Broadcasting Live from St. Louis


Jeff Burns and Chris Schreck were determined to make it work somehow. The firm that employed them both went belly up in 2001, so they decided to start their own shop. “We mortgaged our homes and got to work,” said Burns. “The first piece of equipment we bought was a Roland SOLJET.”

Today, ADgraphix in St. Louis, Missouri, has a staff of 11, including three graphic designers. Their production environment has expanded to include a second SOLJET, a PRO III XC-540, as well as Roland’s newest printer, the VersaCAMM VS-640 64” printer/cutter, and a GX-500 cutter, in addition to their original SOLJET SC-540 54” printer/cutter. “Our Rolands have always provided excellent quality,” said Burns. “They live up to their reputation for outstanding performance and reliability.”

“The quality of Roland’s machines makes our products look better,” said Burns. “The equipment has to be there, or the graphics won’t look good. I wouldn’t buy anything else.”

Originally the company focused on fleet vehicle graphics. Now their work has evolved to include other types of vehicle graphics, including custom designs for many of the local radio stations’ remote broadcast vehicles as well as several musicians’ vehicles. ADgraphix has its own photography studio which allows them to easily incorporate images of people or products into their graphics. “Radio hosts often ask us to put their photo and iconic images of the city in the wrap,” said Burns. “We try to capture their signature style in our design.”

ADgraphix also has a separate website,, devoted to providing custom vehicle graphics and municipal signage for police, sheriff and fire departments as well as security agencies. Fire departments require 22K gold leaf for durability in their vehicle lettering. ADgraphix uses their GX-500 plotter to cut the gold leaf, then prints a clear overlay on one of their Roland digital printer/cutters.

One of their vehicle graphics jobs led Burns and Schreck to a new business market. A restaurant client wanted to advertise his eateries but couldn’t find sign space. Instead, he purchased several old UPS trucks, painted them lime green, and asked ADGraphix to design and install vehicle graphics. He parked the wrapped trucks strategically to allow for maximum exposure. “They were basically serving as billboard advertising,” said Burns. “Then he asked us if we could help him with a few point of sale posters.”

Now ADgraphix has a booming business in restaurant and beverage marketing. They design menus, bar valances and specials posters for Chevy’s restaurants and Albert Pujols’ Pujols5 along with other local restaurants and the Ice Cream Man ice cream carts. For their beverage clients, including Jack Daniels, Hennessy Cognac and E.&J. Gallo, ADgraphix creates custom bar graphics, drinks menus, posters and other marketing materials.

Color management is extremely important to their business, and ADgraphics uses Roland’s ECO-SOL MAX inks to guarantee precise color matching. “Often, our restaurant and beverage clients want us to photograph their products as they have prepared them, rather than using stock photos,” said Burns. “We have to have accurate color matching to ensure that the designs we print are appealing to our clients and to their customers.”

Another emerging market for ADgraphix is wall and window wrap work for construction projects, car dealerships and stadiums. They have done exterior wall murals, including a series of 16’x 60’ murals for West County Mall. They were also hired to create medical scenes for the interior walls of a new wing at a local hospital, and recently completed an 11’x300’ mural for the interior of the warehouse of local prescription services company, Express Scripts. “We ran the printers day and night to get the mural ready for Express Scripts’ grand opening,” said Burns. “The output was perfect - not one panel had to be reprinted.”

ADgraphix generates signage for local arenas including backlit signs, advertising posters and event signage. They also provide poster-sized drink menus for the portable bars that roll the aisles of these events at the St. Charles Family arena and the Edward Jones Dome.

ADgraphix bought its latest Roland, the VS-640, sight unseen. “Our dealer showed us samples that caught our attention,” said Burns. “We bought their demo unit so we could get the machine faster.” Burns values the VS-640’s new printer head technology that virtually eliminates banding, as well as the wider print area and increased print speed. “The new print heads are really smooth, and the print speed is awesome,” said Burns. “Plus, now we can run 60” media, which means we can do a window perf job in one piece.”

“The quality of Roland’s machines makes our products look better,” said Burns. “The equipment has to be there, or the graphics won’t look good. I wouldn’t buy anything else.”