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Joe Goss
Director of University Printing Services and Materials Management

Last modified: Tuesday, April 25, 2006

IU Printing Services awarded for its work

April 25, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Printing Services has two more awards to add to its collection of more than 50 national awards for high-quality printing.

Recently, IU Printing Services was presented with two prestigious printing awards from the International Publishing Management Association and In-Plant Graphics magazine. The awards from this competition are the highest honors given to internal printers for quality printing. Joe Goss, director of University Printing Services and Materials Management, said everyone is excited about the awards.

"We were thrilled with it, especially with the first place award, because you're being recognized as the best in the country for internal printers in that category," Goss said. "And second place is great because there is only one that was better -- so we were thrilled."

Each year, IPMA and In-Plant Graphics sponsor a printing competition for nonprofit organizations -- both academic and corporate -- that have an internal printing department. In this year's competition, 593 entries were submitted by more than 100 printing organizations.

"Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal," which was printed for Indiana University Press, won the gold award (first place) in the multiple color brochures category. Eric Lippincott designed the brochure under the direction of Kathryn Caras, director of Electronics and Serials Publishing.

A poster entitled "Indiana University Bloomington 2006 Summer Sessions," which was printed for the Office of Summer Sessions and Special Programs, won the silver award (second place) in the four-color process flyers and posters category. Nancy Webber designed the poster under the direction of Les Coyne, director of Summer Sessions and Special Programs.

The judges base their selections on about 10 criteria which all have to do with printing quality and degree of difficulty. Goss said entries are judged not just on appearance but also on technical difficulty.

"What wins awards is a publication that looks really great and was very difficult to do," Goss said.

Indiana University Printing Services is one of the larger university printing organizations in the country. It employs 28 staff members with 650 years of combined service to IU. The department has won more than 50 national awards for high-quality printing. Printing Services is also one of the oldest service organizations at IU. The department has existed at least since 1914. IU Printing Services reports to the Vice President for Administration, J.Terry Clapacs.

Printing Services is a self-supporting service organization within the university structure. Financially, the department's goal is to break even and to distribute all cost savings to the departments using its service. The department's customer base consists of IU departments on all campuses and many nonprofit organizations affiliated with the university. Departments are not required to utilize Printing Services; therefore the department must stay competitive in pricing, service, quality and technology.

The printing market, both within and outside the university, has seen tremendous changes in recent years. Shrinking budgets have caused departments to re-evaluate the types and volume of printing they have done. The Internet has enabled many publications to be electronically distributed or published on a Web site rather than printed. The traditional areas of composition and typesetting have been largely replaced by desktop publishing systems and creative pre-press applications software.

To meet the constantly changing printing environment, IU Printing Services has reduced its staff by more than 50 percent in the past 20 years and expanded its technology. The quality of publications has been dramatically improved at the same time as costs to customers and ultimately taxpayers have been reduced. Automated production equipment has enabled publications to be printed and bound far more efficiently with a smaller staff.

Digital printing has allowed for the economical production of high-quality color publications in very low volume. The vast majority of university printing today is at least two colors and in many cases four-color process printing. The order quantities have been reduced, quality requirements increased and turnaround times significantly lowered. Recent and future equipment acquisitions address these changes in both technology and customer needs.

Goss said the awards illustrate how the university's investment in print staff and printing equipment is being used to provide very high-quality service to the university. Many products reach an audience outside the university, so the quality that Printing Services produces is a direct reflection on the university.

"It says to an external audience, 'They do high-quality work, it's a high-quality university.' We strive to be the best internal university printer, just like IU strives to be the best institution of higher education," he said.