Simon Printing Is True Calling
With that in mind, Simon obtained a bachelor's degree in printing management from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1983. He had worked in the prepress department at Publishers Press during the summer for most of his teenage years before transitioning into sales and customer service.
"Initially, I did estimating and production planning," Simon remarks. "I managed most of the front-end operations, the customer service department, prepress services and the sales effort. (Those departments) still report to me directly."
His father made a crucial decision for Publishers Press in the 1950s when he changed his company's focus to publication printing. Commercial jobs had been erratic and difficult to schedule, but magazines were as dependable as clocks, and they represented repeat business. Business picked up considerably for the printer in the 1970s, when the elder Simon made the transition of turning Publishers Press from a sheetfed to a web offset operation.
In a photo from 1989, pictured from the left are: Nick Simon, Michael's brother; Frank Simon, Michael and Nick's late father; and Michael Simon.
In 1990, responding to the company's rapid growth, expansion plans were drawn for a second facility in nearby Lebanon Junction. Frank passed away in May of 1990, never seeing the plans that would materialize the following year. Following the death of their father, Nick was named president and Michael took over as executive vice president.
Publishers Press turned the technological corner in 1993 when it became the first publication printer to embark on computer-to-plate technology. Installation of the capability began in the summer of 1993 and came online in the following spring, as the May 1994 issue of Sports Car International marked the first filmless, full-color magazine.
"We actually originated computer-to-plate. We were the first company to print a four-color publication by computer-to-plate in the lithographic market," he adds. "We've been digitally adept and maintained an aggressive posture in educating our staff on digital workflows."