It’s refreshing to see new businesses appear in town especially in the shadow of the closing hours of the COVID pandemic. They lend to the economic vitality of Forks as well as our community independence. Olympic Graphic Arts closed its doors in 2020 after 47 years of service as a print shop, leaving graphic designer and local artist Vern Hestand to wonder “what’s next?”. His murals, carvings, logos, and signs are all over town, but without a print shop, many of the necessary services that were assumed to be available locally would simply vanish.
“I felt responsible somehow”, said Hestand, “Who else in Forks was going to fill those same shoes? It’s a scary thing, beginning something risky like this. But it didn’t seem like ‘beginning’ so much as ‘carrying on”. After 8 years of working with experienced printer Joyce Pagac, Vern has decided to open a new print shop right across the street, next to Laundry 101. More of a ‘gallery of possibilities’, Olympic Artforge carries part of the name of the old printeria and will become a one-stop-shop for everything the local artist produces. “After all”, he said, “This isn’t what I DO so much as who I AM’”.
Olympic Artforge, like its predecessor, will provide creative and professional services to the entire West End and put printings’ epicenter back in Forks where it belongs.
In addition to designing and producing the usual business cards, brochures, forms, and publications, in the new shop customers will also be able to commission paintings, order woodcarvings, produce prototypes and models with 3D printing, arrange for film production, laser engraving, web design and host of other 21st century and high tech services.
Keeping family nearby Vern’s brother Luke and his partner Brandie are right next door at UGI. For the moment they are keeping really busy detailing vehicles; more on this new business later.