Unless they burn to the ground, mangle a worker in a press, or employ someone who gets busted for embezzlement, printing companies don’t attract much attention in the mainstream media. It’s rare that hometown newspapers portray them simply for what they are—local businesses striving to protect jobs and profits from all of the forces that seem to be conspiring against jobs and profits in the printing industry these days. A praiseworthy exception is this profile of Missouri printer Kelly Press in the Columbia Daily Tribune. Our editorial hat is off to the writer, T.J. Greaney, for the quality of his reporting, and to the paper for letting the story run to its abundant length of nearly 2,000 words—extravagant in comparison with the coverage that print firms typically get (when they get any coverage at all). Kelly Press has been in business for 78 years, and its roots in printing’s past are made clear in the article. One of the accompanying photographs shows a pressman torquing a printing unit on a Miller sheetfed press that can’t be less than 30 years old. In another, an operator daubs yellow ink from can to fountain the old-fashioned way, with a spatula. The company has a niche—calendars—that at first glance doesn’t seem remarkable or forward-looking in any way. But Greaney explains in convincing detail how Kelly Press has revitalized the product with variable-data printing (VDP). He also notes the company’s success in ancillary activities that include sports marketing services and student recruitment for college admissions departments. Here, according to Greaney, is how Kelly Press has leveraged the power of VDP on behalf of Central Methodist University (CMU): “The images on CMU pamphlets might include cheerleaders for someone with that interest or a biology lab for someone interested in science. Even the smallest detail is considered: Male students receive a brochure showing a smiling male CMU student surrounded by two women, and female students get the reverse.” Read the entire story. It’s lighter on technical detail than a plant profile in the graphic arts trade media would be, but we think that Greaney’s sense of the changing nature of the printing business is as acute as any trade journalist’s. He lets Colin See, general manager of Kelly Press, address the implications of change for all printing businesses that want to outlast their Millers and their ink knives. “For a while we’ve recognized that print is dying,” See is quoted as saying. “So to just try and sell more printed stuff wasn’t a good long-term solution. But to try to incorporate print into what the world is becoming makes sense.” See’s view of the mortality of print can be argued with, but not his advice for keeping the business alive and well.