The executive team at Portland, OR-based Irwin Hodson Press includes, from the left, Ken Kozol, Heather Brown, Nick McDonald, Albert England and T.J. McDonald.
Irwin Hodson's press crew.
Irwin Hodson's prepress workflow automation helps drive productivity.
Irwin Hodson's HP Indigo 5000 press.
By investing in a 10-color UV perfector with double coaters (shown), Irwin Hodson is expanding its market reach.
“Whatever shape the overall economy is in really doesn’t make a difference to us. We looked beyond today when investing in our new KBA equipment. This press will be a Trojan horse for us for at least the next four or five years. There are cycles in this business. If I wait until the cycle moves up, I’ve missed my window of opportunity.”
T.J.’s son, Nick, Irwin Hodson’s marketing coordinator, adds that the company saw a great opportunity to provide efficiencies that will benefit customers, as well as expand Irwin Hodson’s reach well beyond the local area. “The Portland market is fairly saturated with six-color-and-coat presses. Because we now have the only KBA press configuration like this in the Western United States, it will allow us to expand into additional markets north, south and east of us.
“With the technology that the new press offers, we can provide customers with production advantages—printing both sides of the sheet in one pass, maintaining cost effectiveness, the environmental benefits that can be achieved with UV capabilities, along with the toolbox of special effects,” Nick McDonald says.
Irwin Hodson debuted in 1894 as a small printing and bookbinding shop, and has evolved over the years along with the shifting market trends. Today, the printer provides general commercial work—annual reports, marketing collateral, catalogs, art prints and calendars that utilize UV technology. Its digital press division produces self-mailers, brochures and short-run catalogs.
The creative community, design agencies, apparel/footwear, transportation, healthcare and technology sectors can be found among its impressive list of clients. Three of its biggest accounts are among the best-known names in the footwear business.
The 75-employee business occupies two facilities with 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space in an industrial area of Portland. The printer has two sister businesses outside of the graphic arts industry—metal stamping (license plate manufacturing) and a marking division—and a third on the peripheral, promotional products.