History

Joel and Michael acknowledge that their success at fulfilling the company’s mission is completely dependent upon their employees. “Our most important role is to create an environment in which our employees can work productively and feel appreciated.”

The O’Briens consider hiring and training employees to be one of their most important tasks. It has also been the source of some of their most memorable moments, say the O’Briens who recall the prospective employee who came in and announced that, “there was no need for an interview because she was who they needed and they should just hire her.” Or the interviewee who walked into their office to say that he was going to work for them, and he could start on April 23. Both are still with the company. And both are stellar employees.

Printing Partners today is what Susie and John Colombe started it out to be. . .and what Joel and Michael O’Brien have continued. A place to come for professional solutions from people who make you feel like you’re part of the family. .

1973

John and Susie Colombe opened an Insty-Prints franchise at 3824 S. Madison Ave, Indianapolis, IN.

In 1973 John and Susie Colombe determined a better solution for fast, affordable black and white printing. That year they opened an Insty-Prints franchise in a 900-square-foot space at 3824 Madison Avenue on the south side of Indianapolis. The quick-print industry was in its infancy and Colombes provided the personal attention that nurtured the company’s growth in its early years.
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1976

Insty-Prints expanded to include a downtown location at 134 N. Delaware Street

Within three years, Insty-Prints expanded to include a downtown location at 134 N. Delaware Street, which was later moved to 114 N. Delaware. In the early years, the business concentrated on 1- and 2-color printing; and expanding at a later date to include xerographic copying.

Within the next decade, Colombe’s business had grown to include four locations. By 1989, with seven employees, their operation at 114 N. Delaware had annual revenues of more than $600,000. John credited his wife with their success, recalling that Susie was “the strength of the business.”

1989

Michael O’Brien purchased the Delaware Street operation from the Colombes.

A quarter century after they had opened their first store, John and Susie Colombe took their first step toward retirement on June 1, 1989 when they sold the Delaware Street operation to Michael O’Brien.

Michael immediately realized he was in need of a partner and turned to his brother, Joel, who was working in Wisconsin at the time. As a favor, Michael had typeset Joel’s resume and recalls telling him, “If I had known you were so qualified, I would have offered you a job.” Joel spent two weeks of vacation working in the company and then returned to Wisconsin to resign his position as an agricultural loan officer.

John and Susie were both skeptical to turn their “family” over to new owners. “Before it was general practice,” said John, “we tried to be flexible with our employees. We thought of them as part of our family.” This included the bonus of receiving your age in dollars on every birthday.

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1973

John and Susie Colombe opened an Insty-Prints franchise at 3824 S. Madison Ave, Indianapolis, IN.

In 1973 John and Susie Colombe determined a better solution for fast, affordable black and white printing. That year they opened an Insty-Prints franchise in a 900-square-foot space at 3824 Madison Avenue on the south side of Indianapolis. The quick-print industry was in its infancy and Colombes provided the personal attention that nurtured the company’s growth in its early years.

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1976

Insty-Prints expanded to include a downtown location at 134 N. Delaware Street

Within three years, Insty-Prints expanded to include a downtown location at 134 N. Delaware Street, which was later moved to 114 N. Delaware. In the early years, the business concentrated on 1- and 2-color printing; and expanding at a later date to include xerographic copying.

Within the next decade, Colombe’s business had grown to include four locations. By 1989, with seven employees, their operation at 114 N. Delaware had annual revenues of more than $600,000. John credited his wife with their success, recalling that Susie was “the strength of the business.”


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1989

Michael O’Brien purchased the Delaware Street operation from the Colombes.

A quarter century after they had opened their first store, John and Susie Colombe took their first step toward retirement on June 1, 1989 when they sold the Delaware Street operation to Michael O’Brien.

Michael immediately realized he was in need of a partner and turned to his brother, Joel, who was working in Wisconsin at the time. As a favor, Michael had typeset Joel’s resume and recalls telling him, “If I had known you were so qualified, I would have offered you a job.” Joel spent two weeks of vacation working in the company and then returned to Wisconsin to resign his position as an agricultural loan officer.

