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American Printing -- Proof Is in the Match

November 2004

American Printing's distributor, Press Color of Glendale, WI, was an unlikely partner for Van Son a little more than a year ago. According to Dennis Curtin, vice president, Van Son had been courting his company for nearly a year, but Press Color wasn't interested. In a July letter to Van Son, Curtin broke the news.

"They (Van Son) were gracious in defeat," Curtin allows.

Undaunted, Van Son extended an invitation for Curtin to attend a VS5 Council Meeting in Chicago and, out of respect to the host, Curtin decided to attend. The demonstration soon convinced Curtin that his company needed to take a prolonged look at the VS5 formulation.

"The main reason I hesitated was because we already distributed (another manufacturer's ink) and didn't want to distribute two inks, plus manufacture our own line, as well," Curtin says. "But after attending the Van Son meeting and presentation, I knew I'd be crazy not to get into this."

The keystone advantage of the VS5 formula is the significantly smaller percentage of water it needs—roughly 15 percent to 18 percent less than typical inks required during press trials, according to Curtin.

At a Printing Industries of Wisconsin gala, one user happily reported to Curtin that his mileages were up by 20 percent. That's not out of the ordinary, according to Pat Byrne, technical sales representative for Press Color, who worked with American Printing on the project.

"The VS5 held their proofs, reduced their dot gain by about 3 percent, and had better contrast numbers and trapping numbers," he says. "When you run less water, you get quicker turnaround times, better mileage and less calcium issues. I've seen anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent more mileage on the ink per pound, which is also a big plus."

Press Color, a regional ink manufacturer with sales under $10 million a year, is one of more than a dozen manufacturers/distributors to carry and service the VS5 line. While his company has been in business for more than 45 years and has had success with its own line of ink, Curtin finds the Van Son name to be a door opener.

"We're a small, regional ink manufacturer," he says. "With Press Color, it's like the 'who are they?' ink company. Having the new Van Son line allows us to go in with a large company name, bring them small company service and it's really helped us to grow in the sheetfed market."

Curtin hopes the results enjoyed by American Printing represent one of many successful auditions that the VS5 line passes. Especially without Simon's snooty commentary.

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