This year, I am feeling particularly thankful.


Being “thankful” is a complicated feeling; from my humble perspective at least.  I am aware of the day to day gratitude that I feel to those people in my realm that support and inspire me.  But there is a deeper level to being thankful that I am acutely aware of this year.


Over the past 20 years I have experience many highs in lows – both in business and in my personal life.


Upon reflection, I realize that the lows have been just as important as the wins in helping both myself, and our team to grow.  It’s easy look back and recall defining days where Mito has accomplished our goals, won new business, developed new technology.  However, as time passes I realize that the moments that truly define our company, and our team are the moments I can recall where we stumbled, struggled, became frustrated – and then came together and figured out what it took to move forward.


So, this Thanksgiving I am thankful for our incredible team at MitoGraphics.  I am thankful for their dedication to the “Whatever It Takes!” philosophy that defines how we do business.  I am thankful that they understand, and embrace the Small Business culture where we all pitch in to make this a great place to work and learn.   I am thankful that when we struggle, we turn to each other for help and rally around a problem with vigour and innovative minds.


On a personal level, I am thankful to work with a team that brings coffee for each other in the morning, shares rides to and from work, gets excited about an opportunity to be creative together, and in general takes the time to be good to each other.


Over time, teams change…..people join us and then move on to their next adventure.  I am thankful; and maybe a bit proud as well to say that our team of today is the best it’s ever been. 


Lastly, I am ever so thankful to our past, present and future clients for bringing us the opportunities that have allowed us to be challenged, inspired and to do our very best work.


On behalf of the entire team at MitoGraphics, I wish you a most wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Flashback to my high school social studies class. The theme, what career will you chose?


Without hesitation, I told myself, graphic design! I’m going to be a graphic designer!  I’ll make posters, magazine ads, design stuff, it’ll be awesome!  

Fast forward a few years later, there I was taking it all in. The new smells and sounds of a print shop as I waited eagerly to start my first co-op position.  My teacher had instructed us to arrive prepared, so there I sat with my brand new glitter pen and notebook in hand ready to take on the world – or so I thought. This new world involved bleeds, crop marks, yields and an endless list of vocabulary that I had never heard of before.  I very quickly realized I knew nothing about this industry that I was so interested in.

Through college, I had made it my mission to learn as much about the industry and what graphic design really was.   It was one class in particular that caught my attention - PRINT! I had the opportunity to run a press, prepare screens and even do screen printing on garments (photos attached as proof!).  My world of design had been opened up. Why had I never thought of the end result? Why was my mind stuck solely in the design phase, when there existed an entire world of print and production?  It was then that I started to realize the correlation between design and production.


As I started my new job at Mito, I was excited to learn how everything was made, beginning to end. Design to production. I had the same nervous feeling I once felt back in my high school co-op days, except this time, it was a good nervous. It was the eagerness to learn and understand how things became a design on screen to something tangible in the world.  And THIS time I was prepared! I knew what a bleed and crop marks were! (Queue in jazz hands).


Through this job, I learned the impact that design had on print and re-production.  Design was not just making things look pretty as I once had thought.  Design and the end result had to go hand in hand.  Working on projects from varied ranges such close view decals, large scale signage, working from blueprints and branding guides.  They all required different design requirements.  Can it be read? can it be seen? is it functional? all the while maintaining the integrity of the end result and considering things such as brand identity and client expectation. 


My initial concepts of what design was is far from what I know it to be today.  Most elements that we don’t consider to be related with design are integrated into our every day.  The printed buttons on a microwave, the dials on your car stereo, that cool graphic on a car, street signs, those annoying-but-sometimes funny bumper stickers everyone has, the sign on the building on your favourite coffee spot.  


Design is everywhere and it all belongs to the ever-changing world of visual communication.  Understanding your end result, audience and intent is a critical step in achieving both the functionality and beauty that design has to offer.

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Larry Theobalds has been a member of our team since 2001.  He is celebrating his 50th year as a Screen Print Enthusiast, so we asked him to post his reflections on the evolution of his craft.  Enjoy!


50 years ago……… a long time ago when I first got involved with screen printing. It was the time of peace, love and flowers, the Hippie movement, a time of celebration and revolution, it was a great time to be young.

Everywhere there were these crazy posters popping up on walls, telephone posts and construction barriers. Some advertising concerts, other promoting social and political change.

Me, I was in high school, my favorited class…..ART. I was exploring the art of the day, finding underground cartoons interesting and wanting to know about these posters that were everywhere. My teacher in art showed me this frame with an image on it, he put some paint in it and with this strange board thing pushed it across the surface, then lifted the frame up and there underneath was an image on a piece of paper, a screen print!.

My teacher showed me how to take a drawing, cut out a stencil, adhere the stencil to the screen, put ink in and print the image with a squeegee, I was hooked!

I learned how to people like Andy Warhol and Peter Max would make their art with screen printed images, how art students in colleges and universities would design posters for rallies and protests using screen printed process, the social media of the day it was.

Over the course of my time in high school art, I worked in screen printing a lot, as well as a keen interest in fine art and cartooning. When the time came to go to college, I found myself taking cartooning and life drawing and screen printing.

I worked freelance for a while creating artwork for different clients, sometime working with printers to prepare artwork for press.

I found myself at a crossroads and was looking for more permanent employment where I ended up acquiring a position in a screen print hop as I already had the basics under my belt.

I learned how images were created and transformed to the screen using photographic process with light sensitive emulsion (or coating).

I learned the process of screen printing from beginning to the end, creating artwork, making screens, mixing inks to color specifications, printing and finishing for shipping.

It’s been 50 years since I first discovered screen printing and I’m sure it’s not over yet. I think that I’ll always dabble in screen printing as part as my exploration in art even after I retire as a printer. 




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Kristen Danson
October 10, 2019
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Jessie Abrego
October 3, 2019
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