On March 22, a group of YPN members had the opportunity to learn more about United Printing, a local full-service design, print, marketing and mailing company. United Printing recently celebrated their 50 year anniversary, as well as the combining of their previous two locations (one in Mandan and one in Bismarck) into one new, state-of-the-art facility in south Bismarck. Their new building has allowed the staff members to better interact with customers as well as respond more efficiently to work volume. The new facility also features the latest in print industry upgrades. For example, before the upgrades, their printing press would handle 11,500 impressions per hour. They have become much more efficient and are now able to produce 18,500 impressions an hour. Also, with their large format printing, when changing designs on the press, what used to take 1 1/2 hours, now takes just 10 minutes.
YPN members had the opportunity to tour the facility and learn more about the various machines and print processes, including the process for long, big volume projects and one for short, immediate volume projects. During the tour, YPN members learned more about the pre-press area, where clients will first see a low resolution at half color to approve before their full publication gets printed in high resolution, CMYK color (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). Along with standard printing machinery, United Printing boasts having a digital press that is the only one of its kind in North Dakota. It takes just roughly 20 minutes to print 1,000 standard posters on this advanced press. One of the unique elements of their printing facility is a misting machine that helps to control the humidity by emitting a mist to control the environment. Another unique machine called a “jogger,” lifts and sorts bundles of paper, so no heavy lifting for employees is required.
With the expansion of digital media, the team at United has noticed the implementation of digital elements being added to print media. Customers are adding social media icons on their print materials as well as their website addresses and QR codes to direct readers straight to the company website. Sales Consultant Ryan Pearcy shared with the group that even with digital becoming a growing market, direct mail is still huge. As consumers are becoming inundated with emails, often with direct mail the consumer will have to physically pick up the print piece, providing a greater chance for the company’s message to be relayed.
One newer form of display print advertising that has become popular in the last couple of years is vehicle and wall wraps. United offers design, print and installation of these types of graphics. It can take anywhere from one to five business days for installation of these graphics, depending on the vehicle or wall and size of the wrap. Both the wall and vehicle graphics are made to be easily peeled off, leaving no residue or damage, if all of the proper steps are implemented.
United Printing employees around 30 staff members, ranging from graphic designers to print/press staff, large format, press, bindary stitching and sales staff. They promote their services primarily through direct mail and statement stuffers to their clients, along with in-house designed brochures showcasing their services. A majority of United’s projects includes printing various local publications, typically 8 1/2 x 11, such as the CHI St. Alexius “Under the Arch” newsletter.
To conclude the tour YPN members visited United’s “Creative Room,” a dynamic room with one large wall wrap, containing stats such as “Direct mail brings in 78% more donations for non-profits” and “80% of households read their direct mail.” This room is often utilized for a better sales consultant/client meeting space.
Thank you to Business Development Director Jane Schwagler and Sales Consultant Ryan Pearcy for taking the time to give us a better view into the world of printing. You can find out more about United’s services and view their featured work here.