State-of-the-art design, editing and printing by Minuteman Press helps Rutledge Corn Maze promote their biggest events of the year.
In March 1990, Clo and Jim Foote bought a brand new Minuteman Press printing franchise in Olympia, Washington, complete with a darkroom and daylight camera, and two offset presses of the time. They combined their own undeterred entrepreneurial drive with a tested and refined system of operations from Minuteman Press International that has proven to be timeless in terms of growth potential.
It was then (prior to the emergence of digital printing and mobile marketing) that Jim and Clo began to create his unbreakable bond with what is a rich, broadening client base today. “Our approach to customer service remains the same now as it was when we began because it works. We produce a top-quality product in a timely manner with a staff that knows exactly what they need to do in order to get each client exactly what they need,” Jim states proudly.
Leading the modern printing industry as an extension of the visionary, yet firmly grounded approach of Minuteman Press International means recognizing the cornerstone of progress is respect for the brand and the practice of relentlessly keeping pace with technology. As a veteran franchisee, Jim knows this and explains, “I have to be able to trust my vendors on behalf of my customers and our franchisor has helped us tremendously to establish strong relationships with our vendors, thanks to their buying power. In terms of production, I’d say 75%-80% of our jobs are produced digitally. We have high-end digital presses from Konica Minolta. All of our finishing equipment is new and well-maintained. We were the first printer in Olympia, WA to offer in-house wide-format printing, so posters and banners are produced right here on our Epson GS 6000 eco-solvent printer.”
As traditional and new methods of production and marketing techniques blend to formulate integrated marketing perfection when an expert is consulted, Jim acknowledges another way he gives his clients an advantage over less-seasoned printers. He says, “We still maintain a presence for offset because there is a place for it and we are one of the few marketing services providers who still do that in our area. We make sure our customers have a wide variety of production choices to respect their time and budget and we guarantee our work. Another bonus is how we entrust different staff members to take the lead of different jobs for particular clients, furthering personalized connections.” The result is a digital print, design and marketing center that is an endless resource of solutions for budgets and challenges of all kinds that are completed on time and with precision.
“We are delighted that our branded apparel is really taking off in popularity and that is, in part, due to our relationship with particular vendors upon whom we can count,” Jim says. To do proper justice to the businesses that wish to grow with a strong marketing campaign, Jim and staff help guide people towards print that starts with traditional business cards and paper collateral, but continues beyond into branded apparel and an impressive variety of promotional items. From pens, mugs and USB drives to the latest trends like fidget spinners, there seems no end to the number of interesting pieces that can be imprinted with company names and logos these days.
Minuteman Press helps the folks at Rutledge Corn Maze lead people of all ages seeking thrills by getting lost in their inventive and, sometimes, haunted mazes
Family traditions are everything. In the fall, getting lost with family and friends in a tremendous corn maze with the promise of some apple cider and, perhaps, candied apples at the end, is a prized one. For about 18 years, the good people at Rutledge Corn Maze have counted upon Jim and Clo Foote, the strong husband and wife team, to guide people towards their fondest fall memories. For this month-long, annual event, when shades of brown and orange dot the landscape, Jim and his team make certain people come in droves, leading with the lure of the maze, but staying to indulge the hayrides, pumpkins and produce. “They have a farm outside of town that is maybe 40 acres large and they decided to do something bigger than farming. That idea turned into the annual corn maze. We connected with them through one of our employees and have been working for them for about 2 decades and it’s been as much of a pleasure as it has been a successful business partnership,” according to Jim.
A Great Corn Maze Experience Starts with an Aerial Photograph and Continues with Design and Editing from Minuteman Press in Olympia
Rutledge Corn Maze does not present their audience with the same maze every year. Part of the thrill is in the design selection which is different with every season. The project starts with a computer generated image that reflects their desired subject. The corn seed is actually planted by computer-assisted machinery. Last year, the maze was created in the shape of a German Shepherd and one year it featured NFL running back Marshawn Lynch. “The staff members at Rutledge plant their corn in a way that replicates the image generated by the computer. An aerial photo of, the corn is then taken, however, the corn is not exactly grown to full height; so there are visible gaps and patches that we are called upon to correct. Our designer, Chloe, edits the image carefully to make the maze looks appropriately filled in and to sharpen and brighten the image. This year, the theme is going to honor the Olympia Visitor’s Bureau,” Jim explains.
To bring smiles to visitors every year, people need to know about the festivities at Rutledge, so Jim and his staff come together and lead a massive marketing effort for their client. He says, “We are working with Robby Rutledge, nephew of the farm owner, and he is a lot of fun to work with. He told us that they wanted all the local churches to get advanced notice about their bonfires and various discounts. So, we prepared a targeted direct mail campaign to all the churches within a 40 mile radius of the farm. We take the year’s theme, whatever it is, and design a completed marketing campaign to complement that theme. Beyond the direct mail campaign, we produce flyers, posters, retractable signs, banners, A-boards and directional signage to help guests as they traverse the maze itself. We are going to talk about printing special apparel, t-shirts with Rutledge Corn Maze 2017 imprinted on them, for the adventuring crowd.”
“Tight timelines are a challenge, but we bend over backwards to honor our clients’ deadlines. I cannot think of a client in 27 years that we have disappointed because we always get the job done. We never feel put-out by short lead times; we feel proud to be known as the place that is prepared to get the job done.” – Jim Foote, Minuteman Press printing franchise owner, Olympia, Washington
Robby Rutledge is coordinating all the details for the fall festivities with Jim and Chloe, their designer. Minuteman Press has had a great relationship with his family business for the better part of two decades. “We have always had a great relationship with Minuteman Press and the work is always amazing. Sometimes what they produce for us is not what I was originally thinking, but it actually comes out ten times better. Jim and staff are great about getting things done with just days’ notice and I appreciate that. We have tried other graphic design people and the work is nowhere near as good. Recently, another designer dropped the ball on a billboard we needed and Jim came in and took care of that situation and I was in a real bind. Minuteman Press got it done the very same day. It came out so much better than I imagined and ten times better than what the other printer suggested,” Rob states.
Every business has a focus and for Rutledge, the main focus is to create the most inviting corn maze around and make certain to have the most skilled marketing services experts leading the task of building excitement about it. Rob proclaims Minuteman Press to be that expert and knows they design, print and promote his business better than any quick print shop.
He adds, “Minuteman Press has become our one-stop shop for printing, designing and marketing and I am perfectly fine with paying a little more because I am happy and wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. I’d rather pay a little extra and have them take care of everything, including organizing every detail of our mailing campaign. We are a small, family business and we simply do not have the time, so with Minuteman Press I know it will be done, if there any problems, they fix it and it will be done well in the end.”
His endorsement continues with a simple truth, “We are really happy and we wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.”