John and Susie were both skeptical to turn their “family” over to new owners. “Before it was general practice,” said John, “we tried to be flexible with our employees. We thought of them as part of our family.” This of course meant the bonus of receiving your age in dollars on every birthday.

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1991

The Delaware location was named “Franchise of the Year” by Insty-Prints corporate office.

The next decade brought continued growth as a result of a strong emphasis on sales and marketing. Joel and Michael pioneered the concept of personal selling, which was unusual in the quick-print market at that time. In 1991, annual sales exceeded $1 million and the following year the company was named “Franchise of the Year.”

1995

The operation had expanded through acquisition to include three locations.

Through the years they earned numerous corporate awards, but the most rewarding was claimed in 1991, when Susie was honored by Insty-Prints, Inc. as “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.” As a businesswoman, she set the standards for quality that continue at Printing Partners to this day. To accommodate its continued growth Insty-Prints leased adjacent space at 106 N. Delaware Street. By 1995, the operation had expanded through acquisition to include three locations, becoming the largest multiple-unit Insty-Prints in the world with annual sales of more than $3 million.

From the beginning stages, Joel and Michael divided responsibilities to cater to each other’s strengths. In many ways, their roles mirror those adopted by John and Susie: While Susie and Joel tended to be analytical and disciplined, focusing on administration and operations, Michael and John tended to be more creative and more likely than their partners to shoot from the hip working on sales and marketing. In both cases, the chemistry worked.

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1998

Having outgrown its Delaware Street location, the company purchased a building at 929 W. 16th Street and moved into space it shared with Alexander’s Standard Printing.

The move culminated a strategic alliance between the two companies that continued for almost a decade. Dick and Susie Alexander possessed an understanding of the trade that complemented the O’Briens’ marketing and sales perspective. Dating back to 1924, Standard Printing evolved from a letterpress shop into a commercial sheet-fed printer with both 2- and 5-color Heidelberg presses. As mentors, both Alexanders generously shared their knowledge with their new partners.
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1998

Insty-Prints franchise was terminated and the company began doing business as Printing Partners.

Shortly after their move, the Insty-Prints franchise was terminated, and the company began doing business as Printing Partners. The franchise, and the name associated with it, had become a detriment to a company that was evolving into a commercial printer.

2000

Printing Partners purchased
Alexander’s Standard Printing.

In August 2000 the alliance between the two partners was formalized when Printing Partners purchased Alexander’s Standard Printing. The purchase brought together two complementary, but diverse cultures. Blending the two created a stronger, more disciplined team. Many of the Standard employees, including Tim O’Brien and Lenard Brown, had been with the company since the early 1970s. All of them were craftsman and as such they set the quality standard for the new organization.

Throughout the 90s, the pace of technological change quickened. By the beginning of the new millennium, the speed and quality of digital printing had dramatically improved. Offset printing saw the introduction of computer-to-plate technology which eliminated the use of film and the need for conventional stripping. The end result was enhanced quality and faster turn time.

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1991

The Delaware location was named “Franchise of the Year” by Insty-Prints corporate office.

The next decade brought continued growth as a result of a strong emphasis on sales and marketing. Joel and Michael pioneered the concept of personal selling, which was unusual in the quick-print market at that time. In 1991, annual sales exceeded $1 million and the following year the company was named “Franchise of the Year.”

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1995


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The operation had expanded through acquisition to include three locations.

Through the years they earned numerous corporate awards, but the most rewarding was claimed in 1991, when Susie was honored by Insty-Prints, Inc. as “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.” As a businesswoman, she set the standards for quality that continue at Printing Partners to this day. To accommodate its continued growth Insty-Prints leased adjacent space at 106 N. Delaware Street. By 1995, the operation had expanded through acquisition to include three locations, becoming the largest multiple-unit Insty-Prints in the world with annual sales of more than $3 million.

From the beginning stages, Joel and Michael divided responsibilities to cater to each other’s strengths. In many ways, their roles mirror those adopted by John and Susie: While Susie and Joel tended to be analytical and disciplined, focusing on administration and operations, Michael and John tended to be more creative and more likely than their partners to shoot from the hip working on sales and marketing. In both cases, the chemistry worked.

