Virtual Press Clips: Print Firms in the News
This is a paper slicer,
By Patrick Henry
Published: September 30, 2009
This is a paper slicer, circa 1845, and it’s but one of the relics to be found at the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco, CA. The collection of bookbinding equipment and artifacts, profiled in a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, recalls a time when that city had the largest concentration of printing businesses in the West (including 30 bookbinderies destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906). The collection was established and is curated by Tim James, owner of nearby Taurus Bookbindery, which executes handwork bookbinding services on vintage machines that are museum pieces in their own right. According to the story, James spent 15 years accumulating the collection, and he gets a bit testy when people confuse binding pages with putting ink on them. “This has nothing to do with printing,” he’s quoted as saying. “Bookbinders were around for 1,000 years before printers.” Grand Meridian Printing isn’t the only New York City printer to have relocated from lower Manhattan to the Queens manufacturing district known as Long Island City. But, it’s a rarity in having had its move reported in detail by a New York City newspaper—in this case, the Daily News, which recently filed a story about Grand Meridian and its owner, K.Y. Chow. The story says that like many Manhattan-based printers, Chow worried that some his downtown customers might not follow him when he moved across the East River in search of more ample and affordable space. That, happily, has not been the case, and the story says that Chow and his employees are doing well in a 15,000-sq.-ft. plant financed with a $1.5 million loan underwritten by the U.S. Small Business Administration and $1.7 million in incentives from the city’s Industrial Development Agency. The company prints for various government agencies and provides general commercial printing services. Another expansion-minded printing company is Print Fulfillment Services of Louisville, KY, said by Business First of Louisville to be planning a $2.2 million expansion that would include an additional 20,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and 23 new jobs. According to the story, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in Frankfort is helping with $380,000 in state tax incentives for up to 10 years. The full-service trade printer offers mailing services and next-day delivery of promotional, marketing and branding products. It has operated in Louisville since 2006, creating just-in-time items for companies via online accounts. Elsewhere in the country, however, printers are keeping their expansion plans on hold until economic recovery begins to look like something more substantial than an economist’s prediction. This piece at CNNMoney.com reports that some small-business owners are “heading back to the mailroom” to handle tasks once performed by employees whose jobs were cut, and it includes testimony from Nicholas Aguilera, a co-owner of Diego & Son Printing in San Diego, CA. According to the story, the recession has forced Aguilera to reduce his staff by half—including his 82-year-old aunt, who had worked there for 25 years. His remaining 11 employees have cross-trained and accepted a 10% pay cut. Aguilera has trimmed his own salary by 20% and eliminated all unnecessary expense—including the aquarium in the front office, because it cost up to $70 each month to maintain. “We want this thing to work, and we will cut as much as possible," he is quoted as saying. Sault Printing Company, whose 40th anniversary in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was noted a few months ago here in Virtual Press Clips, made more news when the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News reported that the company has been chosen by the Smithsonian Institution to produce a variety of printing projects for the Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. The jobs will include invitations, response cards, envelopes, and programs for events connected with the 20th anniversary of legislation creating the museum, which has exhibit spaces in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Among other requirements, the customer specified a special-order, FSC-certified paper with a very high post-consumer content. Sault Printing Company is owned by siblings Ron Maleport, Mick Maleport, and Cindy (Maleport) Albon, all of whom are members of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. According to the story, the company prints for Indian-related interests all over the U.S. At Print 09, it received a Certificate of Merit in PIA’s 2009 Premier Print Awards competition for Ghosts of the Shipwreck Coast, a 32-page publication for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.