Von Hoffmann Corp. — By the Book

Spelling Success
“Webster Publishing, located in the adjacent suburb of Webster Groves, was doing the publishing for him. We were in the suburb of Crestwood, MO. They probably looked in the yellow pages for someone to print books for them, and they came to Von Hoffmann Press,” Uhlenhop says. “We soon began to process and print millions of Kottmeyer spellers.

“Webster Publishing was then acquired by McGraw-Hill, and that really gave us our entrance into the educational marketplace.”

In the last three years Von Hoffmann Corp.—which now includes Von Hoffmann Press (the core educational book manufacturing operation); Von Hoffmann Graphics; Preface; H&S Graphics; and Precision Offset Printing—has swelled to 10 locations and more than 2,200 employees. The acquisitions are essentially twofold. The main thrust was to expand the product and service menu the company can offer to its educational publishing customers, while also making inroads into other markets.

Custom Printing, of Owensville, MO, and Frederick, MD; and Bawden Printing, of Eldridge, IA, were merged to create Von Hoffmann Graphics, the commercial printing branch. Von Hoffmann Graphics boasts products and services designed for the one- and two-color education and commercial markets.

Preface, of Schaumburg, IL, was acquired in 1998 for its cover-to-cover book design and editorial capabilities, including the securing of rights and permissions. Other prepress specialties include photo and art placement, and electronic page production.

H&S Graphics, of Rolling Meadows, IL, was tabbed in 1998 for its color prepress functions. H&S is largely dedicated to the education market. It uses CreoScitex and Barco CTP systems and recently added the Prinergy PDF workflow system. During the year 2000, approximately 50 percent of the over 250,000 pages produced there were CTP.

“We’ve spent a lot of money in updating DTP and CTP,” Uhlenhop states as the company’s initiative, which began four years ago and encompasses all the Von Hoffmann facilities. “We’re heavily focused on CTP across the company.”

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