Since taking ownership of AmeriSign & Graphics from his father in January 2009, Chris Sherman has brought a new edge to the printing company in hopes to redefine the industry.
The Milwaukee company, which also has a location in Pewaukee, is a full-service sign, design, digital imaging and offset printing company.
Sherman, the company’s president, wants to present customers with a different environment than white walls and a row of copiers. The company’s Print Bistro in Pewaukee provides customers a unique place where they can, for example, view vehicle wraps on car doors that are hanging from the walls.
Described by Sherman as “Kinkos meets Starbucks,” the Print Bistro in Pewaukee also offers Fiddleheads roasted coffee and free Wi-Fi for customers.
“We didn’t want to be just the sterile copy center environment with white walls and white ceilings,” Sherman said. “I want to make it a destination. We are one of many (printing companies) and we have to do something different. I realize a lot of different companies offer competitive pricing and most provide a good product, but we do better customer service and service after the sale.”
The company’s revenue increased 40 percent in 2009, which Sherman attributed to the firm’s unique approach to customer service.
Sherman joined the family business in 2002 after leaving a job as an auto mechanic.
In 2002, AmeriSign & Graphics focused on commercial printing. Once on board, Sherman seized opportunities for growth and added a sign division.
“It was an easy fit, because our clients realized we’re the one-stop shop,” he said.
Sherman’s father, John, purchased the company previously known as the Index Printing Co. in 1983. AmeriSign & Graphics operates out of a 4,600-square-foot Milwaukee facility and the new 2,300-square-foot Pewaukee location.
Growth for AmeriSign & Graphics during the recession was a result of expansion and acquisition. After acquiring Bayshore Graphics last July, Sherman expanded the service area of the business by opening the Pewaukee location in December.
Continuing to make AmeriSign & Graphics a destination for customers, the company recently partnered with a local photographer to offer a night of professional headshots and plans to offer LinkedIn training with an expert.
“Whether it is live music, photography it is just another way for people to re-engage,” said Sherman. “We love what we do. Something I want to do is change the way people buy printing and signage.”