GEOGRAPHICS INC. — A STRANGE BEGINNING
The government still has Hagan’s gear. Not that it would’ve done him any good, anyway. Geographics had no credit, and the only thing worse than its customer list was its accounts receivables (Hagan described both as “crummy.”) But this was Atlanta, where the phoenix rose from the ashes after Sherman torched the city. Hagan may have been dealt off-suit under cards, but he was far from folding.
“We’ve got a 52-foot collage of the things that mean Atlanta, to us, on our front wall,” notes Ron Lanio, executive vice president for Geographics. “In the center of it is the phoenix rising from the ashes. We also have a five-foot-tall bronze statue of Mr. Bojangles; we chose him because he was downtrodden, just like our inauspicious start.”
Geographics is no longer down on its luck. Over the course of its now 30-year history, Hagan has built his company into a 200-employee, $50 million a year empire.
Left with an ancient Lum press and a rickety duplicator in 1976, Geographics now churns out half-web, full-web, sheetfed offset and digital printing. It furnishes catalogs, direct mail, corporate brochures and annual reports for Fortune 500 companies, franchisees and distributors. Ancillary offerings include mailing, fulfillment, database management and image bank storage.
Lanio points to Geographics’ wide range of press capabilities. A six-color Komori Lithrone sheetfed press is retrofitted for UV work, and a 10-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 102 perfects five-over-five. The company broke into digital printing earlier in 2006 with the addition of an HP Indigo 5000.
In the web department stars a six-color, 57˝ Goss Sunday 2000 with closed-loop color and register controls. Installed in 2005, the 24-page press gives Geographics more flexibility in handling larger catalogs and direct mail pieces.
Hagan wasn’t afraid to go against the grain when it came to equipping the Sunday 2000. He had noticed many printers had one folder and a 38˝ sheeter on their models.