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KIRKWOOD PRINTING -- Energizing Color

August 2003
BY MARK SMITH


What printer doesn't sell quality? The difference at Kirkwood Printing is the standard by which it is measured. Even when a client has signed off on a job, the work still must be deemed acceptable by the press manager or owner, as well as the lead press operator.

"One of the defining attributes of Kirkwood is the length of time a client spends on a press proof. A lot of times the client makes no adjustment," reports Stan Monfette, prepress director. "With our production standards and emphasis on really getting to know our clients, we are able to quickly give them what they are looking for on-press."

"Kirk Krikorian, the owner, has one of the best eyes for color I've seen," adds Ed Mitchell, vice president of sales and marketing. "He's a great judge of what is good color from a reproduction standpoint. Over the years, Kirk has shared his knowledge with the press manager and press operators, which has benefited both Kirkwood and its clients."

Krikorian's passion for printing was gained through work experience as an adult rather than from him being borne into the industry. In fact, he pursued an interest in music growing up.

Once ink was figuratively infused into his veins, Krikorian sought freedom to pursue this passion by starting his own printing company in 1973. In the years since, Kirkwood moved from Burlington to Wilmington, MA, and added on to its current building a couple of times. The tough business climate recently led to a round of layoffs that brought the printer down to a staff of 63 employees, compared to the 80 employees and $11.5 million in sales it reported in the 2002 Printing Impressions 400 ranking of top printers.

Responsible for day-to-day management of Kirkwood are: (from the left) Norm Nicolson, press manager; Ed Mitchell, vice president of sales and marketing; Stan Monfette, director of prepress; and Luis Arevalo, bindery manager (not pictured).
As part of this streamlining, the company was reorganized with the establishment of four management structures—sales, prepress, press and bindery—under the president. In charge of the four areas are Mitchell, Monfette, Norm Nicolson, pressroom manager, and Luis Arevalo, bindery manager. Each has 10 or more years of experience at Kirkwood.

Sticking to Its Ideals

The company has stayed true to the ideal upon which it was founded—"a strong vision and commitment to providing premium services of the highest quality to all clients." It also continues to implement cutting-edge technologies with the goal of maintaining a state-of-the-art printing facility. One change it has seen is a growing demand for shorter runs, with 5,000 impressions now being the average.
 

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