KBA North America in Williston, Vt., is reporting that Unicorn Graphics, a metropolitan New York City commercial and calendar printer, is enticing new high-end customers to produce its brochures, catalogs, and other marketing material on its new Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press equipped with aqueous coating and hybrid UV. The new press, which was installed in May 2007at the firm’s newly-acquired and newly-renovated 30,000 sq ft facility in Garden City, Long Island, NY, is producing spectacular high-end spot-coated jewelry, fashion, and corporate work.
- (Left to right) Robert Lee, executive vice president of Unicorn Graphics, and John Lee, president of Unicorn Graphics, are proud of the high quality, sharper dot, and better solids derived on their new KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press. (1)
Unicorn’s Rapida 105 is a giant leap in technology and capability for the growing firm. The press is equipped with both inline aqueous coating and UV drying, technology that the firm has never possessed before. To cater to its growing demand in the commercial printing market, Unicorn found it necessary to add aqueous and UV to expand into posters, commercial work printed on specialty substrates, and new design jobs.Most challenging work goes on the KBA Rapida 105
“Ever since we installed the KBA Rapida 105 41-inch press, we’ve been inundated with brokers who are bringing us their most challenging and difficult work to produce,” says Robert Lee, executive vice president of Unicorn Graphics. “The brokers have confidence in us that we can produce their jobs with the utmost quality and care and in a timely fashion. They actually encourage their customers to give us their most challenging work. The new press gives us faster turnaround, higher quality, and inline capability to print and coat our products.”
One customer, a highly-regarded university, was using many vendors to produce their printed work. But once they saw the high-quality produced by Unicorn’s KBA press and the difference between their other print vendors, the university switched all of their work to Unicorn.
“We’re getting great feedback from our customers and brokers,” says Lee. “They like the different looks and techniques that we can accomplish on the KBA press. We’re getting a much better solid and sharper dot on the KBA press and we’re able to print beautiful gold and silver metallic that we couldn’t print before. We’re printing on gloss and matte stocks and spot coating different brochures. The press has opened up a wide range of different techniques that we couldn’t offer before and now we can. Plus, we’re able to quickly dry all of our jobs with our aqueous coating unit.”Raising the quality bar
“Unicorn Graphics has raised the quality bar with its competitors,” says Ed Heffernan, KBA Sales Representative. “Since the installation of their new KBA press, they’ve seen an influx of new jobs that require the quality, sophistication, and fast turnaround that Unicorn can accomplish.”
When Unicorn Graphics entered the printing arena to start to produce calendars inhouse rather than outsource the work, the firm used a small-format 20-inch one- to four-color press. After establishing itself as a printer and taking on more commercial work, the firm installed a 40-inch four-color press from a different manufacturer. Today, the firm produces two million multi-color calendars for the US market posting $7 million in annual sales.
“Our goal is to continually meet and surpass the needs of our customers, no matter how difficult the job,” says Lee. “We feel that our KBA Rapida is allowing us to move into new markets that we couldn’t serve before and broaden our reputation. Our customers already know us for our commitment and determination to serving them. We don’t have a sales force; we continue to gain new customers through good word-of-mouth and our excellent service.”February 2008 Open House
- (Left to right) John Lee and Robert Lee examine a press sheet produced on the Rapida 105 41-inch six-color press. (2)
The firm is also planning to hold an Open House on Thursday February 21, 2008 in conjunction with KBA for its customers and prospective customers. The gala will include press demonstrations, seminars, and one-on-one discussions with paper, ink, and other graphic arts vendors.
Unicorn Graphics was established in 1987 as a small family-owned printer to support its sister organization of calendar publishing. After establishing itself as a leading calendar producer for its nationwide clientele, the company expanded to include commercial printing as well. The firm grew quickly at its 8,000 sq ft College Point location in Queens, outside of New York City, adding a high-speed saddle stitching line and a process-less computer-to-plate system. Today the company is a multi-million dollar, multi-location commercial printing and calendar publishing business owned by John Lee, president and brother of Robert Lee. The firm operates a West Coast printing plant in Pico Rivera, outside of Los Angeles.