Graphos was founded in September of 1993, in the gloomy days of the Alberta government's deepest-ever spending cuts. Oil was $16 a barrel, and the only thing in full swing was recession. In downtown Edmonton, office space was cheap and abundant. The first Graphos headquarters was on the corner of Jasper and 103 Street, in the same building as our present Edmonton location. It was a corner office on the second floor, with large windows overlooking the landmark Bay building and Paramount Theatre. Every day, a fully derailed street preacher delivered his fiery sermons within easy view. All for a monthly rent of $650!
Graphos' specialty was print design, pretty much the only graphic design there was. The so-called Information Superhighway was generating early buzz, but it would be two more years before the first Canadian bank would launch a website. With a background in journalism and publication design, our founder Laurier loved the excitement of learning how clients' businesses worked, to identify the unique kernels that would become the core of their ad campaigns.
Those ads, plus corporate logos, printed brochures, and event posters were among the company's early projects.
It wasn't long before a web domain appeared on Graphos' window signage. The first website we ever built was our own, and it was the beginning of our reputation as a multidisciplinary firm.
Our capabilities evolved from very basic web page designs to custom web-based applications, and we added the Graphos CMS content management system, video production, and search engine optimization to the mix. Clientele began to shift from small businesses to organizations with more complex and comprehensive marketing needs. Graphos acquired the accounts of shopping centres, land developers and national businesses with thousands of employees. We designed award-winning annual reports and critical documents for tech companies, government departments, utilities and land developers. Business trips to Calgary became routine. After working with Calgary clients for well over a decade, we opened our Bankers Hall office in early 2008.
Much has changed since our early days. Our service offering is now even more sophisticated and diverse, with the addition of mobile apps, global ad campaigns and social media strategy. Still, we've retained our reputation as a fun company to work for and a reliable one to work with. Our Edmonton office has moved upward a few floors and the team has grown in number, but our clients still enjoy being able to connect directly with designers and developers rather than play Telephone through an account executive. With this web incarnation—call it Graphos.ca 8.0—we're a mature company, and we value more than ever the privilege of learning every client's business. Perhaps we can add you to our roster of cherished customers!