PI’s 40th–We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!


Forty years ago this month, when the first national edition of Printing Impressions rolled off the press, its mission was simple: to report objectively on newsworthy activities among printers nationwide. Installations, expansions, relocations, promotions, (industry) predictions, health reports, even obituaries were given “feature news” treatment in a newspaper format.

To solicit news, Printing Impressions invited “every reader to be an honorary reporter in order that specific problems and solutions, suggestions, ideas, views and news, may be intelligently digested and presented in Printing Impressions for the benefit of everyone in the industry.”

In those early days, the stories were big (in size), and advertisements were small (in number). To attract readers and advertisers, Printing Impressions had to publish valuable information about managing a printing business. Still does.

To this day, every issue is packed with insightful articles, intelligent ads and a multitude of miscellaneous information concerning the commercial printing and allied industries. Equipment installations, plant expansions and relocations are still covered, but they appear primarily in news-brief form within editorial departments rather than full-length features.

In that respect, the publication remains much the same as it was in 1958. However, in almost every other aspect, Printing Impressions has changed and grown (in editorial coverage, page counts and circulation). With each of its 480-some issues, the magazine has evolved by mirroring changes in the times, technology and the industry itself.

Four decades ago, Printing Impressions’ founder—himself a former printer and equipment dealer—set out to create a publication that would serve as an information center for the graphic arts. He succeeded.

That founder is Irvin Borowsky, and this is the story of his “baby.” Yes, Printing Impressions has come a long way!

Newspaper to Magazine
THEN–Printing Impressions – Volume 1, Number 1, June 1958; a 12-page, black-and-white tabloid newspaper; national circulation of 50,000 subscribers; evolved from a regional prototype covering the Delaware Valley (PA, NJ, DE), which was launched in April 1958; Foster Publishing Co., Philadelphia; I.J. Borowsky, publisher and editor.

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