Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
While in high school, Edmond deBoisblanc discovered that he was artistically gifted. At the time, he hand painted signs for several of his father’s businesses, but after his dad went broke, the young deBoisblanc decided to hang his own shingle for custom-made signs. This August, his business, Crown Decal Printers, celebrated its 50th year.
Located at 141 Decal St. in Lafayette, Crown Decal Printers offers a wide range of products and services, including decals for vehicles and equipment for many major oilfield service companies, a variety of commercial and political signage, adhesive vinyl lettering, thermal transfer printing, dye cutting, laminating, custom digital printing, stencils and numerous specialty products and printing techniques.
Starting as a one-man operation in 1963, deBoisblanc produced signs for various local businesses. “We started out hand-painting signs the old way — with a brush,” deBoisblanc says. “Over the years we have not only kept pace with the latest technology, but also branched out to produce a comprehensive scope of products and services, from decals to digital printing and much more.”
That branching out began one night when a “fly-by-night carnival kind of guy” staying at a trailer park introduced him to silk screen printing. DeBoisblanc taught himself the process, making Crown Decal the first business in the Lafayette area to offer commercial screen printing. With this new technique, he garnered a loyal following of real estate companies for their signage.
Eventually, deBoisBlanc broke into the oilfield through a friend whose father was a big wig at Petroleum Helicopters Inc. He got his big break when he secured a contract to print all of PHI’s decals. Soon, Crown Decal earned a reputation as a source for decals within the oilfield industry. His estimated 600 to 700 customers include major companies like Halliburton, SLEMCO, WHC Inc., Greens International, LUS, Wood Group, Weatherford, M-I SWACO, Knight Oil Tools and Frank’s International.
When it comes time for political races, deBoisblanc says business booms. “For almost every political race, we do signs in the multi-parish area,” he says, “from sheriff to city alderman.”
Long before George Rodrigue became a famous artist, he worked for an advertising agency. One day, he showed up at Crown Decal to get a price on a series of billboards for Evangeline Downs racetrack. Over the years, Rodrigue and deBoisBlanc became friends, and once Rodrigue started painting fine art, deBoisBlanc started doing silk screen prints for the renowned Blue Dog series. The company has also established itself as a resource for producing screen-printed festival posters, printing numerous editions for nearly every festival in Louisiana.
“We have been privileged to serve countless customers over half a century by providing the latest technology and top-quality products,” says deBoisblanc, who is still actively involved in sales and art work for the company. “Personally, I have been blessed to have an incredibly talented staff of professionals working with me, several of whom have been here for more than 25 years. And we hope to keep serving our customers for many years to come.”