PRINTING INDUSTRY VETERANS — LASTING IMPRESSIONS
George Loughborough, 68
Huntford Printing & Graphics
Despite being in the printing business for more than 50 years, one of George Loughborough’s favorite memories dates back to his high school newspaper, when a gag issue went completely awry. A student photographer snapped a fortuitous picture of a cheerleader who lost her skirt in mid-hooray. So Loughborough thought it would be funny to make up three mock papers with the caption, “Laverne loses skirt, more pics inside.” Unfortunately, Laverne’s 6’4˝ father laid hands on one of the three copies and presented it to young George’s father.
“We were in deep trouble,” Loughborough laughs.
After a number of brief stints at printers throughout the 1960s, Loughborough and his brother, William, opened Huntford Printing & Graphics in October of 1969. Huntford Printing is neither fish nor fowl—more than a copy shop, less than a hardcore four-color outfit. But it boasts the integrity of any sized printing firm.
In the early 1980s, a rush job came in from a company that needed 250,000 of both letters and postcards. For a 25-employee shop that needed to give total effort until completion, this was a big deal. Only there were no quotes asked and none given…the client just said “print it and bill me.”
Loughborough probably fretted and sweated over the invoicing more than he did the job itself, wanting to be properly compensated for the ‘drop everything’ gig, yet not wanting to gouge a customer who had placed much blind faith in Huntford. Finally, he arrived at a charge of $24,000, which he tentatively uttered into the phone to the customer. A long silence ensued.
“The client responded, ‘Is that all? I expected a lot more,’ ” Loughborough relates. “The customer showed up an hour later with the check and a case of French champagne.”