Taylor Publishing -- Capturing Memories
Taylor Publishing is part of a three-pronged business model offered by American Achievement Corp., a business that, in itself, is not quite three years old. What American Achievement accomplished was to piece together a comprehensive scholastic products company comprised of respected, established businesses in their respective specialties.
Also under the umbrella are Commemorative Brands, comprised of two divisions, Balfour (which manufactures class rings, graduation announcements, diplomas, diploma covers, and caps and gowns) and Art Carved (class rings and college graduation products); along with Educational Communications (ECI), best known for its line of academic achievement directories for college students (The National Dean's List), high school students (Who's Who Among American High School Students) and top teachers (Who's Who Among America's Teachers).
Founded in 1939 by visionary Bill Taylor and his brothers, Taylor Publishing was sold to International Silver in 1979. Investment firm Castle Harlan, owner of Commemorative Brands, then acquired Taylor in February of 2000. A little more than a year later, the current configuration was set.
Taylor Publishing has manufacturing facilities in Dallas; San Angelo, TX; and Chester County, PA. A prepress operation is located in El Paso, TX. At its seasonal peak, between January and June, Taylor employs roughly 1,600 people. Combined, the company boasts a little over one million square feet of operating space.
Competing in such a highly specialized field as high school yearbook production obviously calls for unique skill sets—but the concentrated workload may be Taylor Publishing's greatest challenge. Even so, it does bring great rewards.
"The primary advantage of competing in our niche is that it is a relatively stable industry, with a large amount of pride and emotion involved around each yearbook product," Fiore states. "The primary disadvantage is that it's a very seasonal business. Essentially, the lion's share of our business is done in the spring of each year. It forces us to have the ability to perform at very high levels in a concentrated period of time.