Featured Graphics: Chair 7

It all started in 7th grade shop class, Chris Harman planned and built a functioning chair for his wood project. Now, many years, kids, and a move from Houston later, Harman has updated his original design to produce classic and elegant seating in East Austin. Harman worked closely with both Ryan Bruce, Miller IDS’ Graphics Account Manager, and Micah Frugia, Miller IDS’ in-house graphic designer to create several vinyl wall decals that detailed the chairs creation and Harman’s biography. Although the first chair was created in 1979, Chair 7 continues to show the sleek sophistication of Harman’s original design.  

Chair 7 became a project again after attending a UT Architecture class one summer, he decided to combine his passion and business acumen eventually leading to Chair 7 today. Miller IDS is glad to have such an incredible work of design just down the way at Springdale General. He’s updated the original design, slightly: modernizing the overall look, to bring a polished, comfortable chair that will be a warm and inviting addition to any home or office. The chair was named after when it was originally constructed, whereas the logo for the chair is an homage to those original offset legs.   

Miller IDS helped bring Harman’s furniture creations from visual concept to completion in several different wall decals that highlighted Harman’s design. Both Ryan and Micah worked with Harman to create a museum-style studio wall vinyl that accentuated the timeline of the chair, a biography, and other wall decals right in time for the EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR this past November.  

Harman had this to say about working with Miller IDS: “Ryan and his team at Miller did an incredible job in taking the vision I had for our studio and adding a number of really cool design elements to our new studio at Springdale General. His team worked under a very short timeline and delivered as promised.”

We love working with designers and artists to help create a place to showcase their incredible, passion-filled work and backstory. Call (512.478.8793) or email (info@MillerIDS.com) for a custom quote to infuse your unique style into any space.  



Fast Times at F1: Signage for Sabre Commercial

Earlier this year, Miller IDS highlighted and celebrated Sabre Commercial’s 10-year anniversary as a leader in the Austin commercial construction industry. Sabre is a company founded on collaborations with the best local industry talent, setting the bar high for quality work, running safe job sites, and maintaining ethical business practices. Sabre focuses on engagement within the communities it serves in San Marcos and Austin, an approach taken this past month at the Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 event. Miller IDS has worked with Sabre throughout its 10 years in business, and today working on everything from construction documents to large-scale job site signage and marketing materials. At Miller, we’ve loved working with Sabre from concept to completion on their Formula 1 tent signage.

For the fourth year in a row, Miller designed and printed signage that incorporated their anniversary while emphasizing the overall theme of F1 racing. The interlocking system of racetrack-related icons was not only visually appealing, but also highlights Sabre and their tent sponsors. Miller printed individualized name badges for each attendee, custom table toppers, and banners that displayed sponsor logos throughout the tent. We also had the pleasure of Sabre inviting Miller IDS’ employees to join the event! Our accounting manager, Kim Hilscher and her husband, as well as our technology sales and service manager, Jeff Stewart, enjoyed the Sabre Commercial tent too!

Kelly Maxwell, Marketing Manager at Sabre Commercial, who worked with both Miller IDS designer Micah Frugia and graphics account manager Ryan Bruce had this to say about working with Miller: “I love working with Miller IDS! Working primarily with their graphics department, I have had the opportunity to interact with them extensively through multiple high-stress marketing events and projects. From the design process through execution, I have always felt confident throughout. The graphics and printing team have made some of the trickier aspects of my event planning my lowest stressor.” 

Thank you, Sabre, for allowing us to design and print for your F1 tent for the fourth year in a row and for your continuous business throughout the year! To read more about Sabre Commercial, click here. Photos courtesy of Kelly Maxwell. 

