Ink Inc

Graphic Ink Company Takes a Neighborly Approach

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 10.16.09

Anyone who has traveled to Salt Lake City, UT has to be impressed with the natural beauty of the location, with the Rocky Mountains, the ski resorts and the lake itself dominating the region.

While the area does wonderfully in terms of tourism, its other business fields are overshadowed. For example, one such segment is printing, and there is opportunity for ink companies that can offer excellent service. A perfect example is Graphic Ink Company, the lone home-grown ink company in Utah and the first ink company to ever incorporate in the state.

Doug Chesley, Graphic Ink’s owner and president, has been with the company since 1978, and he has seen the company grow in its nearly 30 years from its start as a subsidiary of a graphic arts supply company to the thriving business it is today.

“Graphic Ink Company was started in 1974 by Lee Teerlink, who was the president of Graphic Systems, a supply house for items such as blankets and fountain solutions for printers,” Mr. Chesley said. “He continued to run Graphic Systems, and he brought in Bill Swatscheno as vice president and general manager to run the ink side in 1975.”

Mr. Swatscheno was a longtime veteran of the ink industry, having gained much experience with Sinclair & Valentine and Gans Ink and Supply.

“He was an expert troubleshooter and formulator, and was a spirited competitor who had a boldly independent style,” Mr. Chesley said.

After having learned the industry while at Gans Ink himself, Mr. Chesley decided to join Graphic Ink in 1978.

“Graphic Ink was a small independent, which I preferred,” Mr. Chesley recalled. “When I went over to meet Bill, we hit it off pretty good.”

Mr. Swatscheno bought Graphic Ink from Mr. Teerlink in 1981, and Mr. Chesley learned much from Mr. Swatscheno. When Mr. Swatscheno passed away in 1985, Mr. Chesley took over the management of the business, acquiring it from Mr. Swatscheno’s family in 1991.

Today, Graphic Ink Company offers its extensive experience and relies on its excellent relationships with customers to move forward.

“We know our customers on a personal level,” Mr. Chesley said. “We have a neighborly relationship with our customers, which is why we are so service-oriented. We’re very responsive, and have people in the field at all times.”

The company’s business is primarily sheetfed inks, with some heatset inks, and the majority of Graphic Ink’s sales are in the Intermountain region of Utah.

The company has long outlasted its mother company, and continues to thrive in its area.

“We’ve grown every year,” Mr. Chesley said. “In 1993, we bought a new facility, and we invest heavily in training, new equipment and our people. I really credit our success to our employees, who care about their work.”

Mr. Chesley said that Graphic Ink will continue to live up to its high standards. “We’ll just keep doing what is right and let the consequences follow,” he said. “So far, we’re growing steadily every year, and it turns out our customers share our corporate values.”

For Graphic Ink Company, its neighborly approach suits its customers just right, and should continue to drive the company’s growth in the years to come.

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