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The GFX Story

a culture that is rooted in helping
clients be the best they can be

The GFX Story

a culture that is rooted in helping
clients be the best they can be

The GFX story began in 1989, when Founder & CEO, Chuck Huttinger, acquired Midwest Decal, a five-person decal printing shop. An entrepreneur with big plans for the small shop, Chuck expanded the company’s offerings to include promotional signage and graphics, pre-press services, and post-production for special finishing and custom fulfillment. In 1996, Chuck rebranded Midwest Decal as GFX International, Inc.

GFX has continued to grow through investments in technology and facilities, as well as an aggressive approach to attracting top industry talent. The company’s  investments and hard work have evolved GFX into a world-class design, printing, execution and logistics partner capable of solving complex in-store issues for domestic and international retailers and brands.

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1980's

1989 - Midwest Decal, Inc. is acquired

Huttinger and two partners purchases the assets of Midwest Decal, Inc., a general screen printer manufacturing warning, parking and safely decals for industrial applications.

1989 - Midwest Decal, Inc. is acquired.

The company was located on the 6th floor in 6,000 sq. ft. of an industrial building at 1100 W. Washington, Chicago.

1989 - A retail marketing company is born

Shortly after the acquisition, Huttinger refocuses the company into the retail market.

1990's

1990 - The move to a bigger facility

The company moves from Chicago to the suburbs – Buffalo Grove, IL into 15,000 sq. ft. in a commercial/industrial park.

1992 - The name is changed

The company changes its name to MDIgrafx, Inc.

1994 - Making the Inc. 500 list

Inc. 500 magazine names MDIgrafx to its list of “fastest growing private companies”.

1994 - From three to one owner

Chuck Huttinger buys out his two original partners.

1994 - The company Continues to Grow

The company adds an additional 15,000 Sq. Ft. (Total square footage increases to 30,000 Sq. Ft.)

1996 - The company adds more square footage

GFX adds 15,000 additional sq. ft. bringing new total to 45,000 sq. ft.

1996 - MDIgrafx becomes GFX International, Inc.

The company decides to change the name to GFX International, Inc. to reflect growing capabilities and geographic presence.

1997- The growth continues

GFX adds 10,000 additional sq. ft. bringing new total to 55,000 sq. ft.

1997- The company develops its first software tool

GFX unveils its new software product “Store Profiler“.

1999- GFX moves to current facility

GFX moves to Grayslake, IL into an 88,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility.

They expand their service offering to include creative services capabilities.

2000's

2000- GFX adds branded environment accounts

GFX adds first branded environment account, Athlete’s Foot.

Adds 30,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Volo, IL (Total 120,000 sq. ft.).

Purchases large format 5 color in-line screen press.

2002 - GFX gets an Inca Eagle

Purchased first Inca Eagle large format flatbed inkjet – only the 3rd machine of its type in North America.

2005- GFX goes turbo

The company adds an Inca Turbo large format digital inkjet.

2010's

2010 - GFX leads the industry with its capabilities

The company adds an Inca S70 – high speed flat bed digital – only the 4th machine in North America at the time.

Also moves distribution center to Libertyville, IL; 85,000 sq. ft. (Total 175,000 sq. ft.)

2010 - GFX introduces GFX Symphony

GFX rolls out it’s first version of GFX Symphony – fully integrated smart distribution and online store front.

2012 - GFX Symphony gets an upgrade

GFX releases GFX Symphony 1.5, adding an upgraded user interface and new features.

Adds a wood shop to its capabilities mix.

2013 - GFX Continues to grow its staff

GFX adds a dedicated business development team.

2014 - GFX Adds To its Technology stack

GFX Launches The Stacks by GFX, a digital asset management system.

2014 - GFX Continues to grow its staff

GFX Develops the Install Tool plug-in for GFX Symphony, to allow clients real-time reporting on installation progress.

Added the Inca S50 high speed large format inkjet.

Revamped prepress workflow utilizing Esko software.

2014 - GFX marks 25 years of In-Store success

Staying true to its passion for innovative design and flawless execution, GFX celebrates their Silver Anniversary with a Photo Shoot Party featuring: custom designed & produced 3-dimensional displays, unique props and of course – their amazing team!

2015 - GFX moves distribution to larger space

The company moves its distribution center to Antioch IL; a 120,000 sq. ft. (Total 210,000 sq. ft.)

2015 - GFX 'makes it matter' during the holidays

Always dedicated to purposeful in-store design, GFX is extending their creative talent and visual products beyond retailers & brands to make it matter for Mercy Home For Boys & Girls.

2016 - GFX Symphony 2.0 is released

Rolls out GFX Symphony 2.0, which included an upgraded two modules of GFX Symphony to new user interface.

2016 - GFX 'makes it matter' for Maryville Academy

GFX’s team of design and production professionals re-imagine a number of patient rooms at Maryville’s Children’s Healthcare Center as part of the company’s community outreach initiative, Make It Matter.

2017 - GFX Symphony gets another upgrade

GFX significantly increases the capabilities of GFX Shop, the online storefront of GFX Symphony.