Q & A with Kurt Gorham

How long has Gorham Printing been in business? Where did we come from and what have we done? Kurt Gorham, the founder and owner of Gorham Printing, knows best. He is in the building every day with his nine-person team and he let Alison ask him some questions. Enjoy!

Where, when, and how did Gorham Printing start?

Gorham Printing started as a general commercial printer called Independence Graphics in my apartment sometime in 1975. The equipment I had was slow and by today’s standards, not very good. With tenacity, the business grew and by 1985 we were printing everything from business cards to calendars, mostly for local businesses. At some point I began to think about specializing in book printing, and by 1987 we were designing and printing books exclusively.

What drove your shift from offset to digital?26Jan16Gorham-173

I began exploring the idea of printing books on digital toner based printers rather than offset printing in the early 2000s and by 2002 we were printing some of our shorter book runs digitally (500 or less). Setup costs for offset printing are much higher than those for digital printing, so this shift saved our short run customers an immense amount of money. Over time, the digital toner-based equipment became faster and more capable of output that rivaled the quality of our offset equipment. As time passed, most of the quantities we were printing were better suited to digital output and pricing, so in 2012 we sold our last offset press and have been operating an evolving, faithful fleet of digital presses ever since.

What is your favorite aspect of the book printing business?

Over the years, the methods used in book printing have changed radically. I think that is what continues to attract me to this business. The constant change keeps me on my toes and there is something new to consider almost daily. If everything was the same day after day, it would not hold my interest and I would have needed to find a new career. I consider myself lucky to have started a business that has spanned 40 years, and to this day still I am excited to get up and go to work.

 

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