LANGE GRAPHICS — FINDING DIGITAL FOOTHOLDS
IT’S STRIKING for so many industry trends to be encapsulated in a single company, especially a mid-size printer with just over 50 employees. Denver-based Lange Graphics continues to make major investments in sheetfed offset capabilities while expanding its digital printing business. Both production platforms have the capability to support the firm’s diversification into printing on plastic, static cling and removable vinyl materials. The shop also is in the process of rolling out a Web-to-print solution.
Lange Graphics originally established a separate business—Digi Colorado—as a vehicle for its move into digital printing, but is now offering offset and digital printing services in an integrated approach. Its Jetway Envelope business continues to be operated as a subsidiary. Founder and President Bud Lange manages the family run organization with his sons, Keith (vice president of sales and marketing) and Ed (vice president of production).
Plenty of Experience
The elder Lange has been in printing for almost 60 years. He struck out on his own in 1977 as a broker with no equipment for the first four years. The shop since evolved into a high-end commercial printer with half-size sheetfed equipment, including a five-color with UV capabilities initially installed to produce coated covers for a web printer.
Trade printing accounted for a significant part of Lange Graphics’ business when it installed its first digital press, an (HP) Indigo UltraStream 2000, in 2001. At the time, management saw advantages in having a separate identity through which to offer digital printing services to that market and others.
The company is now on its second generation of digital printing technology, having upgraded to an HP Indigo press 5000. Short runs of high-end color and variable data round out its applications.
Along with the ability to print on non-paper substrates, Lange says support of Pantone colors was a factor in the product choice. He also notes that the technology has matured into a more stable production platform, but says the quality of HP’s service was also a consideration. The smaller footprint of the HP Indigo 5000 compared to the competing digital presses the company looked at was another issue.