Best Print Shop: Crown Prints
October 13, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Trevor Ward of Crown Prints wholesale screen printing believes his company offers value to his customers in the form of authentic logo-wear shirts, jackets and hats printed locally, which gives them credibility as collectible mementos.
"Locally designed and produced products are worn more proudly than shirts from a major retail outlet," Ward says.
Crown Prints, recognized as the 2016 Best of the Boat, has been on the Steamboat scene since 1989, but Trevor and Sharon Ward purchased the business, located at 2730 Downhill Drive, from founder Mitch Uttech in 2006.
Ward was a longtime ski patroller and Steamboat Powdercats guide with an associate degree in ski area management from Colorado Mountain College who was looking for a business of his own when Crown Prints became available.
The business has hundreds of unique customers, he says. Schools in the area can order through online accounts, and businesses from hair salons to building contractors rely on Crown Prints to reinforce their identity. One of the biggest perennial customers is the Mustang Roundup, which orders 700 to 800 pieces per year. STARS is also a good customer.
Crown Prints also does good business with nearby marijuana retailers.
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"Those guys go through a ton of hats," Ward says.
The heart of the business is silk screening garments with unique logos. Jody Schuelke is the veteran screen printer in the shop and recent Iowa State University graduate Patrick Hernandez is the graphic designer.
Hernandez develops his custom designs on a computer screen and prints them out on acetate which is exposed to a high intensity light that burns the image onto an emulsion so it can be inked onto cloth.
Ward says he derives his greatest sense of satisfaction from "Just being part of Steamboat and helping local businesses and being a part of the community."