It's nice to get to know someone because then you know what to expect. Surprises are kept to a minimum and in business that's a good thing.

Sure Print and Graphics is like that.

The staff has been there a long time; long enough for clients to know what to expect when they drop off a job. Whether it's business cards, copies, teaching materials, manuals, logos, brochures, banners, newsletters (the list is endless) or signs for storefronts or vehicles, clients know there won't be any surprises. They've been coming back for 14 years.

"We can come up with solutions based on what we know about them and their business," said co-owner Monica Alongi.

Success in business often depends on reliable business partners and having top of the line equipment can mean a lot. An example of what sets Sure Print and Graphics apart happened before the Ottawa Home Show. Alongi said they literally had last minute requests up to the day before the show for complete marketing packages that some printers would be afraid to touch because of the short deadlines.

"We were literally designing and printing the day before the show."

What allows clients to show up with such short deadlines is Sure Print and Graphics' ability be a complete business service centre - from design stage to print. This provides control over deadline, quality and pricing.

"They know they can come to our shop and get their signs done, their business cards, their pamphlets to hand out to customers and ballots if they are having a draw. They can get it all done at the shop quickly if necessary."

Having 9 full-time graphic designers makes that sort of thing possible. The stable of designers take their work very seriously and take their careers seriously, unlike some "big box" printers where the parttime student you deal with is likely gone next time.

Staying current with printing technology is also key.

"Fourteen years ago you didn't have people come in with USB sticks. Copiers weren’t connected to computers. If we don't keep updated with the times, customers will know. We want them to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job will be done and they will get the quality they want with the speed they want."

An extension of the print business is the Sign Shop, which produces lively sandwich boards, truck and vehicle lettering, corrugated plastic signs, storefront lettering and outdoor signs. Like all the sign work, turning your vehicle into a mobile billboard is also available and done onsite.

The business, located at 2507 St Joseph Blvd., is co-owned by Monica and brother Dustin and sister Andrea and partners Louis Maurice & Ben Wintle. It was started in 1992 by their father, Vince. With clients across Ottawa, Canada, and even into the U.S., it has come a long way since the days when they had two printers and spent a lot of time playing solitaire.