CAMDeSigns 1

Frank Corcoran of CAM DeSigns holds a piece of raw material steady as a router cuts out placards to use in a local restaurant’s front-facing sign on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The family-owned company is now based on Island Avenue in Island City.

ISLAND CITY — Frank Corcoran is always on the lookout for inventors.

Corcoran is a co-owner of CAM DeSigns, 11401 Island Ave., Island City, a sign and construction company that also converts people’sideas into reality.

“We can take any idea, even ones written on napkins, and turn them into products,” he said. “We like inventors.”

Almost all of the products Corcoran and his staff produces are made of wood, metal or plastic or some combination of the three.

“If it involves plastic, metal or wood, we can build it,” he said.

CAM DeSigns has been making products designed by people with dreams of getting patents ever since the family owned company began operating about 15 years ago in Cooperstown, New York. The firm, which Frank Corcoran owns with his wife, Shasta, and their two oldest children, Rylee and Ana, moved to La Grande six years ago from Cooperstown and switched to Island City in July.

Products CAM DeSigns has made from the plans of others include an ice cream flavor board with embedded magnets for The Local, the new La Grande coffee and ice cream shop. Its features include wooden boards that can easily be put up and replaced magnetically.

Frank Corcoran said he relishes the mental gymnastics needed to convert plans into new products.

“I enjoy trying to figure things out,” he said. “I like multidisciplinary projects.”

This is fitting. CAM DeSigns is a multidisciplinary company that also makes customized wraps for vehicles.

“One of the more common requests we get is for car wraps,” Corcoran said.

Car wrapping is a way of changing the look of one’s vehicle without having to repaint it. A vinyl film wrap completely or partially covers a vehicle, very often topped with a message advertising a product or service.

The car wraps CAM DeSigns produces all have advertising messages. Corcoran believes car wraps are one of the best ways to get the word out about a business.

“It is hands down the most effective way to advertise in a local market,” he said.

Corcoran said anyone who has their vehicle wrapped will give their business or message an optimum amount of local visibility in Union County.

“At some point, in two or three months, almost every eyeball in the county will see it. It is very, very effective,” he said.

Corcoran said in big cities companies pay people to drive vehicles that have been wrapped with advertising messages.

The cost of getting a wrap from CAM DeSigns ranges from $400 to $2,000.

Corcoran said the quality of car wraps is continuing to rise because of improved materials, which provide better color stability and more protection from the sun. The better products allow the car wraps to remain in good condition for five to six years.

CAM DeSigns also does construction, often focusing on kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and makes signs out of metal and high-density foam for storefronts.

A new project for the company is the production of woodstoves that burn longer and more cleanly. The stoves are now available.

CAM DeSigns set up shop in Island City near Grocery Outlet and Walmart in July to boost the company’s visibility. Corcoran said the move has increased customer traffic, and he hopes the family company can operate there for years to come.

“We love what we are doing and are doing what we love,” he said.

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Dick Mason is a reporter with The Observer primarily covering the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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