Imperial Printers adds press, quadruples its printing ability

April 22, 2002|STAFF REPORT

The largest commercial printing press in the history of Imperial Valley was recently installed by Imperial Printers in El Centro, according to the company.

The press, a two-color Heidelberg SORMZ 20x29, will more than quadruple the company's printing ability.

Headquartered in El Centro with branch offices in Brawley and Holtville, Imperial Printers is one of the oldest ongoing businesses in the Valley. Last year it celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Company president Norm Self said, "The Valley is growing and so is Imperial Printers. This acquisition will enhance our ability to serve our customers with speed and high-quality printed products for which we are known."

"The larger press size also required us to buy other key equipment in larger sizes," Self said. "We went from a 13-inch to 18-inch imagesetter, from a 26-inch to a 42-inch platemaker and plans are to acquire a 30-inch folder, up from our old 22-incher. The total investment in new equipment is about $150,000," he said.


"For years Imperial Printers has had the finest graphic artists in its imaging department," Self said. "Now, with this press, we are able to move the artists' images from the computer to the printed page at a speed heretofore unknown in the Valley."

Imperial Printers is the largest commercial printer in Imperial County. In the mid-1950s, the Imperial Valley Press sold its commercial printing arm, Imperial Printers, which then established itself at 424 Main St. in El Centro. In 1977 two of the present stockholders, Self and Marv Wieben, participated in the purchase of the company and moved it into larger, updated facilities at 430 Main St.

"In the early ‘80s the owner of American Printers in Brawley asked us if we would like to buy his company. We did," Self said. "American Printers was previously known as Schoonover Printing or Burris & Schoonover Printing," he said.

Early in the 1990s the owners of Holtville Printing and Graphics sold to Imperial Printers. Then, in the mid-1990s, with the purchase of Rocket Copy and historic Desert Printers, the company expanded to its present size. Imperial Printers has 25 full-time employees.

"After 10 years as a journeyman printer and foreman at Imperial Valley Press, I moved to Imperial Printers in 1963. I have been president-manager of Imperial Printers for 25 years," Self said. "With my retirement getting closer, Imperial Printers will be bringing in a new management team."

"Rudy Rodriguez, who has 31 years with the company, will be taking over as president-manager with the assistance of partners Frank Limon, Vicki Garcia, Roberto Rubio and Marv Wieben," Self said.

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