Featured Graphics: The Guthrie

Miller IDS loves that our 7th Street is in Austin’s culturally vibrant east side, surrounded by so many great restaurants and shops. We anxiously await trying delicious new eateries, from barbeque to Asian-fusion, while watching stylish new apartments and condominiums go up. Being a trusted, Austin-grown business, Miller IDS loves to watch the Austin community grow and flourish. This is no exception as Cypress Real Estate Advisors (CREA) opens its newest apartment complex, The Guthrie, further east at 7th and Gonzalez later this year.

This new residential space focuses on community and east side living with a convenient locale to downtown Austin. The 322 unit community offers everything from rooftop common space, fitness center, a sparkling pool, along with quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Local neighbors include HEB, Hope Farmer’s Market, La Barbecue, Zilker Brewing Company, Sa-Ten, and Launderette as well as the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail and our friends at Austin Bouldering Project. Miller IDS is thankful to work with CREA after wrapping their elevator doors at their East 5th apartments, Corazon. We have printed a variety of outdoor signage for the site including full-color mesh and vinyl banners and directional signage on aluminum and coroplast.  We look forward to the opening of the apartment complex later this year and the new residents that continue to make Austin the place we’ve called home for almost 100 years.


Kenzie Shepperd, Brand Manager for CREA, was generous to give us a rave testimonial from our work with them: “Everything was done quickly and executed well. I wanted something unique and eye catching, but a quick get in the environment. Ryan and Chase made it happen! Within a matter of days I had the first round of proofs to review. Any edits I had were addressed within the day. Overall smooth process, and everyone is happy with the result. Coincidentally the sign got tagged over the weekend, and I texted Ryan a picture and he responded immediately with solutions. I appreciated the quick response and effort to rectify the situation.” Thank you to Kenzie and CREA! We look forward to working with you in the future!

Featured Graphics: Favor Delivery

Modern conveniences and mobile phone-based technology have changed the way Austinites live and do business. Last spring Miller IDS began printing marketing and promotional materials for Texas-based Favor Delivery. The app-based company began in Austin in 2013 and focuses on delivering to you in under an hour. From your favorite enchiladas from Chuy’s to a flash drive from Best Buy you can call in a “favor” on their app and a “runner” will get it to you.   

We have printed several internal and external marketing and branding materials that promote building the relationship between the Favor customer, runner, and merchant. Favor’s teams use these brochures to educate businesses on their unique system and help Texas businesses grow. Favor has set themselves apart through their ability to get things to people fast. On the right, see both the table tent announcements for restaurants as well as signage for their Dallas Runner Clubhouse.

Favor is a favorite for Miller IDS, both as one of our customers and as an app we frequently use. We love supporting Austin and Texas based restaurants and companies that build and strengthen communities (and feed our stomachs with delicious foods). With Austin’s food scene continuing to grow, Miller IDS is prepared to help restaurants with menus, business cards, and customized interior and exterior banners and wall and floor graphics from design to production and finally, installation.

Miller IDS’s own Graphics Accounts Manager, Ryan Bruce, works directly with Favor to provide high quality products that are used across Texas. Chris Rogge, Art Director at Favor, gives this glowing recommendation about his experience with Miller IDS: “The team at Miller is always excited to jump on our projects and always willing to jump on the phone and talk about how they can make it happen. They work in such a timely manner and are giving updates along the way, and always produce high quality products and have great attention to detail. We know Miller will be an integral part of Favor’s growth and expansion and we look forward to each and every project with them!” Thank you Favor for these great words of recommendation!


Featured Graphics: WHS Girls Soccer

Creating Powerful Graphics for a High School Soccer Team was the Goal!

This past spring, Miller IDS partnered with the Westlake High School Girls Soccer program to assist in a total graphic identity rebrand.  

We worked closely with their parent’s sports association to coordinate and produce this fully-integrated campaign. 

To begin, we helped design large, permanent wall graphics for their Varsity and JV locker rooms. After printing the designs in-house, the Miller IDS team, powered by a large supply of breakfast tacos, installed them on-site.  