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1998

Having outgrown its Delaware Street location, the company purchased a building at 929 W. 16th Street and moved into space it shared with Alexander’s Standard Printing.

The move culminated a strategic alliance between the two companies that continued for almost a decade. Dick and Susie Alexander possessed an understanding of the trade that complemented the O’Briens’ marketing and sales perspective. Dating back to 1924, Standard Printing evolved from a letterpress shop into a commercial sheet-fed printer with both 2- and 5-color Heidelberg presses. As mentors, both Alexanders generously shared their knowledge with their new partners.

Insty-Prints franchise was terminated, and the company began doing business as Printing Partners.

Shortly after their move, the Insty-Prints franchise was terminated, and the company began doing business as Printing Partners. The franchise, and the name associated with it, had become a detriment to a company that was evolving into a commercial printer.
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2006

16th Street location expands

The Printing Partners main building underwent major construction, adding some much-needed space to accommodate our ever-expanding divisions. The new space currently houses the shipping & receiving division along with their new loading docks, the mailing division, as well as storage of paper, supplies and customer products waiting for fulfillment.

The addition of a 40-inch Heidelberg press not only doubled our printable sheet size, but also enhanced quality. The new Kodak NexPress opened the door to commercial digital color, allowing for a broader range of quantity while also providing the new abilities of printing with dimensional ink and variable data.

2009

Printing Partners becomes a G7® Master Printer G7® is part of IDEAlliance’s industry-leading set of specifications to achieve visual similarity across all print processes.

By adopting the G7® standards, Printing Partners’ clients can be confident that the colors on their printed pieces will have a close visual appearance from proof-to-press and press-to-press.
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2010

ISO 9001:2008 Certified!

Printing Partners employees put a lot of time and effort into identifying work processes and procedures throughout 2010 in anticipation of our ISO certification.

In November, we finally received our ISO certification, pushing us towards our goals of continuous improvement through standardization and sustainability by reducing waste.

2011

Printing Partners is nationally recognized as a supporter of the Arts

The Indianapolis School of Ballet nominated Printing Partners for The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in American for 2011. This award is presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.

In October, Printing Partners accepted the award, which stands proud in our front office today.

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2013

Printing Partners gets a face-lift!

Printing Partners took a hard look in the mirror and decided it was time to upgrade its brand image.

Three Sixty Group assisted in the creation of our clean & modern new look.

Along with the rebranding, Partners Marketing was created to expand our services to clients even more with marketing strategies, tactics, design and implementation.

2014

Another new press, the first of its kind in the state.

Printing Partners installed first 8-color perfecting press in the Indiana commercial print market: the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-105. Because it is a perfecting press, it can print both sides of a sheet in a single pass, cutting some production times in half.

The Speedmaster XL presses are in a unique performance class and satisfy the most stringent demands in terms of both quality and productivity.

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2015

Printing Partners installs Heidelberg Linoprint CV – the first digital press in its class to offer white as an additional high-opacity color.

Equipped with an extra-long feeder, the Heildelberg Linoprint has also increased the versatility of our digital printing capabilities by accommodating sheet sizes up to 13″ x 27″. This has allowed us to offer cost-effective short-run printing of projects that have never been previously available in digital printing, such as trifold brochures that fold to 8.5″ x 11″. It has also allowed us to offer variable data printing on sheet sizes too large for other digital printers.

2017

Printing Partners installs the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106 with DryStar UV.

This 8-color perfecting press utilizes UV ink and has the highest level of automation on the market today. With intelligent automation, intuitive operation, top quality, and maximum productivity, the XL-106 allows us to offer top-notch quality at cost-effective prices.

Dried instantly with ultraviolet light, UV ink can be used on non-porous substrates like plastic. It also prevents smudging and produces more vibrant colors than traditional inks. Best of all, it has far fewer emissions of VOCs into the air, making it safer for the environment.

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2019

Upgrades keep Printing Partners environmentally friendly and increasing quality across the board.

Continuing the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and quality, Printing Partners converted the XL-105 originally purchased in 2014 to UV Ink, making us one of a select few printers who are running all our offset on UV Ink.
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2000

Printing Partners purchased Alexander’s Standard Printing.

