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Performance Buys Lenticular Leader, Optigraphics

May 1999
DALLAS—R&D at Performance Printing, a $20 million supplier of point-of-purchase (POP) and promotional marketing materials based here, indicated that lenticular printing would be a promising and profitable route to business expansion.

So, when Pinnacle Trading Card Co. went "belly-up" last year and was forced to put its renown lenticular printing division on the market, the acquisition of Grand Prairie, TX-based Optigraphics seemed to be just what the Performance R&D "doctors" had ordered.

Having printed various jobs for Optigraphics in the past, and knowing its reputation for innovation and technical leadership in dimensional and special-effects imaging, Performance Printing enthusiastically put in a bid for this lenticular printing leader. The acquisition was completed in March, and all Optigraphics operations have been relocated to the Performance facility. Company officials say most of the former firm's management and personnel have been absorbed into the combined business.

"We are delighted to be able to acquire a company with a 29-year history of leadership in the lenticular field," says John White, president and CEO of Performance. "Interest in lenticular products—including POP, in-pack and on-pack premiums, ad specialties, direct mail, apparel and textile applications—has reached an all-time high."

For Optigraphics, that interest had paid off in sales to the tune of approximately $25 million per year and included such clients as Kellogg's, Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald's, PepsiCo and Warner Brothers.

Optigraphics has attracted such clientele using a high-volume, cost-effective manufacturing process known as stereo-embossing. Performance now has exclusive rights in the Western hemisphere and Europe to this patented technology, which is unlike other lenticular processes in that it prints on paper or plastic and laminates the substrate to the lens, whereas other lenticular processes print directly on the lens, which reportedly is more expensive and registration is more difficult. (Even so, lenticular veteran Optigraphics has experience in both processes.)

Specializing in offset and screen printing, display packaging, POP displays and fulfillment, Performance Printing had researched the lenticular field, concluded that it was a "hot" product and wanted to offer the service to its customers. Interestingly, according to Performance officials, research also indicated that, while currently rather expensive, lenticular printing is becoming more affordable. And with new uses being seen all the time—catalog and annual report covers, spot labels, greeting cards, shelf-danglers, static cling displays, etc.—Performance officials say they are confident, not only in the growing lenticular market, but in their sales staff's ability to sell the products.

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