SGIA and PIA Officially Merge

Press release from the issuing company

On May 1, 2020, the two entities officially unite to bring resources and services together under one roof to best support future industry growth and longevity

Fairfax, Va. and Warrendale, Pa. — The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA) today announce that, as of May 1, 2020, the two organizations will officially merge. SGIA and PIA are together committed to serving the graphic arts community with preeminent research, education, training, events, legislative support, government affairs, health and safety, and other key industry services. SGIA primarily serves the graphics, industrial and apparel decorator segments; and PIA primarily serves the commercial printing segment. Together, members will have access to services across many channels.

Ford Bowers is elevated to President and CEO of the combined organization. Michael Makin, current President and CEO of Printing Industries of America, will become an Executive Vice President of the unified organization, effective May 1. The new association name will be announced in the coming weeks, as will the combined board of directors.

“As convergence increasingly continues in our industry, this newly-formed entity with PIA is the logical progression of our long-standing history together,” says Bowers. “SGIA acquired NAPCO Media in 2019, bringing the industry’s leading media company under our umbrella. Now with PIA, we can provide even more streamlined services across all market segments and in one easily accessible location. Together, we house the most renowned thought leaders, events, and programming in the printing and graphic arts community.”

“PIA is thrilled to join forces with SGIA, combining resources to serve every segment of the printing industry. Pooling the extensive talent of both organizations, along with the media expertise of NAPCO Media, is a game-changer,” says Makin.

In addition to collaborating to produce the PRINTING United Expo and Conference, SGIA and NAPCO Media recently partnered with PIA and its affiliates to launch a powerful resource channel dedicated to providing the printing and graphic communications industry with up-to-the-minute news and resources on COVID-19 and how to navigate the latest information about the pandemic. The COVID-19 Resource Channel continues to serve the industry with this critical detail. The companies will now work together to continue offering these essential resources and services.

Further details about the merger and combination of services will be announced as the integration takes place. In the meantime, information is available on both company websites until the new site reflecting the combined organizations is launched. Visit sgia.org or printing.org for information.


By HARVEY LEVENSON on May 01, 2020


Congratulations to SGIA and PIA on a consolidation that will, hopefully, benefit both organizations, the entirety of the graphic communication industry, our industry’s present and future employees, and the many present and future users of our industry’s products.

I hasten to note that all evolutions have a history, and that history often explains the present and serves as a “window on the future.” The evolution of the merging of SGIA and PIA dates back to 1924 and the formation of the Lithographic Technical Foundation (LTF) housed in Chicago. LTF became the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) in the mid 1960s when the organization moved to Pittsburgh and became the premier research, technical, and education association in the printing industry. At its peek, GATF employed over 100 people and had numerous research and testing laboratories managed by some of the leading scientists and technologists in the field. Historically, in 1999 PIA merged with GATF, and the combined organizations simply used the Printing Industries of America name.

I’ve written this with the hope that GATF’s role in our industry’s development, leading to the SGIA/PIA merger, will never be forgotten.

Again, I wish both groups and their constituencies the best on this consolidation.



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