George William Stephenson, who dropped out of significant university in 10th quality while performing evenings and weekends as a pressman operating a little-structure Multigraphics 1420 push to go after his enthusiasm for printing — and who eventually would go on to build a nationally-acclaimed printing business in the larger Washington, DC, location — passed absent April 13, 2022, at age 87.
With only a used one-coloration push, George introduced a printing institution, Stephenson Printing, in Georgetown in 1959. As the business began to flourish, he moved to a bigger area and set up his very first new push just two decades later, a two-coloration Miehle Roland press, acknowledging that color printing was beginning to have a main influence on the graphic arts industry landscape. A 49˝, two-colour Harris press adopted in 1963, and a 50˝ four-colour Roland arrived on board in 1969. He also experienced the distinction of staying the to start with printer in the Washington, DC, area to set up a four-colour and then a 6-colour printing push.
“I constantly had a huge desire in shade,” he informed Printing Impressions, as element of a profile in the publication honoring his 2004 induction into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Corridor of Fame. “In the early ’60s, I did my coloration separations with my personal digicam. As I grew the organization, I would add extra machines. I mounted my 1st scanner in 1972, and grew to become pretty associated in performing with the design and style local community, which also pushed the coloration side of printing.”
This fascination in high-quality colour replica led to George printing his 1st annual report occupation in 1964, and the corporation also scored a significant coup at the time by printing a six-coloration annual report for Fairchild Industries. By 1970, Stephenson Printing had secured a stranglehold for annual report operate within the Washington, DC, area. As the company continued to expand, George relocated the organization in 1980 to a new facility five situations bigger in Alexandria, Virginia, and set up his initially website offset press.
Stephenson Printing Joins the ‘Roll-up’ Phenomenon
Rapid ahead to the 1990s and the printing marketplace landscape was transforming to an era of sector consolidators, also recognized as “roll-ups,” with the most well-recognized and effective being Consolidated Graphics, which was led by fellow Printing Sector Corridor of Fame inductee Joe Davis. George decided the timing was suitable for him to exit the industry. So, in 1998, he offered the corporation to Master Graphics. “However, the business I marketed to was a ‘Johnny-Occur-Lately’ in the roll-up principle that attempted to do too significantly much too quickly, and ended up with money complications,” he explained to Printing Impressions.
Master Graphics experienced to file for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy security in 2000 and George observed himself in a precarious placement working on a agreement basis for a business that bore his identify — and worried about the long term for the two the business he had painstakingly crafted and for his loyal workforce. So, in late 2000, he set alongside one another a strategy to obtain again the firm’s property.
“I desired to be certain the potential of the enterprise,” he said. “It took a though to get more than the stigma of staying in Chapter 11. Purchasing the firm again was the ideal answer to earning it balanced and effectively all over again.” It wouldn’t show to be an quick task, on the other hand, as Stephenson Printing struggled to defeat the financial slump that befell the U.S. economic system all through the early 2000s.
With the expansion of the World wide web, George also lamented how it was enabling print buyers to solicit excessive quantities of bids for print work opportunities from printers all across the nation, instead than just within just a supplied local industry. “So in its place of owning a handful of bidders in a area industry, you can have 10 or 20 across the nation. That cuts into your earnings margins actually rapidly.”
In response, he proposed a novel way to beat that. When inquiring to have some commercial plumbing get the job done completed within his plant, George discovered that all of the plumbers he contacted desired $50 to $100 just to present a quote, which in change would be credited to the customer’s bill on receipt of the position. He argued that the printing industry need to undertake the same exercise to keep potential buyers from searching for bids from an limitless range of printers.
Attracting the Following Era to Printing
2022 marked George Stephenson’s 63rd year not only even now functioning, but mentoring other individuals in the printing marketplace. For that motive, he became regarded to some in the spot as the “Grandfather of Printing” and to some others as the “Godfather of Printing.” Coaching young individuals and his staff members to realize their optimum opportunity was George’s passion. While attaining larger training was unattainable for him, he recognized what a present it would have been for him and what it allows for young persons, Consequently, in lieu of bouquets, his relatives is requesting donations be designed in his honor to Camp Letts, PO Box 208, Edgewater, MD, 21037, or to a child’s schooling fund.
George Stephenson is survived by his spouse of 34 several years, Sandy two daughters, Sharon and Janet and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial assistance celebrating his daily life will be held at 1 pm on Could 15, 2022, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. For directions and parking, get in touch with the church business office at (202) 393-3700 or [email protected] His continues to be will be interred in Morgantown, West Virginia, a put he beloved and wanted to be his remaining resting place.
Stephenson Printing — when a trailblazing technological innovation adopter that bore his title — is now in the process of currently being shut down, with a handful of staff however on board to aid the procedure. If the printing sector could have informally stood hand-in-hand with George’s novel concept suggesting all print companies charge a charge for doing the job up estimates, as perfectly as by means of other unified initiatives, who understands where Stephenson Printing and the relaxation of the commercial printing business may obtain by itself currently?