Find out how the company has benefited over the last five decades by constantly transforming its production capabilities.
By Lori Leaman
"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less!" These famous words were spoken by US Army General Eric Shinseki, and they're the inspiration behind the business philosophy of Knoxville, TN-based American Screen Art, a graphics-printing shop that has served the fleet- and beverage-graphics industries for more than 50 years. In that time, the company has undergone numerous transitions that have taught it to embrace new technologies and focus on customer satisfaction.
A history of transformation
John Bricketo, John Anderson, Mack Williams, and Dave Collins founded the company, then known as Screen Art, in 1955. The business occupied a 30,000-sq-ft facility and consisted of a handful of employees, a few one-color screen-printing presses, and a couple of diecutting presses. The shop focused on printing fleet graphics.
Engraph, a company that produced corrugated products for the beverage industry, acquired Screen Art in the mid-1960s. Engraph used lithography, roto gravure, and offset technologies to print graphics, and it purchased Screen Art to serve as its screen-printing arm.
Two decades later, Engraph sold Screen Art to Sonoco, another printing company that served the corrugated-packing industry. Sonoco formed Ariston, a sister division of Screen Art, in New Jersey. Ariston handled most of the fleet-graphics jobs, while Screen Art was responsible for the beverage-related print work. Screen Art retained several major fleet-graphics accounts for its beverage industry customers, including Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, as well as for Averitt Express.
In 1997, Sonoco sold Screen Art and Ariston to City Corp. Venture Capital and Graphic Design Technology. Five years later, the pair of companies put Screen Art and Ariston on the market. Ariston was liquidated completely, and Equity South acquired Screen Art. Within a few weeks, Screen Art was re-established as American Screen Art with the same management team and employees that started with the company in 1955 and remained loyal throughout its many transitions of ownership.
Taking charge of change
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.