A Sign of Things to Come
Wyatt Harrison’s Plak That is carving its own niche in the printing industry
Written by Victor Fernandes / Photography by Grant L. Gursky
It’s fair to say that Wyatt Harrison has been riding quite a wave of success, even before he launched his own successful business at 25 years old.
After high school, the Ocean City native traveled cross-country to study anthropology at the University of San Diego. After college, he traversed the globe from one warm climate to another before settling, if you can call it that, in Australia for two years.
Down Under is where Harrison first experienced a CNC router, a machine used to cut, shape and etch a variety of materials and the newest of the state
of the art technology that Plak That has invested in.
Plak That has evolved from digital photos printed on wood for Eastern Shore customers, designed in his home and printed in Salisbury, into an ultra-modern operation that has grown increasingly popular among local businesses because of Harrison’s creativity and efficiency.
Harrison and his five-person team create signage, point-of-sale racks and other uniquely eye-popping products with designs that appear to jump off the wood, acrylic, PVC and the aluminum they are printed on with precision. “We’re shifting more into a service operation,” said Harrison, whose company produced the 2018 Coastal Style Magazine Best Of awards.
Plak That has conceptualized and created signage for some the Eastern Shore’s top businesses — K-Coast Surf Shop, ish Boutique and Tailchasers Restaurant & Dock Bar in Ocean City, Boxcar 40 in Pittsville, Maui Jack’s Waterpark on Chincoteague Island — which are all loyal and satisfied customers.
“We’re going to keep marketing to the general consumer, but most of my efforts are tied into fostering new business-to-business relationships, because that has tremendous growth opportunities.”
Thinking big has put Harrison, 31, in a position to look to the future with great hope and creativity, which is why in 2017 Plak That started expanding their catalog into more commercial jobs. Forced to carve a new niche due to increased competition online, Wyatt focused his efforts on evolving Plak That’s products to include commercial signage — a decision that now comprises 55 percent of his company’s business. Plak That has conceptualized and created signage for some the Eastern Shore’s top businesses — K-Coast Surf Shop, ish Boutique and Tailchasers Restaurant & Dock Bar in Ocean City, Boxcar 40 in Pittsville, Maui Jack’s Waterpark on Chincoteague Island — which are all loyal and satisfied customers.
K-Coast Surf Shop co-owner Chris Shanahan marvels at Plak That’s work, who’s signage on Coastal Highway features custom-printed raised lettering on a glossy black-aluminum background. The 3D feel of Plak That’s designs has become a trademark for Harrison, as have one-of-a-kind designs, such as custom surfboard stands bearing the logo for Backshore Brewing Company’s Hoop Tea beverage brand and custom-printed restaurant tables for Off The Hook Restaurant Group.
“He’s brought something really unique to town,” Shanahan said. “He’s really cornered the market. He has a solid base, and I think business is really going to grow for him.”
Harrison fondly looks back to how Plak That has grown from a belief in an idea and himself. Make no mistake, the classic photos printed on wood will always be available online or in their shop in West OC, but there are many more products and services under the Plak That brand. He also has plans for further diversification, such as signage for the real estate industry. “We need to broaden how locals think of Plak That and what we do,” Harrison said.
No matter what direction Plak That travels in the future, Harrison has promising plans in place to continue experiencing success.