Future Print is proud of the strong roots they have built in the Regina community. They love what they do and if you spend 5 minutes with Karmen you will know that this is very true! The passion he and his team have for their work enables them to take ownership of their clients' projects. They constantly strive to deliver the highest-quality products possible. Future Print are your Trusted Regina Printers.
Future Print owner Karmen reflects on the 40 Year history of Future Print Regina.
Karmen gives us a historical walk thru how Future Print started and where they are today.
Here is what he shared:
I was 21 years old when we started Quick-Way Printers….
I gained experience at another printshop for 4 years prior to starting the company which makes it 44 years in the printing industry for me (and counting)
It’s a good thing my sister and I were young and naïve! Our first project was to remove 13 tons of scrap metal out of the original basement location before renovations could begin. We were nicely setup when the basement flooded during one of our famous Saskatchewan summer rainstorms. This was before we owned shelving and all the paper on the floor was ruined. A few months later, we had a national mail strike, and during a mail strike very little printing gets done.
I distinctly remember the day we opened; we were in at 8:00 am ready work. We wondered where the customers were going to come from. The only advertising, we had was a YellowPages ad. About mid morning we were thrilled when a welding shop just across the back alley saw our ad and placed an order for flyers that first day.
For the first year I handled all the production and Ann took care of customers.
"I remember sleeping on the floor beside the printing press during a long run of 102,000 that I printed in one day. When the press ran out of paper, it would make a huge racket and wake me to refill the paper. " - Karmen
Future Print Started To Grow
Our first staff member was added after one year and the business continued to grow rapidly.
Back in 1981 we were some of the first in a new industry called “Instant Printing” or “Quick Printing”. It differed from the regular print industry because we had smaller printing presses known as duplicators and we used disposable paper plates rather than metal plates. This allowed us to print almost instantly. Back then, one printing facility in Regina was booking a year in advance. If you ordered printing today you received the order one year from now! At the time, dry powder toner copiers were just in the infancy stages as most smaller copiers were still using liquid toner.
We soon expanded taking over the entire lower-level of 1118 Broad Street to make room for larger equipment and an in-house typesetting department. We added more printing presses, a high-speed black & white copier and coil binding to produce manuals. Software manuals were one of our main products at the time.
The next huge innovation to revolutionize our industry was colour copiers. The quality back then was not at today’s standards however Canon pioneered this technology and changed colour printing forever. Now you could push a button and have a colour copy in minutes.
Today our colour copiers print up to 100 copies per minute with fantastic quality. Digital technology has had the greatest impact on our industry. We used to shoot negatives on a huge camera, mask them onto stripping sheets, burn plates with a carbon arc light and mount them onto a printing press. We still use plates for longer runs however all the manual processes are done in minutes with a computer.
In the mid 1980’s I remember hearing about a radical new technology called “Desktop Publishing” on an Apple MacIntosh computer. We had traditional typesetting equipment at the time and thought that this new low-quality method will never take off. Wow, were we ever wrong!
The company continued to grow and add staff, which meant that more production space was required. We purchased a former Synagogue from the Regina Jewish community and converted into a modern print shop. The new building with a heritage flavour became an amazing environment to work in. There were 27-foot-high ceilings in the back production area, unique green brick, and herring bone hardwood floors throughout. Everyone that went for shop tours commented that this was the nicest and cleanest print shop they had ever seen.
How Future Print Got It's Name
The name Quick-Way restricted us to quick, small projects, so the decision was made to change the company name.
We went to the public library and spent hours looking through printshop ads in hundreds of phone books from Canada and United States. We narrowed it down to about 10 names however did not use any of them. We wanted a name that would not go out of date. Quick-Way Printers became Future Print.
We had 13 members on our team at the time and were very busy. The staff loved the building because it had windows which the former basement location did not have.
Future Print - A Family Business
At that point we had 4 family members working together and we got along most of the time. Susan my wife is still in accounting; Grant my brother is still production manager and even our daughter spent several years in the industry. After 20 years in the business, my sister Ann (Bellamae) retired and moved off to British Columbia with her new husband.
Our Last Move
We enjoyed working in the Print-a-gogue as some called it, however Regina required a better facility to accommodate the addiction center. Our building at 1640 Victoria Avenue was chosen because of its proximity to the General Hospital and the Regina Police Service. The building was sold however we did not have a place to move into.
After lots of searching we moved 3 blocks north to 1650 Saskatchewan Drive which was the former EMS facility. The ambulance doors were removed, and the garage area became a print shop.
During our years in business, we undertook many unique marketing campaigns. Now that we were in the former ambulance building, we came up with my all-time favourite marketing idea - we would use an ambulance as our delivery vehicle. We purchased an actual ambulance and changed the decals to Future Print Logos. As the medical profession loves aronyms, we had slogans on it, like – PPRT, Printing Predicament Response Team. The vehicle was used for several years and was a great deal of fun.
Investing in Printing Innovation
At this location we invested in a 4 colour printing press along with a matching colour proofing system. Colour printing was growing because of the digital age, everyone became a graphic designer with their home/office computer. Customers could simply send us a file and we could print the booklets or brochures for them.
Next, we became one of the few places in Saskatchewan that did gold foiling and die cutting in-house.
We fulfilled our dream of becoming a one stop print shop, with almost every kind of printing under one roof.
The next big innovation for the company was a shift into Signs and Labels. The industry term for this is wide format printing. We were now able to print onto hundreds of different materials for indoor and outdoor signs. This also allowed us to manufacture custom decals in any shape from small product labels all the way up to a 400-foot-long fence banner.
Lawn signs in the middle of winter is now one of our favorite, fun products.
I find it amazing, that after 40 years we are now dealing with 3rd generation business owners.
Many machines have come and gone in the last 40 years, however the people on our team and the customers are the memories that we recall the most.
We have so much gratitude for this wonderful community and are so thankful for your support! We look forward to serving you for many years to come. - Karmen Bernt
If you are looking for exceptional printing solutions to help build your brand Future Print can help!