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Many companies use the term “being green” to try to sell the idea that they are being as environmentally conscious as possible. “Being green” is a relative term. Put simply, anyone can say they are green if they throw away one less box or recycle one water bottle. In short, some talk the talk and others walk the walk.
We walk the walk.
When a pressing plant orders album covers, inserts and decals from a huge printing company, there is always a minimum, usually 500, or even 1,000 from the printer to the pressing plant. Because they are run on older and larger offset presses they have to run that many just to get the press going, as well as a percentage over that which are set-up scrap sheets (garbage).
Let’s say that you are an artist who needs 250 albums….You still pay for the 500 album jackets, because that’s how the huge print houses have to run them to make a profit and cover the set-up. What happens to the extra 250 album covers and the boxes they came in and all the set-up sheets? They go in a landfill. The big print houses really don’t care. After all, it’s a business and they have to produce mass quantities to cover huge overhead.
That’s where we come in. We use the latest digital press technology which has NO set-up , low minimums and a much smaller overhead footprint. The big houses insist on 500 album jackets. We’ll put that number at 100. We are doing that because we can, and also because we are in the music business as artists. We even own a small independent label. We are well aware that most bands will take quite some time to sell 100 albums, and 500 is usually a closet filler. So we created a business that makes the low minimums achievable with a super low cost because we aren’t operating an a very expensive and antiquated platform.
It gets even better. We set up this division of our business based on a relationship we have with Smashed Plastic, who happens to be in the same building we are in. So, if you are having your album pressed by them, you just took out all the shipping, the packaging, the trucks, the gasoline, the extra personnel, the mileage, and the time. We literally walk your order across the hall. It doesn’t get more “green” than that.
For albums that are being pressed anywhere else on planet Earth we will have your prints shipped via UPS. We ship using a ganged-up method of multiple orders picked up at the same time weekly. That way we cut out using trucks 5 days per week and use only 1. It’s all getting greener now, isn’t it?
You’d like to see more green? Ok… let’s talk about the printing process:
Traditional offset printing involves quite a bit of chemistry, excess inks that get trashed, water, machine maintenance, and typically a multi-person crew. Digital presses are operated by 1 person and use the exact amount of ink droplets for that print…. And that list ends there. There is no extra scrap material, no ink that has to be thrown out, no clean-up chemicals. How do we know so much about all the processes? We’ve done EVERY print process over the last 30 years in the industry. That’s why we opened a digital print shop. We’d like Earth to stay green for quite a while.
How much more green can we get, while still being cost effective?
Again, a huge printing plant needs to sell you 500 album covers plus run a bunch of scrap set-up. That order costs you the full price and fills a landfill.
Because we are a digital operation we can run your record label orders in succession on the fly with no set-up. So, if you want the lowest price possible based on volume you would gang up orders.
1 order of 500 at Huge Print Company = 500 prints of one album cover at their set cost.
At Music Graphics Chicago, 5 different album cover orders of 100 each, ordered at once = 500 prints at our 500 print total quantity price. We don’t care how you get to a higher number… it can be 100’s, 250’s, etc. Group them together, and they all run at the same time. Even our 500 album cover price is less than theirs, whether it’s a single project or multiples. Plus-they all get shipped at the same time. You want to save more money and get green? That’s how we’re going to get you there.
The album jacket, pictured here (Wilco, Ode to Joy) was manufactured by us, using another printer's overrun scrap.
And, yes.....we do have a garden in the shop.