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Printing Under Pressure: A Profile of Graphic Trends

(July 2007) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2007

Graphics Trends is a shop that has earned its stripes by servicing the most demanding of clients. Find out how this graphics printer combines the latest technologies and a drive to satisfy in order to remain a leader in a high-stakes market.

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By Lori Leaman

Why do clients in that market make such demands? Because they know there are many other printers in the area who can deliver their job by the next day. “The days of a small shop slowly growing into a medium-size shop, which then slowly grows into a large shop are over in southern California,” Gasper says. “You have to make the multi-million dollar investment in inline technology. Take the risk that you can get the work, or you won’t survive.”

A majority of the work that comes into Graphic Trends is for local clients, which allows the company to deliver jobs the same day. That’s a plus. The downside is that clients know that Graphic Trends’ competitors also can fulfill orders within the same time frame. “I have to be willing to exceed or at least meet their demand. It demands the latest technology without sacrifice,” Gasper says.

So how does a screen-printing shop in such a relentless buyers’ market differentiate itself from the competition? “I’m constantly striving for ways to separate us from the pack with technology and efficiency,” Gasper says. “The inline was the foundation of just putting on the uniform, so to speak, to play ball…. Buying the inline press just makes you part of the ball team. But you are no better or worse than the other players out on the field.”

Graphic Trends has found that its Thieme inline press is especially suitable for printing on rigid substrates, such as card stock and styrene, and pressure-sensitive applications for the transit industry. Determining which substrates to use for a given job is a fairly simple task for the folks at Graphic Trends, as the shop has standardized the process. The staff knows exactly what its customers expect in terms of which substrate should be used for a particular job. The only challenge Graphic Trends faces in this area is researching media to find the substrate that meets customer demand and runs very well on press without sacrificing quality.

Graphic Trends also offers finishing and fulfillment services. The finishing department has access to two Rosenthal 72-in. sheeters, a Seybold 85-in. cutter, six industrial sewing machines, three automatic grommeting machines, a round corner machine, a Leister Uniplan hot welding machine, and a few miter and table saws. The packaging and fulfillment area includes a custom labeling system, an automatic box-banding machine, a shrink-wrap machine, and more.


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