IT’S HARD to decide whether Jesse Williamson is an amazing businessman or the everyday guy who shows up at your back door each Friday night for the weekly poker game. In the end, the president of Dallas-based Williamson Printing is probably a little bit of both. A few years back, Williamson and another member of his company were on the road in New York City, eating at a “foo-foo” Vietnamese restaurant. Sitting at an adjacent table were a pair of strikingly beautiful women and a man whom Williamson assumed (based on his attire) was an airplane pilot. The two tables started chatting, inquiring


THE WINDS of fate are unpredictable. Somehow, they guided Rémi Marcoux into the world of commercial printing, when he easily could have embarked on a career in accounting. Had Marcoux turned into a numbers cruncher instead of leading his own printing company, Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. would have perished in 1975 at the hands of bankruptcy, never having grown to a $1.9 billion empire that employs 14,000 people. It may have been Marcoux’s destiny, for it was hardly a mapped out plan. In that regard, Marcoux—Transcontinental’s executive chairman and a 2006 inductee into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame—is more than happy to


AS MUCH as we’d like to think we control our own destinies, fate often lends a guiding hand to the future. Take Tom Quadracci. He’d just obtained his undergraduate degree at Regis University in Denver and had moved on to Stanford for postgraduate work toward what he’d intended to be a career as a marine biologist. His future was set. “When you’re that age, you have visions of sailing around and collecting specimens,” Quadracci says. Then he got a call from Uncle Sam. Even though the war was winding down, Quadracci’s country (and the U.S. Army) needed him. Or so it seemed.


THERE’S LITTLE doubt that Jim Hopkins personifies the concept of a self-made man. That the road to success wasn’t paved, and actually began in his garage, makes his story all the more compelling. Hopkins serves as president and CEO of Hopkins Printing, a general commercial printer based in Columbus, OH, that does $16 million a year in business. His voyage into the world of printing seems to be an accident of time and space or, to be more specific, a pleasant set of circumstances. And Hopkins can thank his wife for helping the stars to align just right. Still, make no mistake about it.

A Marketing Success Story —Sherburne

I CAME across a terrific success story recently as I was researching the small commercial and quick printing market that I wanted to share with you. It demonstrates a unique sales and marketing approach, and the business results are incredible. Ron Weber founded Zip Mail Marketing in 2003. The company is located in Rancho Cordova, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. Prior to starting up Zip Mail, Weber had retired as a real estate developer, and prior to that was an internal theft investigator for 15 years. As he points out, neither of these professions had anything to do with the printing industry. And one could

ACROSS the nation

CALIFORNIA CITY OF INDUSTRY—Kion Printing has invested in a six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 press with coater. Founded in 1982, Kion Printing is a privately held company housing 52 employees. FOOTHILL RANCH—Westamerica Graphics recently installed a six-color Komori Lithrone S40. This is the sixth Komori press for the 29-year-old firm. The company is facing increased client demands for short-turnaround, four-, five- and six-color print applications. REDWOOD CITY—Pacific Printing and Fulfillment Inc. (PPFI) recently purchased its third Kodak NexPress 2100 digital production color press and its first Kodak NexPress fifth imaging unit to increase its services to include in-line coating and an expanded color gamut range. CONNECTICUT EAST WINDSOR—Keystone Paper

ADVO Launches Counter-Suit

WINDSOR, CT—Perhaps Harris DeWese, investment banker and M&A advisor to the printing industry, should teach a class on transactional etiquette. Two prime candidates for such a seminar—once poised to cap a monster, 10-figure deal—are slugging it out in public with the decorum of a high school romance gone sour. Despite the announcement that Valassis Communications was suing ADVO Inc. to rescind its $1.3 billion merger agreement, ADVO shareholders voted in favor on September 13 to adopt the merger agreement. ADVO also leveled a counter-suit against its would-be future partner. The suit asks the court to make Valassis stick to the July 5 merger agreement, seeks

BINDERY matters

Sewer Added for Book Applications JACKSONVILLE, IL—To pre-bind educational books (K through 12) and juvenile books on-demand and competitively priced for schools and libraries, Perma-Bound, a division of Hertzberg-New Method, has installed an ODM Super Sewer from On Demand Machinery. Lone Star Shop Upgrades Bindery FORT WORTH, TX—Global Group, which recently purchased a Muller Martini BravoPlus saddlestitcher, reports that the advantages of increased production speed were immediately evident. “It’s fast; we had old equipment and the new equipment is making a difference,” says David McMinn, vice president of production for Global Group. The company handles a varied assortment of projects including brochures, catalogs and many