Additionally, we printed two large, weather-resistant team banners, which were hung in the stadium and also proudly transported to playoff games. Efforts included printing individual player banners, plus printing team posters that the players autographed and hung throughout their community and sponsor’s businesses.


The Chaps team, coaches and parents were grateful to be so well represented. As more school programs, sports and otherwise, are embracing the power of eye-catching graphics campaigns, Miller IDS is fully capable of assisting your team from start to the final whistle.  


Miller IDS Celebrates Lee Bothe

This month we celebrate one of the Miller IDS/Blueprint greats, Lee Bothe. Lee has worked at MILLER for almost four decades and continues to come in every day with a smile on his face and a story locked and loaded to share with his co-workers. As he retires this Friday, April 20th 2018, we want to extend a great thank you to him for 38 years of service to the company. MILLER is so appreciative for his work, experience, and dedication to both the company and the Miller IDS/ Blueprint family. 

Lee Bothe at our 7th Street Location.

Around MILLER, Lee is known as a kind, reliable individual and a great storyteller. While recounting his favorite times at MILLER, he remembers when now-owner Luci Miller hosted a Halloween costume contest. He retells the story through laughter as he reveals the “workaround costumes” that his department put together. Having a t-shirt press at the time, they made t-shirts that hosted a picture of the Creature from the Black Lagoon on it and the slogan “Official Costume”. Lee laughs that “of course the department ended up winning the contest”. More recently, Lee describes one of his proud moments that came during SXSW, when a customer gave him a genuine thank you, and he saw pictures of his work being admired by others. 

Luci and Bob presented Lee with a certificate for his service!

Lee says that he is excited to retire but will miss the routine of coming to MILLER every day. “I’ve been doing it for 38 years! It is going to be weird to not get up in the morning and come to MILLER.”  Lee says he is going to miss the companionship and comradery that comes with working at MILLER.

Lee expressed, “when I came here, I didn’t think I would last four to five years! I never expected I would be the oldest, longest tenured employee at Miller IDS!” Lee, however, is excited to have the opportunity to move into the Texas Hill Country and travel with his wife, dog, and to visit his children along the way.

Miller IDS is losing a good one. Lee is an institution here and we are sad that it’s already time for him to retire. We are, however, excited for him to enjoy life more fully with his loved ones. Thank you so much Lee for 38 years of service with MILLER, it’s truly been a pleasure!

Featured Graphics: Delaware North


Leaving town and want to rep the 512? You can find official SXSW and ACL Live merchandise in the ABIA! These SXSW graphics pop as you walk by because of their backlit setup. Specifically, the lightbox makes the graphic appear digital, crisp, and clean from both close-up and far away.


Cut Vinyl has been a favorite for several years, but now is in demand more than ever. These are completely customizable and easily installed and, depending on the surface, removed with little to no damage.

This banner, right, was tailored for Delaware North to reflect no light. More specifically, it was created to showcase the Hip-Hop band Magna Carda who performed at ACL Live in September 2017. SXSW-goers were excited to see Magna Carda back in Austin at the Karma Lounge this past weekend.

It’s always fun to see Austin institutions after landing at ABIA. SXSW and Austin City Limits have created a culture in Austin that continues to support the town’s slogan of “Keep Austin Weird.”

Austin’s Creative industry growth loses ground to other cities, report says

Miller greetings-from-austin-texasFrom the Austin Business Journal:

Austin appears to be losing traction in growth of its creative industries to other U.S. metros, according to the latest report by renowned researcher Richard Florida.

In “The Winners and Losers of the U.S. Creative Class” article released Monday in The Atlantic CityLab blog, Florida notes that the percentage of workers employed in the creative industries dropped slightly in Austin in 2014 as a share of total workforce compared to 2000.

Places such as Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City and Baltimore saw the most rapid growth in the creative sector during that time perios, even if that percentage is still small relatively speaking.

