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RPL Graphics--The New Breed of Printing Company

October 1998
In the commercial printing market, one technology no longer fits all. Methods for putting ink on paper have multiplied like rabbits. Today's print buyers can choose the method that precisely matches their needs for volume, quality and turnaround.

That leaves printers looking for new business strategies. RPL Graphics believes it has found one. This Northern California printer, with annual sales topping $4.6 million, has transformed itself in the last few years and now offers a mix of services aimed at filling every need a customer might have.

Company Profile
Name: RPL Graphics
Location: Dublin, CA
Employees: 31
Annual Sales: $4.6 million
Family-owned RPL has 31 employees in three plants along the Interstate-680 corridor, where full-to-bursting Silicon Valley overflows into a 50-mile stretch east of San Francisco Bay. The high-tech companies established here need a wide range of print services.

With these customers in mind, RPL built a new 11,500-square-foot facility in Dublin, CA. This state-of-the-art plant is high-tech from top to bottom. Surmounting the entrance, a sign bearing the letters RPL, made of special photosensitive material, is black during the day but turns a reflective white under floodlights at night.

"The sign, only the second of its kind in the Bay Area, symbolizes our commitment to technology," says RPL President and CEO Ron Linden. "We have a complete digital prepress department, with both Mac and PC workstations, a high-end Heidelberg Prepress Topaz scanner, a 54˝ wide Hewlett-Packard ink-jet printer and T-1 phone lines for fast remote file exchange."

The front-end also boasts a new 18x25˝ Agfa Avantra 25 imagesetter, a six-color Epson ink-jet digital proofer and an in-house Pressmatch system for analog proofs.

"Eighty-five to 90 percent of our accounts are electronic," says Ken Karimi, prepress manager. "We're almost out of the hard-copy era."

RPL was an AlphaGraphics franchise until late 1997, when Linden took it independent. Linden, a veteran of over 40 years in the industry, recognized that he could grow his business by offering the broadest possible range of services, including commercial color printing, technical documentation, data management services and on-demand black-and-white output.

With that range of output at its disposal, RPL can produce any kind of job its customers want. Its work includes full-color projects such as brochures, product sheets, newsletters, posters, presentation materials, sales leave-behinds and even postcards. Black-and-white work includes technical documentation and white papers, which are output digitally or by offset, depending on volume. The company also produces mailing inserts, large-format full-color banners and overhead transparencies. In addition, customers come to RPL for stationery, business cards, invitations and announcements.



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