Photos by Libby Rogers
Cyclone Graffix opened its doors in September 2016, and has since been offering the Huntsville area design, wrapping, shirts, graphics, printing, and branding services, to name a few. The business is owned and operated by the husband/wife duo of Robert and Shelli Wiess. Shelli grew up in Huntsville, attending middle school and high school here. After college, the couple moved down to Houston, then back to Huntsville in 2008. The yellow business building off Sam Houston Avenue has been a former Dodge dealership as well as a Mexican foods grocery store. The couple has two daughters, Avery and Blair, and one two-year-old grandson. Their youngest, Avery, graduated from Sam Houston State University and is back at SHSU taking prerequisites in pursuit of her doctorate in physical therapy. Their oldest, Blair, lives in Arkansas with her husband and son, after graduating from Texas A&M. Robert formerly worked in marketing, designing oilrigs and marketing them to big oil companies. In addition to the graphics business, the couple also owns Cork and Canvas, a Do-It-Yourself painting and sign-making class that Shelli runs on the weekends and during evenings. It’s a great activity perfect for groups, getaways, and parties. The couples’ primary agenda consists of many different design jobs and paying great attention to detail in every job. They design logos for businesses and incorporate the business colors into the trailers, buses, or advertising platform. They offer a wide variety of services to businesses and individuals, such as business cards, flyers, decals, signs, table covers, and floor graphics.
The business has wrapped vehicles for many businesses in town, and you can see some of their work on the shuttles for apartment complexes like Encore, The Forum, and Gateway. To make these huge vehicle wraps, they use an 11-foot long printer than can process paper as large as 150 feet long and 60 inches wide. This enormous printer makes it possible to wrap everything from brick and cinderblock, to a monster truck they did recently, the largest thing they’ve wrapped so far.
When asked about some of the challenges, Robert and Shelli want people to know that it takes some time to get it just right. “Once we get a jpeg image of what they want their vehicle to look like, then we go into Adobe Illustrator and re-create it. Once we get a new file, more than likely we’ll spend about a week redoing it,” Robert says. “Trying to match colors is difficult, too, because what you see on your computer screen is not necessarily what prints out. It depends on the computer, too,” Shelli adds.
It is also a challenge to wrap vehicles perfectly, using a squeegee to perfectly seal out any air bubbles over the clean surface. When asked how they make the vehicles wraps appear so seamless and perfectly fit to the contours, they explain it this way. “You have to have a spatial mind. I come from an industry, before I got into designing, where we had to actually take something bent, like metal, and flatten it out. You have to know what it looks like before and after. Its hard to get your head wrapped around sometimes,” Robert explains.
In addition to wrapping, some of their specialties include company branding, tradeshow displays, signs, banners, window/wall graphics, custom decals, and graphic design. “We do a lot of company branding. We have a lot of people come in who are just starting their own business, and they don’t really know where to start, so we help them design a logo. Robert’s really good at helping them focus on what’s important. It’s important to get the message across of what you do, not just the name of the company. You want the logo to get stuck in their head, but you need it to tell people what you do,” Shelli explains.
More detail work goes into wrapping a vehicle than one would think. The first day spent with a vehicle consists of intensive prepping. Lights, trim, and door handles must be removed, in addition to cleaning the vehicle immaculately, in order to do an impeccable job. Some other places may not go to such extensive measures, but at Cyclone Graffix their priority is excellent service. “If I wouldn’t be 100% happy with driving it, I wouldn’t want one of our customers driving it,” Robert says. Their attention to detail undoubtedly sets them apart, alongside their desire for the customer to be completely satisfied with their services. They pride themselves on quality materials and their ability to do an excellent job in a timely fashion. The favorite part about their business is that each day brings a new challenge and new customer. “It’s something new every day, and we meet a lot of great people,” Robert says. Cyclone Graffix is grateful to their returning customers and looks forward to always exceeding their expectations.
Robert and Shelli say the most special aspect of their graphics business is their attention to detail. “Rob won’t let it go unless it’s perfect. If we’re not happy with it, we’ll rip the vinyl off and reprint it. I’d say that’s what sets us apart from a lot of other people. Many times, our customers say it turned out even better than expected, and that’s what we aim to do,” Shelli says. Robert adds, “When we’re looking at something so closely for hours on end, we see things that the customer doesn’t. You may not see it, but I see it, and I wouldn’t feel right sending them with it unless it’s just right. We use nothing but the best in regards to vinyl, and we have a lot of returning customers who trust us.”
For fast, quality service for your advertising and branding needs, local business Cyclone Graffix can help you our. For inquiries, questions, or to request services, you can reach Robert Wiess at [email protected], or call the business at 936-439-6711. To inquire about Cork and Canvas or see the website, Shelli Weiss can be contacted at [email protected], and to schedule you can visit www.corkandcanvastx.com. Both businesses can be found at 2703 Sam Houston Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340.