Digital and Dynamic
As Fort Dearborn transitions to a new level of business performance, it is using digital printing as a key tool to
maintain customer intimacy.
NEW PRINTING PROCESSES don't come along too often. It took more than six hundred years for the four major printing processes (letterpress, gravure, lithography, and flexography) to come into being. Now, however, our generation has a unique opportunity to see first hand the practical evolution of a new printing process—digital printing.
Digital printing in one form or another has been around for more than 50 years, but its real impact on commercial and package printing has been much more recent than that. Commercial printing, as usual, is leading the way for packaging, but several progressive package printers are getting involved with digital printing in its early stages.
Fort Dearborn is one such company. According to company President and CEO, Richard Adler, Jr., Fort Dearborn got into digital printing for packaging at an early stage in its development, about 10 years ago, and is now recognized in the industry as a leader in digital printing of labels. packagePRINTING talked to Adler about his company's experience and his views on digital printing in the packaging market.
Fort Dearborn - The company
Fort Dearborn is an 80-year-old, family-owned business that was started in 1925 in Chicago by Adler's grandfather. The one-press operation was named after a Midwest government outpost on the Chicago River that the city of Chicago was built around. Fort Dearborn, the company, tied its heritage to the pioneering spirit that laid the foundation for one of the great cities of the world. In its own world of package printing, the company seems to be living up to its legacy.
Very early in its formative years, the company began to find a home in label printing for food and beverage products. Except for a necessary divergence to print strategic maps to support the war effort in the 1940s, the company continued its growth and focus on label printing. This was initially focused on litho-printed, cut-and-stack labels, followed later by roll-fed paper, film pressure-sensitive, and full-body shrink labels. Over the past 15 years, the company has focused completely on prime labels for consumer products markets.