Article By: Bonnie Williamson
Photos By: Josh Triggs
It’s one of the largest independently owned graphics firms in the mid-Atlantic region, and continues to grow.
Hagerstown Bookbinding & Printing, now HBP, Inc., a printing and graphic design company with plants in Hagerstown, MD. and Falls Church, VA., has been in business since 1903. Its two facilities comprise more than 165,000 square feet of reduction space.
The company started out producing stationary, notices, posters, and other materials using hand-fed letter presses. It’s hard to imagine or compare printing techniques used then and at the beginning of offset printing in 1875 to the sophisticated technology on hand now. Then, an inked image was transferred [or offset] from a plate or what was called a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. Rolls with ink were utilized. It was a very labor intensive, hands-on process.
HBP continued to evolve as an early adopter of technology in order to succeed in a changing industry. It is constantly adapting and remaining relevant in that rapidly changing environment.
“Printing remains a vital means of communication,” says Stuart Mullendore, vice president of marketing and general services, and president of AdvantEdge Marketing Services, Inc., an HBP affiliate.
HBP has successfully taken communication, as well as printing, to a whole new level. The company supports local, national and global customers by coupling offset, digital and wide format printing with a host of technological solutions that enable clients to efficiently and effectively manage sales campaigns, online storefront operations and e-marketing initiatives, according to Mullendore.
Mullendore says he is particularly proud that HBP has been certified by the federal Government Printing Office (GPO) as a Level 1 Printer.
“That speaks to the quality of this complicated work,” says Patrick Sell, an account executive for the company. “We recently made a calendar for NASA.”
HBP manages printing and communications projects for a variety of government and industry segments, including corporations, associations, non-profit clients, healthcare and financial service providers, educational institutions and publishers.
The Hagerstown HBP plant has an in-house post office. The United States Post Office (USPS) Expedited Plant Load Service provides customers with direct access to the US mail stream.
“We do many direct mail campaigns. Customers don’t even have to come here. They can manage projects from their desktops,” Mullendore says.
Sell adds that the in-house post office is a unique service, along with another service HBP offers: an onsite design studio.
“We have a fully staffed, award winning design studio. We handle projects from the beginning to the end, right here,” says Sell. “We can produce a wide variety of graphics, banners, signs, posters and more. With elections coming up, we can help with a campaign. Mail postcards out to a candidate’s district. Run the whole gamut of election needs.”
Ellipse Design, a wholly owned HBP subsidiary onsite, creates innovative concepts for a multitude of marketing and branding applications. HBP offers customers more than 1.5 million items that can be imprinted with a client’s brand and message.
The wide variety of imprinted items, available includes everything from custom scarves and sportswear to trade show booths, kitchen magnets and more.
The company offers consulting services to help clients decide the elements they want involved in their marketing programs and suggests options to attract audience attention. HBP identifies new and innovative opportunities for engaging customers, while streamlining production processes to realize greater cost efficiencies and achieve better outcomes.
HBP uses integrated marketing techniques, not just a single marketing approach. It uses a wide variety of tools and technologies to reach diverse audiences.
The company has wide format print machines that can image super-size graphics on roll stock for banners and signs and on rigid materials for a multitude of applications.
A large addition is currently under construction at the Hagerstown plant.
“We can handle any aspect of a project,” Sell says.
Sell says that HBP can produce online storefront operations.
“We can set up and create websites that contain a client’s marketing materials. They can log in and order right there, 24/7” he says.
The company offers PortalPro, described as an elegant e-commerce solution that provides a simple way to clients to gain access to any material on the site. PortalPro helps attract new business and allows clients to manage employee service and rewards programs.
Then there’s ContentKey®, cloud-based secure content distribution and digital rights management solution that enables users to share content (such as PDF’s, HTML5, MS Office, video, and audio files) with subscribers, employees, on mobile and desktop devices, including iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, and Mac platforms, in a highly secure environment. This service protects valuable content and proprietary information.
Sell emphasizes that customers need not look elsewhere for any of their printing and marketing needs.
“We are literally a one-stop shop,” Sell says.
“And we’re going to continue to stick around to help customers with their printing and marketing needs,” Mullendore says.
Mullendore is keenly aware of the importance cost plays for business. He received acknowledgement for his experience by the Washington County Board of Commissioners [Maryland] by being named a volunteer coordinator for the county’s strategic economic development plan in 2013.
All and all, HBP has come a long way from its creation in 1903. And the key word that continues to describe the company is evolve. As the company’s president John Snyder says in a description of HBP on the website, “I grew up in the commercial printing industry at a time when applying computer technologies to applications in the graphic arts industry was experimental and evolving. These technologies continue to evolve. Our challenge is to think outside the box as we look for new and innovative ways to apply these resources to the challenges that our customers are solving.”