Fifty Years of Firsts … And Still Counting

Fifty years ago, Ira and Mary Lee Strack struck out on an adventure of a lifetime, opening Custom Printing on Pike Avenue in North Little Rock.

A half century later, that adventure continues – now with son Paul Strack at the helm of CustomXM.

“Fifty Years of Firsts … And Still Counting” is the  months-long celebration of our successful past, present and future.

Press Release, April 26, 2016 – PDF


  • Ira Strack begins his career in printing.


  • Ira and Mary Lee Strack, with partners Charles Dodson and his wife, Betty, open Custom Printing Company in North Little Rock

    They started the company with used equipment they purchased: two offset presses, two letterpress machines, a Linotype machine, a camera, a ruling table, a folder, a drill, a stitcher and foundry type.


  • logo-1966-2Custom Printing expands its physical plant for the first time.

Early ’70s

  • direct-to-plateCustom Printing embraces the new “direct-to-plate technology.”

    This both eased and sped up printing processes.


  • Custom Printing expands it physical plant again.

    This gives the business a larger presence on the 1700 block of Pike Avenue.1975

Late ’70s

  • Custom Printing is one of the first area printers to install high-speed copiers.

  • The Strack family creates a family photo that should have never been put on the internet.


  • Custom Printing becomes a corporation.


  • Custom Printing developed their own software for estimating and accounts receivable using BASIC programming language.


  • Custom Printing purchases a Kodak 350 High Volume, High Speed copier.

    This allows short run, black ink, letter and legal size jobs to be run on the copier instead of the press.

  • Custom Printing adds computerized typesetting.


  • our staffSon Paul Strack joins the business, bringing a wealth of energy for sales and a great knowledge of computers.

    This also may be the first time a CPA left public accounting to go into printing sales!

Early 1990s

  • Custom Printing replaces typesetting with desktop publishing and adds digital color printing.


  • 1993 biz of the yearCustom Printing wins the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce Small/Medium Business of the Year.


  • Custom Printing expands again to create its current physical plant.


  • Paul Strack is named president of CustomXM.letter


  • CustomXM launches its first website.1999 website

Early 2000s

  • Custom Printing wins Best in Show – NAQP Premier Print Awards.


  • MarketingCustom Printing starts repositioning its business.

    The company now embraces “cross-media, interactive marketing solutions” as well as traditional print.


  • logo-2006The business’s name changes to CustomXM.


  • CustomXM purchases a NEXPRESS Digital Color Production Press from Kodak.

    This enables unique versions of each printed document based on the prospective customer.


  • CustomXM adds a Kodak Dimensional Printing System.

    Digitally printed images now can mimic the surface of the items in the image. So, an image of a football actually feels like a football!

  • CustomXM wins Arkansas Business’s Business of the Year.

  • Printing Industries of America awards CustomXM with two Best in Category “Benny” awards at the Premier Print Awards.

    The business also wins a Graphic Award for self-advertising work.


  • Paul Strack is a finalist for Arkansas Business’s Business Executive of the Year.


  • Mary Lee Strack sends Paul a Facebook friend request…

  • CustomXM becomes one of the first commercial printers in the area to install a 3-D printer.  Less than 3 months later, they become one of the first commercial printers to totally abandon that technology.

  • CustomXM created the state’s first virtual shopping wall at McCain Mall.


  • wide-formatCustomXM adds wide format printing capabilities with its SignXM division.

  • Paul Strack is named Printer of the Year by the National Association of Quick Printing.


  • CustomXM opens a business office in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock.

  • benny-smallPrinting Industries of America awards CustomXM with a “Benny” in Best of Category at the Premier Print Awards.

  • CustomXM celebrates International Print Day with our first music video.


  • white-tonerCustomXM becomes one of the first in this area to offer digital printing with clear and white toner, and the ability to print on a 27” sheet size.


  • CustomXM adds promotional products and ad specialties to its product offerings.

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