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Being small and flexible helps Logoworks meet needs of clients.

Being small and flexible helps Logoworks meet needs of clients

Logoworks, the recent offspring of Crestworks of Thunder Bay is, as the song says, accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.

Neither Don Ohlgren nor Gerry Burns, the company's partners, could be called a Mr. In-Between.

Ohlgren already owned Crestworks' building, with 4,000 feet of shop and display space, when he heard about the company.

"I liked it so much I bought the company," he recalls.

In the midst of a growth period now, Logoworks produces personalized clothing, glassware and porcelain, crests and hats - just about anything the client wants. And the company serves clients from as far away as Toronto.

"We got an order from the Big Slice (pizza restaurant) in Toronto. It was cheaper for them to ship the hats up here, have us put logos on them and then ship them back to Toronto," Ohlgren says.

Because Logoworks is small and flexible, clients are not required to order large quantities of goods. What a company needs can be created as required.

Entrepreneur Gerry Burns brings years of advertising experience to Logoworks, plus the creative zest and risk-taking attitude the business requires.

Burns started Crestworks, a marketing entity, because he was always at the mercy of his suppliers when he sold advertising specialty items in Toronto.

Burns started experimenting with designs for tankards. Some of his clients, such as the Anglican Church, had conservative tastes and didn't want a beer stein. Burns accommodated non-drinkers by creating a ceramic tankard which held a pint of whatever the user wanted to put in it.

For Northern Telecom he designed an advertising campaign called the Golden Fleece, a line of sweatsuits with a message emblazoned on the shirt front.

But Burns is not one of those southern Ontario experts who comes up to the north to show the natives how business is done. He was born in Geraldton and knows what northwestern Ontario needs to survive in the business world.

"Secondary manufacturing is going to be the economic savior of northwestern Ontario. We have an international port here which could supply the container trade. There's no reason why we can't have our own knitting mills and dying houses here," he says.

However, established myths must be destroyed before progress can be made. One of the most damaging beliefs is that products can be produced better and sold for less elsewhere.

Thunder Bay is also not accustomed to competition, Burns claims.

"We are capable of producing 1,500 four-color T-shirts an hour," he assures. Crests can be designed and produced in 24 hours.

Future projects include making signs for the real estate industry which are now produced out-of-town. Burns is working with a native artist on a wildlife print series which could be silkscreened onto almost anything.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Manufacturing Report
Author:Merits, Roxanne
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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