the finished products.”
How did you get started? I bought the business from Steve George (Blue Dawg Promotions). He was my high school swim coach, and I’d worked for him as a sign maker and graphic web designer when I was in college. Ten years after I got a degree in graphic design and was working in that field, Steve called and asked if I wanted to buy the sign and screen-printing part of his business. I jumped at the chance, brought in graphic design, and re-named the business.
What are your specialties? The quality of our screen printing is stunning! We have a 54” full-color digital printer for banners and signs, and our employee who does screen printing on T-shirts and other garments has 12 years of experience. She can match any color.
What do you do better than anyone else? We pride ourselves on creativity, great customer service, and quick turn-around time. A lot of our business is through word of mouth since our customers are so happy.
How do local independents impact our community? They keep the community alive, both business-wise and personally. I’ve met people from all walks of life I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Keeping money local creates support for the community. You know where your money is going. It feels like “we’re all in this together”.
How many people do you employ? We have four employees – two full-time and two part-time. Our employees are very proud of their work. Since this is a small business, they really feel like what they’re doing makes a difference. And we all care about each other.
What inspires you about your work? As a creative person, I’m always looking for ways to make our business thrive – seeing what’s happening in the art world and design world, and coming up with new ideas. I’m also inspired by our customers. A lot of ideas start out as a pencil scratch, so when our customers see the finished product, they’re really excited. Doing this work never gets old or mundane.
What has your business done to model sustainability? We use eco-solvent inks, and all our cleaning supplies are soybean-based. There are no chemicals to breathe in or pour down the drain. Inks left over from our printing jobs are saved and reused. We reduce our energy use by unplugging the water cooler at night and putting our electronics in “sleep” mode. We also give away scraps of material for re-use.
Are there other ways you contribute to the community? High school students shadow me in art and design. I’m also a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, and I donate flawed shirts and overruns to Jackson Street Youth Shelter and CARDV. I’m active in CIBA and serve on the board. At CIBA meetings, we all feel a lot of support from each other.
(Article written July 9, 2012)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).