Bright Lights, Big Cartons
Bert-Co Graphics uses a keen creative instinct to produce highly visible, highly celebrated offset packaging.
by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor
MAYBE IT'S THE water. Not only does Los Angeles breed an inordinate bevy of beauties and budding starlets, even the packaging produced by and for the Southern California market seems especially ready for its next close-up. Take Bert-Co Graphics, based at two locations in Los Angeles. As sheetfed offset packaging printers, the company's folding cartons have dominated pP's last two Excellence Awards competitions, and managed to nab numerous awards from the National Paperbox Association, the Paperboard Packaging Council, and the Software Publishers Association, among others.
Bert-Co's beginnings were actually based in letterpress. Berton Couturier founded the business in Los Angeles in 1930, and it started life printing matchbook covers and other small items. In the 1960s, the company fully developed offset printing onto paperboard. Through the next decade Bert-Co handled the printing needs of several record companies, creating posters, mobiles, corrugated displays, and even paper sleeves for Capitol Records, Columbia Records, and others.
As the demise of the record became inevitable, Bert-Co shifted its experience in offset to the folding carton market. The company now prints folding cartons and POP displays for a number of industries, including computer hardware and software, gourmet foods, nutritional supplements, and household products. Bert-Co also operates a web division that prints publications, brochures, manuals, and mailing pieces.
Bert-Co's packaging prowess has become obvious to customers and award judges alike, because, as Marketing Manager Mark Roughen explains, the company's specialty is "high degree of difficulty packaging." Cartons are converted using an exhaustive range of high-end finishing capabilities, including embossing and foil stamping.
President Charles Stay notes one of the drivers for Bert-Co's high standard is the customer base the company services. "The market in Southern California is significantly different from that of the rest of the country. It is such an entrepreneurial environment." Intense competition makes for great impetus to constantly improve the company's cartons.