The SanMar 2020 Apparel, Bags and Caps catalog is just about ready to ship, and we thought we’d give you a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into making our annual product catalog. No, we’re not talking about the photo shoots with the models or the digital layout process. We’re talking about what actually goes into printing all 900-plus pages of apparel, bags and caps.
Travel with us to scenic Wisconsin, about 45 minutes outside of Milwaukee, past rolling farmlands to Hartford, the home of Quad.
Fun fact: you might think that “Quad” is a reference to Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the four basic colors used in most large-scale printing processes. In truth, this particular “Quad” comes from “Quadracci,” the family name of Quad’s founder—Harry V. Quadracci.
Quad’s printing facilities are huge. The Hartford facility spans two counties (you read that right), and the printers reach up to three-stories tall. Needless to say, you have to wear earplugs when the presses are running. It’s that loud inside.
Hundreds of feet of paper are fed through these machines on giant rolls. It can take up to three hours to thread the paper “web” through the printers before a job can begin. Quad goes through so much paper on a regular basis that they have a railroad track leading right up to their loading dock.
Once the SanMar catalog is queued up in the presses, members from our creative team work in shifts round the clock, spot checking the color and making sure the image you see on the page is what you’ll see when you get our products. Checking the color has to be done quickly, though, because it happens while the press is moving. Tweaks and adjustments have to be made in split seconds, otherwise, you could run-out the press and miss your chance to make changes.
When the catalogs are done printing, they’re stacked on pallets, wrapped in plastic and shipped out to you!