Jim Fitts Resigns From Oak

Design Unit of Graphics Express Loses Creative Head
BOSTON–Jim Fitts, who three years ago joined Graphics Express to re-create its interactive design unit he named Oak, will step down as creative director, he said last week.
The well-known executive joined the Boston-based graphics production house with a mission to build its design studio into a sustainable business that traverses traditional and new media.
“I made a three- to five-year commitment to come here and build a company . . . It’s up and running. It’s got a good engine and I’m sure they can find someone wonderful to take it to another level,” Fitts said. A successor is being sought.
Fitts has not decided what he wants to do next but said he would stay on if needed until at least Labor Day. “I think this is really a healthy market right now and might be the time to have a look around . . . There’s a great market here for midsized shops that combine traditional advertising with new media.”
Fitts got his start as an art director at Wilson, Haight & Welch in Providence, R.I., and for almost 15 years was partner and creative director at Clarke Goward Fitts in Boston. Prior to Oak, he was creative director at Milici Valenti Ng Pack, Honolulu.
Just one-fifth of Oak’s $2 million annual revenues are derived from clients of Graphics Express, a figure consistent with the unit’s plan to be self-sustaining, said managing director Tom Clark, whom Fitts recruited in 1996.
Once called Think Tank, the studio was launched in 1993 by Graphics Express founders Skip and Rick Dyer as the in-house design department of the prepress and printing company.
Housed with Graphics Express at 31 St. James Ave., Oak’s clients include Louis, Children’s Hospital, BankBoston and the graphics imaging division of Polaroid.