In 2000, Austin rated No. 5 among largest metro areas for creative industry employees — 35 percent of the total economy. That number dropped to 34.1 percent in 2014 — a small amount but a large contrast to other places, even in the Rust Belt, which are attracting creative workforce with greater velocity.

Austin Business Journal previously wrote about the exodus of the creative class from Austin’s urban core— due in large part to the lack of affordable housing.

In Florida’s study, Austin now ranks No. 10 for creative industry employment. Raleigh, North Carolina, also has experienced a loss of creative class momentum in the past 14 years — down 4.3 percent compared to Austin’s 2.8 percent loss.

Texas overall did not fare well in the study. Houston, Dallas and San Antonio joined Austin for slowest growth in the creative work sector. Other also rans were Birmingham, Alabama; Orlando, Florida; New York; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.


New Equipment in the House!

We’re very excited to announce that Miller IDS  is an authorized servicing reseller for Oki-Data small format products and Colortrac portable scanners!

OkI_C941e_6527869Miller IDS is now selling and servicing Oki-Data small format color printers and multifunction systems.  The Oki MC873dn series offers all the MFP productivity features you want, in a compact, environmentally friendly device.  The Oki C941e is a five color LED device that prints with CMYK plus White or Clear toner.  The C941e is an affordable printing device with breathtaking output, stunning detail and production speed up to 50 ppm in Color.

colortracWe are also offering the world’s first truly portable wide format scanner! The SmartLF Scan by Colortrac works like a digital camera, enabling you to scan to internal memory, USB, PC, network or cloud.  Portable and self-contained; just plug it in and scan, then download the images back at the office. Perfect for construction, engineering and architectural site work!

For more information, please contact:
Webb Fox
Phone: 512.200.6549

Five Tips for Super Effective Posters

Music_PosterPosters are a magical blend. They mix the talents of marketing people, graphic artists, and production specialists. A good poster takes advantage of all three of these elements to persuade the audience to take action. A key poster design point that is emphasized by all of the tips below is that posters need to make their point quickly – within a second or two. With that in mind, here are five tips to make effective posters:

1) Start with a concept, not a sketch: The marketing person has to begin the poster-making process. This professional should define the target audience, the pitch to be made to that audience, and the desired result of that pitch. But then the graphic artist should take the reins and develop ideas for artistically bringing those elements to the audience. This order – concept first, art next – takes advantage of both professional’s skills.

2) Follow your priorities. Like any good piece of graphic art, a poster needs to draw the viewers’ attention to the core concept first, then the secondary items. So if your poster is aimed at persuading teens to attend a hip-hop show, the name of the artist and his or her photo/image should be the most visible items. Since posters must grab the attention of passers-by in the first second or two, if the main point is not immediately obvious, attention goes elsewhere. Secondary items – such as the time and location of the event and other details – also need to be clear, but the designer can assume that if the viewer is persuaded by the main pitch on the poster, he’ll take the time to find the details.

3) Keep it simple. Cluttered posters do not get attention, because the human eye tends to look past busy images. Simplicity in a poster means the number of fonts should be limited, and they probably should be sans serif so they are easy to read. It also means that text should be limited to the absolute key points – provide an URL if more details are required. And images should be simple and clean – remember, people walking by the poster are only going to give it a second or two, so the image needs to be quickly and easily perceived.

4) Use bold colors. Solid, strong colors — red, blue, green, yellow – are going to be noticed more quickly than pastels or other “soft” colors. If your poster’s color scheme makes it blend into the background, change it! The last thing a poster should do is camouflage itself. Use a basic color wheel – see http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm – if you’re unsure about what colors are bold.

5) Choose your reproduction method carefully. There are many ways to print posters, and the most effective for your purpose depends on the number of posters you need, their intended location, how long they will be displayed, whether they need to be rolled or kept rigid, and other factors. Modern digital printing techniques can affordably create short runs in great quality, and finishing – such mounting, laminating, or UV coating – can make the finished poster durable and long-lasting.

Source: Ed Avis