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Canada’s Innovative Design & Print Adds Photo Personalization to Portfolio

30 November 2017

Head shot of Calvin Frey Innovative Print

Graphic communications specialist, Innovative Design and Print, has made the move into the world of personalized photo.

The company, whose head office is in Milbank, Ontario, offers its clients a wide ranging portfolio of services including marketing communications, vehicle signage, website design as well as litho and digital printing.

Incorporated in 2008, the business has expanded steadily over the years through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

Innovative’s Managing Director and Founder, Calvin Frey, says “I was a farm kid, thinking about being a farmer with no real desire to become anything else.  It wasn’t until I started work in the office of a local manufacturing company that I realised there were other opportunities out there. I was involved in the marketing side of the business and interested in the design and printing processes and it didn’t take me long to realize that there was a need in the local community for this type of service.”

“It was this need that encouraged me to start the business as a part time venture in 2007. I started in parents’ basement with a digital press, generating sales and fulfilling orders for three years. When the business outgrew the basement, I moved into the garage, added an extension and spent another three years there.”

Frey acquired a local printing company in 2013 and moved his entire operation to its premises in Millbank. He acquired two other printing companies in 2014 and 2016 in Harriston and Waterloo, which allowed the business to expand into new territories.

Frey continues “I have been interested in the photo market for a while and even dipped a toe in the market some time ago. The outcome wasn’t great due to a combination of poor software and a lack of knowledge.”

“I believe that now is the right time and we should be able to crack the market with a great mix of good products, a local focus and robust, easy to use software. I’m also convinced that mobile users will be an important part of the mix for us to generate volume. We’re also looking at social media networks as potential marketing channels.”

“We have recently launched with our retail partner, Living Waters ( They have added our personalized canvases, cards, calendars and photo books to their existing product range that includes Christian books and music. We’ve already received our first orders and we’re looking forward to working with them on joint marketing activities. With Christmas coming up there should be lots of Living Waters’ customers looking to buy personalized photo gifts for family and friends.”

Frey is planning to use Taopix to launch his own brand next year but will continue to identify future partners who share the same customer demographics.

Frey concludes “I’m very happy with my Taopix purchase and it’s good to see another release coming up with lots of really good changes. It’s important for me to see that Taopix is willing to continually move forward and stay with it, it’s a really big deal.”

Taopix Commercial Director, Steffen Haaga, says “We’re really happy to have Calvin and his team as our partners and wish them well in their new venture. They’ve certainly got some great ideas and all the right capabilities to make a great success of their photo personalization business.”