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

1951

  • Ira Strack begins his career in printing.

1966

  • 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.

1971

  • 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.

1975

  • 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.

1978

  • Custom Printing becomes a corporation.

1983

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

1984

  • 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.

1990

  • 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

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

1995

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

1996

  • Paul Strack is named president of CustomXM.letter

1999

  • CustomXM launches its first website.1999 website

Early 2000s


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

2004

  • MarketingCustom Printing starts repositioning its business.

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

2006

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

2007

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

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

2009

  • 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.

2010

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

2012

  • 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.

2013

  • 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.

2014

  • 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.

2015

  • 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.

2016

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

©2016 CustomXM