This printer transforms students’ cherished memories of school life into print. Through its commitment and passion it has become a leader in quality yearbooks and more – by Jessie Loh
Midtown Printing has certainly made a name for itself in the school yearbook segment. Founded in 1967 in the southern part of Davao in the Philippines, Midtown Printing like many other businesses had humble beginnings. The business started with the simple motivation of supplementing income for the founders’ seven school-age children.
“My parents-in-law, the founders of Midtown Printing Co., Inc., were professionals, an accountant and a school teacher. Their children were diligent and studious and all of them attended top schools in the country. As loving parents, they had to give strong support to everyone of them, but the sums fell short”,? says Gabriel B. Atega, President of Midtown Printing Co., Inc., who manages the company with his wife Marissa and son Alfie.
“To supplement their income, they decided to set up a small business on the side. Thus Midtown Printing was born and letterpress technology was used for the printing of jobs such as business forms and stationery. Business expanded when my brother-in-law took over and introduced offset technology into the pressroom. This marked the beginning of our venture into the school yearbook sector. With superior pressroom prowess, we quickly established dominance in this area.”?
Not content with this, Atega also introduced a better computerized system to the printing business to increase efficiency. The company was also preparing the ground work for a computer-to-plate (CtP) machine. Midtown installed a digital imaging system, several workflow software modules like Signa Station, a colour management solution and Meta Dimension software. This offered several screening options including hydrid screening. Recently, they have installed a new CtP system – Heidelberg Suprasetter A105. Now with the CtP machine, customers can expect Midtown to produce the highest printing quality possible.
Atega says, “A first in this part of the country, the fully automated Suprasetter A105 is capable of producing between 12 to 15 high quality plates per hour. Before we adopted Heidelberg, we had support issues and we experienced hiccups in integrating different technologies. There was a lot of finger pointing from different technology suppliers. By having one technology supplier, we are able to avoid this issue. Our strength lies in the speed of our delivery and the quality of our output. We cannot compromise on this and we are working 24/7 in order to meet expectations.
“We have been doing school yearbooks and school publications for many years and we need to establish new standards for the industry. We constantly think of ideas on how to improve the quality and uniqueness of the yearbook. We have integrated modules of digital production processes to the production system to improve colour and utilise the ability to tweak colour to suit colour preferences from job to job. We then translate those preferences into specific and accurate instructions for production. Future technology investment is also in the pipeline as we believe it is one of the integral parts of our success.”?
“To diversify and increase our presence in the local printing market, we entered into magazine and book publishing. We realized that the quality and standard of children’s exercise books in the domestic market were appalling. As parents ourselves we felt that we needed to do something. That is the primary reason why we decided to open a division to print and publish children’s exercise books. We placed emphasis on the colour and print quality and we collaborated with good school teachers in the region to come up with interesting content for these high quality school exercise books.
“Over the last decade we have continued to expand Midtown Printing’s range of services, which now includes photography and multimedia services. From a small-scale printer, it is now the premier publishing house in the south with two regular magazines and over 50 book titles in the market”? Atega added.