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The Marek Group — Founded on Quality

August 2009
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IN 1972, Frank Marek bought a small letterpress shop in the Milwaukee area to meet the surrounding area’s professional printing needs for quality products at competitive prices. With a small group of employees, Marek fostered a company ethic with an eye on the future—a commitment to customer satisfaction and the expansion of printing capabilities and services.

Today, The Marek Group has more than 170 employees and provides a variety of offset and digital printing, as well as Web-to-print capabilities, to a wide range of industries. Offering a broad range of printing applications has rewarded the shop with a loyal customer base. The company is now led by Tamara Marek, president, and Fuzzy Marek, CEO, who both understand the importance of gaining a technological edge when it comes to business—a lesson taught to them by their father.

To succeed in its mission, The Marek Group launched a G7 certification initiative to ensure the delivery of exceptional printing standards and to provide a metric for improved color balance across its multiple printing presses. G7 certification is a proof-to-print process based on a set of color standards. To reinforce its reputation as a high-quality printer, the firm began an extensive investigation of additional operating procedures while seeking its G7 certification, including a qualitative focus on the market’s most popular offset inks. 

As a result of its testing, the business noticed a problem typical with most inks when attempting to achieve higher color vibrancy with a lower pigment mode: to produce a bright, highly detailed application, inks that have a lower pigment mode are needed in larger quantity, which greatly increases drying time and slows turnaround.

Making the Marks

Marek wanted an ink with a high pigment mode that could run with a thinner ink film on-press. On a consistent basis, this combination would actually allow increased productivity with less waste. Fuji Graphic Systems, which supports The Marek Group’s chemistry and prepress operations, recommended Van Son’s line of Vs3 inks to address the issue. Marek decided to evaluate the Vs3 inks in its operating process through rigorous testing. 

“We ran the Vs3 inks on a consistent basis, doing a lot of reruns,” says Lance Johnson, prepress and pressroom manager. “The month-to-month consistency in brightness and shading was remarkable—in fact, it was unusually high for any ink. Even if we had to rerun a project months later, color consistency was not a problem. Additionally, we can achieve our goal of running a thinner ink film on the press, reducing the amount of ink needed and speeding the drying process.” 

 

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