Schawk Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence and Innovation
Press release from the issuing company
DES PLAINES, Ill.--April 10, 2003-- Schawk, Inc., the world's leading provider of digital brand image management solutions to the consumer products packaging and advertising and promotions markets, celebrates 50 years of excellence and innovation this year.
Founded in 1953 by Clarence W. Schawk, the company has grown from its humble beginnings as a sole proprietorship, operating in the basement of a private residence, to being a multinational organization, operating from 28 locations around the world and delivering world-class services through three core competency groups: Graphic Services, Brand Consulting & Design and Enterprise Products.
The company's history dates back to Clarence W. Schawk's return home from his service in the U.S. Marines during World War II. Knocking on doors throughout Chicago, he applied for a job at R.R. Donnelley and Company, but company policy - a relative of Mr. Schawk's was already employed by the publishing printer - prevented him from working there. Undeterred, Mr. Schawk found employment at another local printing company where he began his journey as a prepress craftsman.
A few years later, Clarence W. Schawk moved to Alden Press in Chicago and became manager of the company's prepress department. In time, Mr. Schawk realized that he knew enough about the craft to be able to provide high quality prepress products through his own business. Leaving Alden Press in 1953, he used the money he and his wife Marilyn received as wedding gifts to establish Schawk Litho Plate.
For the first few years, the business operated out of the basement of a private residence on the northwest side of Chicago. Mr. Schawk, as the company's only full-time employee, made the printing plates, and working part-time, his wife handled the billing and his cousin made deliveries to customers.
Schawk Litho Plate moved to North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago and continued to grow in sales and employees. The company's biggest competitor, Process Litho Arts, then the biggest prepress firm in Chicago, stood directly across the street. Within a few years, Clarence Schawk bought Process Litho Arts, marking the first of more than 40 acquisitions over the next 38 years.
Since that first acquisition, Schawk, Inc. has grown into a global powerhouse, expanding its depth and breadth of services and reaching around the globe to better serve its clients. Today, the company employs over 1,400 people worldwide with annual revenue in 2002 in excess of $186 million. For 50 years, the company has resiliently withstood the test of time, navigating its way successfully through revolutions in technology, downturns in the economy and the mergers of clients. One thing hasn't changed - Clarence Schawk's unrelenting passion for the business he is in. "I love the business today as much as I did the day I started it," emphasized the company's Chairman.
Today, you'll find Clarence Schawk in his office on River Road in Des Plaines, Illinois, most every day, still keeping a close watch on the business he founded 50 years ago, focused on the company's mergers and acquisitions. During 2003, Clarence W. Schawk will visit each of the company's 28 worldwide business units with his son, President and CEO David A. Schawk, to mark the company's anniversary and celebrate its heritage, while recognizing the achievements of 2002 and reinforcing the company's goals for the future. Throughout the year, Schawk will be celebrating 50 years of excellence, innovation and leadership.
Schawk, Inc., headquartered in suburban Chicago, is a leading supplier of electronic digitized high resolution color graphic services, brand consulting and design and an array of digitally-based workflow solutions, all aimed at bringing enhanced value to its clients. Schawk provides these advanced services for the food, beverage, and consumer products packaging, point of sale, and advertising markets.
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