By Ginny Mumm
Rob Jeffreys, general manager of Jukasa Designs in Ohsweken, Ont., has a long family history in the vehicle graphics business. In fact, his uncle was a founder of Trimline Auto Design.
“They were among the creators of pinstripes back in the 1950s,” says Jeffreys.
Jeffreys himself has been enhancing vehicles with graphics since 1989. His business expanded with the advent of digital printers, and in the early 2000s, he began specializing in graphics for fleets and auto dealerships. In 2015, he merged a sign manufacturing and an embroidery company with his vehicle graphics business to form Jukasa Designs.
When Jukasa Designs started, Jeffreys made the pivotal decision to purchase his first specialized 1372-mm (54-in.) wide-format printer/cutter.
“I made $18,000 in the first month. It was an incredible tool,” he says.
Soon after, Jeffreys sold his business to investors and became its general manager. Within a year, the company was booming, and he purchased a second machine, this time a 762-mm (30-in.) eco-solvent inkjet printer/cutter. As a result of this success, he did not wait long before buying his third inkjet device—a 1372-mm (54-in.) large-format printer/cutter.
“The colours and intricate details we can produce with these devices are exceptional,” he says. “We try to turn around our projects in a day if possible, and having quality, reliable equipment that can print unattended is invaluable.”
Today, Jukasa Designs is a one-stop shop for manufacturing signs, designing logos and uniforms, creating promotional items, graphic design, and vehicle graphics.
“We’ve expanded from three divisions to five,” says Jeffreys. “We do everything one needs to market their business.”
The shop consists of 12 full-time staff members, and Jeffreys oversees all aspects of the business: graphic design, manufacturing and production, and installation.
Jukasa Designs’ stand-alone building was previously used for storing exotic cars and boats.
“We emptied and cleaned the space,” says Jeffreys. “Now, you can pull a bus in one side and out the other.”
In addition to production areas for digital printing, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, and embroidery equipment, the facility also has a paint booth and wrapping bays. Jeffreys wanted the shop to have a European look, so there is a veranda around the second floor of the building, with production downstairs and offices located upstairs.