Emily, a long time employee, (over 30 years!) tells about the early days when neighbors voiced some concern about "all the ladies" going to "work" over "at that house!" And just what sort of "work" were they doing with people coming and going during the day?
The company line name was originally "K Line," but a copyright dispute came up with another company of the same name. Lou produced evidence of earlier use of the name, but decided to sell the rights to the trademark when the price became right. Thus was LA Line born.
Lou taught himself many skills. He learned offset printing, hot-stamping, and then moved into the screen printing of decalcomania. He became proficient at making steel-rule dies (and we're still using some of those "early" designs!).
His first attempt at a metal license frame in the early days was a die-cast zinc frame. Casting these frames in-house was "interesting" as he made the molds himself. The frames were then chrome-plated by an outside source and then brought back in to be finished using a spray-booth in the garage for the paint on the letters. His wife did most of this finishing work.
Later, he used his tool & die skills to create the dies for our first steel license frame. This steel stamping, applied with the 3M Reflective decals, became a standard for LA Line, and although we have more styles available today, it's mostly the same item that was sold originally.
Over the years, Lou expanded from being a Print Shop to screen printing and finishing. If he didn't invent the thing, he was certainly a close second to coming up with Ad Plates for car dealerships. These early designs were die-cut aluminum ad plates which rose up above the state license plate and showed the dealership's name for advertising purposes. We still have some of these vintage platesaround featuring the dealership's name and phone number, along with a scantilly clad and voluptuous young lady in a (at the time, anyway) provocative pose. I suppose those ad plates might have helped to sell a few cars back then!
Lou wanted his business to continue after him, and it certainly has, in a strong way. We are still a changing, growing entity, owing our start to the man who knew "he could do it, too!"
We appreciate your business!!
Rick Russell, President