Burton Increases Offer for Banta

STAMFORD, CT—History has shown that Cenveo Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert Burton is not the shy, retiring type who takes no for an answer. In his quest to annex Banta Corp., Burton is being true to form. Refuting the assertion that Cenveo’s bid to acquire Banta was “a highly conditional and ambiguous overture,” Burton responded by increasing his offer from $46 to $47 per share ($1.14 billion) and later mailed a formal merger proposal. Attached with the proposal was a warning—Cenveo will find ways of finishing the transaction. “. . .if you (Stephanie Streeter) continue to entrench yourself and repeatedly ignore our proposal, we will have


MARKET PRICING in the B2B and special interest publications realm can be described in one word, according to Dan Rodriguez, general manager of Cadmus Specialty Publications. Predatory. If you want to play ball in this space, you’d better think Yankee Stadium. New York City is the eye of the publishing storm; conquer the Big Apple, and you’ve got it made. Were it only so easy. That predatory nature of the competition won’t allow printers to rest on the good will they’ve accrued. Laurel resting is not advised. Cadmus Specialty Publications, based in Easton, PA, has adapted to its environment. Its proximity (just 80

DIGITAL digest

Presstek Committed To Short-run Market HUDSON, NH—In response to growing demand for short-run color output, Presstek Inc. believes it has developed digital solutions that target this marketplace and provide customers a smarter way to print. That was the primary message expressed by company executives during a pre-Graph Expo press event held at its headquarters last month. “While market data shows that other areas of the print market are shrinking, short-run color is growing,” noted Ed Marino, Presstek president and CEO. “Whether print service providers choose to address this opportunity with the speed, quality and profitability of a highly automated DI press or with


FOR A time, it seemed as if the only point of distinction in digital printing was the simple fact of it being digital. The term became virtually synonymous with short run, quick turnaround printing, maybe with a little variable data work thrown in. Companies looking to invest in digital printing services typically evaluated the full range of equipment options available, a trend that continues today. At first blush, all the machines seem more alike than different—in terms of format, speed, resolution, etc.—and are capable of getting the job done. Some vendors like the connotations—solid, durable, productive—of the “digital press” designation. Other have opted to

Gateway Press — GPO Work and Beyond

DO YOU want to know what kind of business is done at Louisville, KY-based Gateway Press? In almost any given month, turn to the “Business of Print” page in this magazine and look in the Government Printing Office (GPO) section. Gateway Press is more than likely to be listed among the one-time jobs. In May, for example, Gateway landed a $2 million job to produce 6.8 million saddlestitched products—56 pages, two colors, four-color cover, aqueous coating, 81⁄2x11˝. Even sans a Printing Impressions listing of GPO Awards, it’s all a matter of public record, anyway. But for Gateway Press, it’s just another day at the

Graph Expo Comes to Town

CHICAGO—The Windy City is the place to be this month as thousands of printers from across the country converge upon the McCormick Place South complex October 15-18 for Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2006. Products and services for the graphic arts industry will encompass more than 400,000 square feet of space. Nearly 600 exhibitors have committed to the event, which reportedly will be the largest Graph Expo since 2000. Among the evening festivities is the annual Gold Ink Awards and Hall of Fame Gala, sponsored by North American Publishing (parent company of Printing Impressions), on October 16. Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductees Jim

HBP Inc. — Bundling Communications Solutions

“SELLING STRICTLY commercial printing has become a commodity sale,” acknowledges John Snyder, president of HBP Inc. Looking over the low rolling hills of Hagerstown, MD, Snyder leans back in the chair and adds, “Value-added services need to be offered so our salespeople can provide more solutions for solving our customers’ marketing problems.” From the look in his eyes, it is apparent that this man means business, and his business is thriving. A positive customer relationship is critical for survival in today’s economy. Rising costs, technological advances and cost-conscious customers have made it necessary for many printing operations to diversify into non-traditional revenue arenas to

Heidelberg USA Announces New Product Installation Report

KENNESAW, GA—09/29/2006—Heidelberg USA announces the following sample of new product installations: Paulson Press Turns Up the Speed with New Speedmaster XL 105 from Heidelberg Paulson Press, a full-service general commercial printer located in Elk Grove Village, Ill., recently added a six-color Speedmaster XL 105 to its all-Heidelberg pressroom. According to company President Ben Letto, the ultra-productive XL 105 is helping Paulson serve its clients better and faster - critical capabilities for a company where, “Every sheet of product that goes out the door is a part of me,” Letto says, adding, “If you don’t react quickly to your customers’ needs, you get left behind.”