In August 2000 the alliance between the two partners was formalized when Printing Partners purchased Alexander’s Standard Printing. The purchase brought together two complementary, but diverse cultures. Blending the two created a stronger, more disciplined team. Many of the Standard employees, including Tim O’Brien and Lenard Brown, had been with the company since the early 1970s. All of them were craftsman and as such they set the quality standard for the new organization.

Throughout the 90s, the pace of technological change quickened. By the beginning of the new millennium, the speed and quality of digital printing had dramatically improved. Offset printing saw the introduction of computer-to-plate technology which eliminated the use of film and the need for conventional stripping. The end result was enhanced quality and faster turn time.


Placeholder

2006

16th Street location expands

The Printing Partners main building underwent major construction, adding some much-needed space to accommodate our ever-expanding divisions. The new space currently houses the shipping & receiving division along with their new loading docks, the mailing division, as well as storage of paper, supplies and customer products waiting for fulfillment.

The addition of a 40-inch Heidelberg press not only doubled our printable sheet size, but also enhanced quality. The new Kodak NexPress opened the door to commercial digital color, allowing for a broader range of quantity while also providing the new abilities of printing with dimensional ink and variable data.


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2009

Printing Partners becomes a G7® Master Printer G7® is part of IDEAlliance’s industry-leading set of specifications to achieve visual similarity across all print processes.

By adopting the G7® standards, Printing Partners’ clients can be confident that the colors on their printed pieces will have a close visual appearance from proof-to-press and press-to-press.
Placeholder

2010

ISO 9001:2008 Certified!

Printing Partners employees put a lot of time and effort into identifying work processes and procedures throughout 2010 in anticipation of our ISO certification.

In November, we finally received our ISO certification, pushing us towards our goals of continuous improvement through standardization and sustainability by reducing waste.


Placeholder

2011

Printing Partners is nationally recognized as a supporter of the Arts

The Indianapolis School of Ballet nominated Printing Partners for The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in American for 2011. This award is presented by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.

In October, Printing Partners accepted the award, which stands proud in our front office today.


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2013

Printing Partners gets a face-lift!

Printing Partners took a hard look in the mirror and decided it was time to upgrade its brand image.

Three Sixty Group assisted in the creation of our clean & modern new look.

Along with the rebranding, Partners Marketing was created to expand our services to clients even more with marketing strategies, tactics, design and implementation.

Placeholder

2014

Another new press, the first of its kind in the state.

Printing Partners installed first 8-color perfecting press in the Indiana commercial print market: the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-105. Because it is a perfecting press, it can print both sides of a sheet in a single pass, cutting some production times in half.

The Speedmaster XL presses are in a unique performance class and satisfy the most stringent demands in terms of both quality and productivity.



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2015

Printing Partners installs Heidelberg Linoprint CV – the first digital press in its class to offer white as an additional high-opacity color.

Equipped with an extra-long feeder, the Heildelberg Linoprint has also increased the versatility of our digital printing capabilities by accommodating sheet sizes up to 13″ x 27″. This has allowed us to offer cost-effective short-run printing of projects that have never been previously available in digital printing, such as trifold brochures that fold to 8.5″ x 11″. It has also allowed us to offer variable data printing on sheet sizes too large for other digital printers.


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2017

Printing Partners installs the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106 with DryStar UV.

This 8-color perfecting press utilizes UV ink and has the highest level of automation on the market today. With intelligent automation, intuitive operation, top quality, and maximum productivity, the XL-106 allows us to offer top-notch quality at cost-effective prices.

Dried instantly with ultraviolet light, UV ink can be used on non-porous substrates like plastic. It also prevents smudging and produces more vibrant colors than traditional inks. Best of all, it has far fewer emissions of VOCs into the air, making it safer for the environment.



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2019

Upgrades keep Printing Partners environmentally friendly and increasing quality across the board.

Continuing the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and quality, Printing Partners converted the XL-105 originally purchased in 2014 to UV Ink, making us one of a select few printers who are running all our offset on UV Ink.


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