Meeks Group: Casting a 'Wide' SwathApril 2013 By Erik Cagle, senior editor
Want to know a little something about Meeks Litho? Take a look at the company it keeps.
The firm, based in Tulsa, OK, recently embarked on its 51st year in business. There are two significant aspects of its hometown. For one, it used to be known as the "oil capital of the world" and was a major player in the U.S. oil industry throughout the 20th century. But the city has since diversified into technology, finance and aviation, among other areas.
A second noteworthy point: Tulsa is in the heart of Tornado Alley. That tends to keep inhabitants on their toes.
Perhaps Meeks Litho is a product of this environment. It was a small commercial shop for its first 25 years of existence, but once Jerry Crockett—the son of one of the the firm's co-founders, Frank Crockett—bought out his partner Minton Meeks in 1986, he took Meeks Litho down the path of diversification, a journey that resulted in a name change to Meeks Group and continues to the present.
"In the beginning, I worked the front office, finding new customers and exploring new markets," Jerry Crockett explains. "My dad kept the production moving by adapting to the rapid changes in industry technology."
The company has flourished tremendously since the younger Crockett's arrival, growing to one of the three biggest printing concerns in Tulsa. Meeks boasts 45 employees and a 65,000-square-foot facility, not to mention a fascinating combination of printing formats and capabilities that truly highlights the beauty, bold range and fun aspects of printing.
Sure, Meeks Group still offers garden variety commercial printing, including business cards, brochures, annual reports, pamphlets and magazines, backed by a fleet of Heidelberg sheetfed offset presses. The company also offers static and variable data printing, employing a Kodak NexPress M700 digital press. Its clients range from corporate to retail, small businesses, casinos and trade shows.
Wider is better at Meeks Group. Its signs division provides vinyl wraps for automobiles, windows, walls, sidewalks, ceilings, floor graphics, trade show graphics—any place where wide-format signage can provide an added kick for business. The shop, backed by 3M-certified installers, has produced some dazzling auto wraps to promote radio stations, repair shops and community events, loud and bold enough to cause fender-benders by distracted drivers.