DreamWorks Graphic Communications: A Dream Becomes Reality

The DreamWorks team (from the left) includes John Perkins, executive vice president; Norm Friedman, president and co-founder; and Daniel Luka, CEO and co-founder.

Uncertainty was certainly the big buzzword for the printing industry in 2009. While many printers were hunkering down due to the recession, long-time friends and colleagues Norm Friedman and Daniel Luka decided to launch Skokie, IL-based DreamWorks Graphic Communications. The partners acquired all of the assets of a 60,000-square-foot commercial printing business and, in just five months, completely renovated the facility, brought in new equipment and hired a full staff.

According to Friedman, one of the most challenging aspects was trying to roll out a new company within the metropolitan Chicago area—an ultra-competitive marketplace already filled with printers feeling the economic crunch. “We took over a company that was basically going bankrupt,” he points out. “So, we needed to establish credit and also to prove that our company was going to be around for longer than a few months.”

After purchasing the equipment to get their business up and running, the partners began to hire new employees—many of whom were former industry colleagues. Since its outset, the FSC and G7 Master Printer certified operation has established itself as one of the fastest-growing graphic communications companies in the Chicago-land area. “Because of our growth, we are attracting more sales representatives interested in joining our organization than we can actually handle,” Luka explains. “Our success is because we have remained debt-free, which has allowed us to grow and be very competitive in our pricing.”

Plenty of Firepower

Today, the 62-employee operation serves more than 100 customers across the United States. DreamWorks caters to a range of vertical markets, including advertising agencies, marketing firms, large and small corporations, and large manufacturers. Services include sheetfed offset printing, digital output with variable data/personalization capabilities, lenticular printing, metallic and metallic effects printing, binding and finishing, as well as mailing, warehousing, kitting and fulfillment services.

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