Wednesday January 6th, 2016
Des Moines, Iowa
Universal Printing Services is celebrating their 50th year in business in 2016! Currently in their 3rd generation of “Springers”, they have been family owned since 1966. The company is proud to have been based in the Des Moines metro for its entirety.
In 1966 George H. Springer II opened “Speed Print – Instant Printing Services”. The plan initially was to provide black and white photo-copies for walk-in traffic. However as business grew and demand for commercial services developed, the company expanded its capabilities and opened a second location. In 1970 the company rebranded, becoming “Universal Printing Services.” In early 1975, as their steady growth continued, the company moved all operations into their current location - a larger building on 5th Avenue with space for future expansion. In the same year, George H. Springer III (son of George II) joined the company in the Production Department.
The new space allowed for rapid growth as the company experienced annual double-digit sales increases during the 70’s and 80’s. The higher revenue allowed the company to continually improve their capabilities and purchase new cutting-edge equipment. In the late 90’s the company was up to a total of 25 employees. George III continued to help oversee the production and sales departments, and eventually was named President in 1991.
After operating primarily as an “Offset Printer” for over 30 years, the company embraced new technologies in the prepress and production departments in the early 2000’s. Following college in 2003, Sara Springer (daughter of George III) joined the company as a Graphic Artist. She helped spearhead the reintroduction of short-run digital printing in 2004. This success led to increased management responsibilities, with Sara eventually being named General Manager in 2008. Now in full color as well as black & white – Digital printing gave Universal a strong advantage over competitors whom were limited to only offset printing. In addition to Digital printing, Universal added a line of advertising specialty products and custom logo apparel to their services. A new marketing campaign in 2009 stressed that the company was now “More Than Just Ink on Paper” and clients could now consider Universal Printing as a “one-stop-shop” - with capabilities to meet all of their printing needs.
As other companies hunkered down to try to weather the economic storm, Universal Printing expanded by acquiring a local silkscreen and embroidery company in 2010 - bringing the newly acquired equipment in-house. With greater internal control over production and access to a broader range of services and products, Universal’s apparel division expanded almost immediately.
In 2010, Brian D. Springer, George’s son, joined the company as an Account Representative. This quickly led to new period of fast growth, as Brian’s energy and community involvement showcased the company to a younger demographic of managers and buyers. In 2013 Brian was promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager, overseeing Universal’s sales team and marketing campaigns.
Through three generations, company acquisitions and product diversifications - Universal Printing has remained a strong and valued partner to their clients for over 50 years. While at times the company may not have known “how to produce it” or “have the necessary equipment” – they always found a way to get it done. That has been our mission from day one, and we still continue that today. Our client’s matter, which is why we have and why we will continue to adapt - ensuring their needs are met.