The reality was, the retail music business had seen better days. For Mike Boyd, Dave Hess, and their colleagues at Camelot Music—one of the leading mall-based music retailers in North America—an industry that had experienced explosive growth for decades was now blowing up in the face of new technologies and a little something called the Internet.
Around that time, a banner Boyd had created for the wedding shower of his wife’s friend (shown below) was seen by a marketing representative from Belden Village Mall in Canton. It led to a meeting, and then a request for more work, and suddenly a business was born. So Boyd struck out on his own, later inviting Hess to join him.
The year was 1996, and that business was Creative Source. In the 20 years since, their company has grown from a bedroom operation located in Hess’s house to a 5,000-square-foot office and production facility in the heart of the Belden Village business district.
Today, Creative Source specializes in creating, printing and installing large-format signage and displays, using vinyl, adhesives, decals, mesh and other durable materials typically used for displays for both indoor and outdoor applications.
“We have deep experience in turning big ideas into bold graphic representations,” said Boyd, who now serves as the company’s president. “Whether it’s on a sign, banner, wall graphic, floor graphic, trade show display or other large format, we help companies stand out through strong graphic and visual presentations.”
The company moved to its current offices, at 4623 Everhard Road in Jackson Township, in 2009. “We relocated during the recession, when it would have been easier just to stay in our old space and wait things out,” said Boyd. “We needed to re-invent ourselves and change to what the market was looking for. It turned out to be a great decision, because it’s a more convenient location for our customers and has made us more visible in the community.”
One of the striking things about the business is the professional atmosphere at its Everhard Road location. Instead of walking into a print shop or production facility, customers enter through the Idea Center, a creative space for conversation, meetings, or just brainstorming. Double doors lead into a bright, open office suite that offers a quiet and well-appointed environment for staff and clients to work and interact. From there, large windows and glass double doors allow for an open view into the production facility, where a 64-inch HP Designjet digital printer serves as the nerve center of the Creative Source operation.
In addition to its organic customer base, Creative Source works with numerous advertising agencies and in-house marketing departments to provide signs, displays, and other creative marketing solutions. “As art directors and graphic designers, we speak the language of our colleagues at agencies and creative departments,” said Hess. “We can make suggestions and adjustments for them, or even provide turnkey design services if that’s what they require. We’re a one-stop shop in that regard.”
The duo’s initial foray into creating signage for shopping malls has grown to represent a significant portion of the company’s business. “We still do work for Belden Village Mall, and regularly provide signage for other high profile centers such as Beachwood Place, SouthPark Mall and Aurora Farms, to name a few,” said Boyd. “We have the knowledge and experience to provide what malls and shopping centers need, and can do it under the most demanding conditions and deadlines.”
Creative Source is active in the community, as well. The Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce recognized the company as its Small Business of the Year in 2014, and Boyd, who is a member of the Jackson Rotary, is in his third year as chair of the club’s annual Field of Heroes flag display, which takes place each year on Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s really brought the community together, because it’s given people the chance to recognize their personal heroes by placing a U.S. flag in the field,” he said. “We’ve had people honor military, first responders, coaches, teachers and other individuals who have made a lasting impact in their lives.”
Creative Source has grown from those small beginnings 20 years ago into a successful business and a respected member of the local community. For Boyd, it all comes down to one thing: relationships.
“We take the time to get to know our customers and their needs,” he said. “People aren’t just looking for signs; they want solutions. Our goal is to exceed their expectations and help them be successful.”
For more information, contact Creative Source at (330) 497-5556 or visit them at www.csforideas.com.
Based in Canton, Ohio, Creative Source is a sign, display and printing company that helps businesses develop marketing solutions and brand messages that stand out from the competition and generate sales. In addition to specializing in graphic design and large format signage solutions, Creative Source operates the innovative Idea Center, a functional space available to clients and outside organizations for meetings, conferences and creative brainstorming sessions. More information is available on the company’s website at www.csforideas.com.