Paragon Display Group started out with some humble beginnings in 1982, offering photo finishing for Ann Arbor customers. The company has since grown into a full-service environmental graphics and printing studio, employing a staff of 34 people and a summer intern. However, getting to this point required a number of pivots to adapt to the market. Paragon Display Group made the move from consumer to commercial work about the same time photos went from primarily hard copies to digital.
"We had to evolve into another type of business," says Gary Snyder, director of sales for Paragon Design + Display. "The commercial work became much more important to us."
And it grew quickly. Paragon hired four people in the last year, and is looking to hire another sales professional. Over the last year it has spiked its revenue by 29 percent and is on track to hit a similar number in 2015. They accomplished this by completing several large projects, including a number for the University of Michigan Athletic Department, Central Michigan University, and Kettering University. However, downtown Detroit-based Fathead
is proving to be its most important customer.
"That is growing astronomically as well," says Bill Van Cleve, president & CEO of Paragon Design + Display
. "They are giving us a lot of work."
Fathead's work includes everything from its traditional decal wall stickers of athletes to large decals of things like Star Wars
characters. It is also doing a lot of corporate display work for Fathead. Paragon Design + Display would like to expand this sort of work to more small businesses in Michigan in the next year or two.
"We want to help brand their environment," says Holly Schoenfield, director of marketing for Paragon Design + Display.
The firm is also looking to return to its consumer-facing roots to help diversify and grow its revenue streams. Paragon Design Display would like to attract more work from everyday people who would like to print out their important photos and other pieces of artwork for their individual living and work spaces.
"Now we're trying to open it up to consumers," Van Cleve says. "We want them to know they can get fine art printing here."
Source: Bill Van Cleve, president & CEO of Paragon Design + Display; Gary Snyder, director of sales for Paragon Design + Display; and Holly Schoenfield, director of marketing for Paragon Design + Display
Writer: Jon Zemke