JCPG Shuttering Plant

MILWAUKEE—Journal Community Publishing Group (JCPG), a Journal Communications company, is closing its Hartland, WI, commercial printing plant and consolidating the company’s Wisconsin printing operations into its Print ’n Press facility in Waupaca, WI. The move is being made in an effort to enhance capacity utilization and streamline printing operations. The closure will result in the loss of 36 jobs at Hartland, though 20 new positions will be created at the Waupaca plant. All of Hartland’s printing business will be transferred to either its Waupaca plant or the Journal Sentinel daily newspaper production facility in Milwaukee. The move is expected to generate upwards of $800,000

JOE DUNCAN Q&A — Outside Looking In

Joe Duncan has sat on both sides of the buyer/print provider fence, providing him with a unique industry perspective. With an extensive graphic arts industry background, Duncan joined Leo Burnett USA in 2001 where he currently serves as vice president, director of print innovation and technology. Past print production and sales positions included stints at Madden Communications and Sells Printing, among others.

Metrogroup Acquires Proficient Data

LINCOLN, NE—Oct. 2, 2006—MetroGroup, a leading national provider of direct marketing services, announced today that it has acquired Proficient Data, a leader in transaction document management, production and mailing services for more than 15 years. Founded in 1991 and maintaining offices in suburban Chicago and Milwaukee, Proficient Data provides comprehensive document output and distribution solutions for telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and insurance companies, as well as utilities, credit unions and collection agencies and companies seeking business-to-business direct marketing solutions. Managing, producing and distributing millions of sensitive, business-critical electronic and print documents such as invoices, checks, statements, direct marketing solicitations, and explanations of benefits, Proficient


Personalized Flyer Is Picture of Success Sales of student photos have been on the decline across the country for years, when measured as a percentage of parents purchasing packages. Inter-State Studio and Publishing (www.inter-state.com) sought to buck this trend and find a more effective way of presenting image treatment options, which increase the dollar value of orders. For decades, the company had been using the tried-and-true method of creating sales flyers by affixing two unique photographic prints from a child’s photo onto a conventionally printed, stock flyer (Inter-State Commercial Printing is another division of the company). This was the standard marketing method used by

PK Graphics — Clubbing the Competition

SUFFERING SEEMS to be one of the leading prerequisites to becoming a successful artist. In many ways, the same could be said for business success. Miguel Paredes should know, as he is both an artist and a businessman. And his company, PK Graphics, has blossomed into a $20 million performer in just eight years with an annual growth rate of 25 percent. But now that the suffering has receded on the business end, Paredes has encountered a new problem—getting sufficient rest. “My goal is to sleep,” Paredes, president and CEO, quips. That’s no surprise, given his exhaustive undertakings. Paredes is a media empire

Popular Figure Has His Own Figurines —Cagle

BACK IN August, we ran a cover story on industry veterans and featured some of their memorable stories, an idea we’d like to repeat for a future issue. Or, we’ll just call Jesse Williamson and ask him to spin a few yarns. The president of Williamson Printing in Dallas is an honest and open man, one of the more colorful and charismatic figures in the printing industry. The stories other people tell about Williamson are pretty amusing, and almost as good as those he tells on himself. Too bad we can’t tell them all, but a funny one appears in his Hall of Fame


IN A time when cost savings and technological improvements have been encouraging publishers of printed products to turn their focus toward the Web, add one more reason to the mix: postal hikes. With one hike earlier this year and the latest proposed hike of 11.4 percent for periodicals and 8.5 percent for standard mail, circulation directors are rethinking their strategies and bracing for financial decisions that could be made by higher-ups. Evelyn Adenau, circulation director for 115,000-circulation San Francisco, already budgeted for the first raise in U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rates, but admits that she, along with many others, did not see this second

POSTPRESS Clamping down—the right way

The clamping pressure of a paper cutter increases as successive cuts make the surface area of the paper smaller. If the clamping pressure is excessive, the knife deflects to the front and may even become damaged. Insufficient clamping pressure, on the other hand, causes the knife to pull the material from beneath the clamp. To determine the correct setting, test cuts can be made outside live matter in the area opposite the front marks on the sheet, or in the control strip. If the clamping pressure seems too high, the operator can reduce it from one test cut to the next until the pressure is

POSTPRESS Distortion correction

The standard POLAR feature called "Distortion Correction," available on all POLAR cutters 30-inch and larger, lets the operator "personalize" the machine for fast, easy, and accurate cutting of any paper stock and job. The distortion correction is related to the specific stack of material loaded in the machine at any given moment. During cutting, the backgauge positioning can be matched individually with every stack. For example, after the first cut at 100 cm, the distortion correction plus one tenth of a millimeter is used. The following sizes are positioned in a modified way: 90.010 cm, 80.010 cm, 70.010 cm, and 60.010 cm. After that,