Mitchell Graphics Inc. receives 2017 Corporation of the Year Award

January 17, 2017 - Mitchell Graphics Inc. has been selected for the 2017 Corporation of the Year Award amongst its state-wide peers and competitors by the Michigan Printing Week Association.

Mitchell Graphics was recognized at the 34th Annual Printing Week Dinner and Awards Banquet January 17 at Lauren Manor in Livonia – the birthday of the award’s namesake and father of American Printing, Ben Franklin.

“The wording on our mission and values statement has changed twice since we first put it on the wall over 25 years ago, but it still means the same thing. ‘Dedicated to our customers’ and teams’ success, ultimately strengthening the communities we live and serve in.’ It’s about everyone winning being the ultimate goal and it’s a higher bar, but a worthy goal.  One that pursues a lasting legacy for the betterment of the greater good,” president and owner of Mitchell Graphics, Gary Fedus, said at the event.

Since the award’s inception, it has primarily named Southeast Michigan printing companies as honorees. Mitchell’s physical footprint includes locations in Northern Michigan – both Petoskey and Traverse City – but its state and national customer base couple with its unique business model made it the 2017 standout.

President of Michigan Printing Week Association, Nick Wagner, said, “Mitchell is more than a printing company – they are integral partners with their customers not only providing printed pieces but developing marketing solutions for their clients. That’s the sign of a company that embraces all aspects of the graphic arts, the industry and their community.”

Each year, the Michigan Printing Week Association reviews nominations identifying companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their commitment to the graphic arts industry, the State of Michigan and their community.

Mitchell Graphics Inc. has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by association marks a significant achievement as an emerging industry leader.

The current business model has evolved over time as customer demands and technologies tranformed.

Mitchell Graphics’ presses began rolling in March of 1972, known originally as Little Traverse Printing. Founded by brothers Bill and Andy Fedus, Mitchell Graphics was quickly recognized as a quality four color printer in Northern Michigan. Starting out with a press in Andy’s garage and Bill’s basement housing the camera and platemaking equipment, it wasn’t long before they were in a building of their own and a short time later acquired “The Print Shop.” 


Growth came quickly in these early years and a larger building became necessary. Bill realized to continue growing, Mitchell Graphics had to expand their market area and product offerings. In 1981, Mitchell Graphics began working on a niche while brother Andy split off to operate the Print Shop. Under the name of Mitchell Color Cards, they began selling postcards nationally through a dealer network, then moving to a direct selling approach in 1984. This direct sales approach proved to be the most effective way to reach potential customers and Mitchell Graphics’ customer base began to grow quickly.

With the art market (artists, art galleries, museums, etc.) being an early adopter of using direct mail postcards, Mitchell Graphics endeavored to continually improve its processes and quality of color reproduction. This commitment to the highest standards of quality is still a hallmark today.

In 2006, under the leadership of Bill’s son, Gary, Mitchell Graphics began its transition from selling only niche products – postcards and other printed materials – to becoming a full service provider. Today Mitchell is a communication partner offering creative, offset and digital printing, on-site direct mail, marketing consulting, and several integrated media options.


Mitchell’s aim is to act responsibly. Fedus and the staff believe that long-term viability of the business results from an emphasis on client satisfaction, the development and support of our people, and constructive involvement in the communities in which they operate.

Mitchell Graphics is a long-time member of Printing Industries of Michigan – both Bill and Gary Fedus having served terms on the board of directors. The Fedus family’s community commitment has also included key roles on foundations and boards of directors of several prominent non-profit organizations in Northern Michigan including the McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation and Crooked Tree Arts Center.

It is Mitchell Graphics’ mission of “dedication to our customers’ success while providing a fulfilling environment fostering the growth and development of our staff” that has been the catalyst behind the continued expansion of its diverse capabilities and culture.

In April 2014, Mitchell Graphics expanded their presence in Northern Michigan by acquiring Progress Printers of Traverse City. Progress Printers began as a local newspaper in Elk Rapids, Michigan, in 1865. The first issue of The Elk Rapids Progress reported the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. In the early 1980's the newspaper was phased out while the new focus of the company, then called Progress Printers, became commercial printing. In 1982, Jim Novak purchased Progress Printers and operated in Elk Rapids until 1987, when he moved the business to its current location in Traverse City. Progress Printers, has since transitioned to Mitchell Graphics, offering the same expertise and service. Their family owned, customer oriented operation has meshed well with Mitchell Graphics’ mission and vision. 

A commitment to their clients’ and team’s success is why Mitchell Graphics continues to thrive. Mitchell Graphics is focused on helping people realize their potential. And it is the people of Mitchell Graphics that you will find, for many years to come, offering solutions to help clients succeed.

For more information, about the Ben Franklin Award, visit or