Tyson Taylor, a third-generation owner of Taylor Printing, does much more than just brochures, business cards and exemplary customer service, he also has perfected the art of vinyl car wraps for mobile advertisment.
There is so much more going on behind the doors of Taylor Printing, 405 S. Main Street in Pratt, than one might expect. But just getting to the door to open it and find out is a visual experience all in itself. Not only are there window perforated scenes of local beauty on the front sections of the store, but sitting at the curb is a unique piece of art, or more to the point - a company car with a vinyl vehicle wrap. Simply put, it is advertising in motion.
"It's a process that takes some skill and a lot of patience," said Tyson Taylor, third-generation business owner of Taylor Printing. "I learned how to do the vehicle wraps while in Wichita working for the 3M Certified Sign Shop. They are just a really good advertising option and I really enjoy doing them."
He is currently working on plans for a mobile concession stand wrap for Pratt Community College that will be available for outdoor events.
Taylor said the vehicle wraps are part of his on-going pursuit of ways to ensure the longevity of a business that has been in his family for a long, long time.
Just last month, Taylor Printing celebrated 55 years in operation. For the current Taylor at the helm, meeting the printing needs of customers is something he has always felt he was meant to do.
"In 1962 my grandpa (Charles Taylor) purchased stock in McCoys Print Shop," Taylor said. "I just remember him as old man McCoy. My grandpa bought him out built the business."
Taylor said his mother and father (Jeff Taylor) worked very hard to get things done right during their tenure as the business owners, after taking over from his grandfather. After he (Tyson) graduated from PCC and spent several years working in Wichita to gain additional experience, they were ready to turn the reins over when he moved home about four years ago.
"This is something I have always been interested in and felt I excelled at," he said. "I've always felt validated here. We have such a good, loyal customer base with the people of Pratt. I just wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Taylor said part of the appeal of taking over the family business for him was that he could be involved in projects from start to finish, taking care of details, and providing customer service that other printing and advertising markets just could not promise.
"Customer service is what makes us stand out," he said. "We guarantee satisfaction and offer that personal touch. People often come in with an idea but not sure how to bring it about. We help with that and provide all the missing links."
Under Taylor's leadership, Taylor Printing not only provides the usual business forms, advertising brochures and business cards. They also offer banners, t-shirts, hats, yard signs and many other items that work for advertising or meeting business specifications. He has done the Miss Kansas Pageant information books for years. He also provides a mailing service.
"We do 10 to 15 standard mailings per month," Taylor said. "I'm only 30, but I have been certified to do mailings for 15 years. I know all the guidelines and have more experience than a lot of postal people."
Taylor added that if his company can't mail a finished product or a customer can't pick it up, he delivers for free. It's something that has been a Taylor policy through all three generations of his family.
"I remember the first year we did the print job for the California Academy of Science," he said. "Dad and I couldn't get it mailed in time to arrive for the end of the quarter, so we loaded all parts of the $10,000 print job into a van and hand-delivered it after three days of driving."
The California job is something Taylor Printing bids on every year, and keeps in their large portfolio of jobs for not only Pratt-based customers, but for customers around the country.
"We make different colored folders for the botany department there (California) and they use them to hold plant specimens in their research," Taylor said.
Other unusual items that are part of the printing business include a resent self-published book by Michael Nations, 'Inside My Father's Shoes', that tells the real story of the Clutter family of western Kansas.
"Michael is the son of the guy that interviewed with Truman Capote who wrote 'In Cold Blood'," Taylor said. "Michael's book is about the fact that a lot of the information Capote published just wasn't true. This is the real story."
Interestingly enough, the book will soon be part of a documentary about the murders of the Holcomb family and finding the out the truth about it all.
In addition, to doing the window perforated coverings, car wraps for advertisement, plant folders and books, Taylor said he still offered the regular features of a typical printing shop.
"The business forms and advertising brochures are our bread and butter," he said. "A lot of things have gone digital, but paper products will never go completely away. In advertising especially, there is that aspect of always wanting to have something tangible to hand to the customer."
For Taylor, making things to hand to customers has been a special emphasis as his company has branched out into specialized decals, hoodies and other items for advertisement. He recently printed t-t-shirts for the Medicine Lodge girls' softball traveling team that will soon be heading to their world series. Those things, along with window coverings and car wraps, help put names, numbers and new ideas out where customers can see them.
"It's all about improving our visibility and providing that special customer service," he said. "We plan to be here a long time, and we don't exist without what Prattans have to offer other Prattans."
Taylor said he sometimes traded services with other businesses in town because it was the right thing to do. He credits his wife, Jessie, with helping him see how to do business better and more efficiently.
"I'm really grateful to her for her input," he said. "It's a family business. Maybe I'll be putting my own son to work soon."
Taylor's son, Silas, is only 6 weeks old. Chances are there will be more new ideas to incorporate but the same reliable customer service by the time he joins in at Taylor Printing.