Designers Get a Feel for Engraving

The San Francisco Center for the Book was the venue on September 17th for a unique hands-on event, EngraveSF, which highlighted the fine craft of engraving and how it can enhance contemporary design applications.  Presented by The Ligature, BurdgeCooper and Mohawk Paper, over 150 graphic designers and brand managers mingled with their peers while seeing and feeling the different aspects of fine engraved printing.  Guests got to see first-hand a running press at the event, learn engraving’s historical context and see how this process can be an effective solution to current graphic designs.

Engraving’s characteristic raised feel, its rich opaque inks and its incredible control of detail have defined fine printing for generations. It is no longer reserved for formal invitations and social stationery. It is a perfect tool for creating beautiful printed messages that define, in our clients’ minds, a successful brand.

Dora Drimalas, principal and creative director of Hybrid-Design, spoke to the audience about how in today’s marketplace crowded with brands and messages we are bombarded with both electronic and printed communications. The graphic designer’s role in helping clients develop brands and messages that are noticed and remembered is more important now than ever before.

Dora Drimalas

Dora Drimalas speaking about electronic and printed types of communication.

Studies continue to show that professionally designed and well produced communications stand out. Our sense of touch creates lasting impressions. Engraving, as a printing process, is the perfect solution for helping our clients develop brands and messages that convey trust, quality and success and that are remembered.

Dora’s extensive background in brand strategy and design has allowed her to work intimately with some of the largest brands in the world, most notably with her continued long term relationship with Nike, as well as Apple, Sony, Samsung, Starwood, and Mohawk Fine Paper among many others. The studio environment and process that Dora has created with her husband Brian Flynn is the key to Hybrid’s success. It centers around the idea that new things happen when different forces overlap. Hybrid proves this theory daily with their studio work and their experimental toy company and retail store, Super7, and its various artist collaborations and projects.

Mohawk Representatives

Our Mohawk Representatives enjoying the event!

Dora and Hybrid-Design have worked closely with Mohawk Paper and their collaboration with the growing Maker movement. Hybrid-Design and Mohawk partner with craft printers in support of tactility, quality and craft of all forms of print. Mohawk is proud publisher of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly.

Mohawk is North America’s largest privately-owned manufacturer of fine papers and envelopes which include the signature brands Mohawk Superfine® and Strathmore®. With a culture of innovation, Mohawk’s business model now extends beyond paper manufacturing into new areas of growth, including digital substrates.  As a leader in environmentally and socially responsible business practices, Mohawk was the first U.S. manufacturer of commercial printing papers to match 100% of its electricity with wind power renewable energy credits and the first U.S. premium paper mill to shift toward carbon neutral production. Mohawk’s portfolio of recycled papers is certified by Green Seal and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Mohawk is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business based in Cohoes, New York, with global sales and operations located throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

The Ligature and BurdgeCooper

John Litster (The Ligature), Conner Baird (The Ligature), Don Burdge (BurdgeCooper), and Chip Forman (The Ligature) all enjoying Engrave SF!

The Ligature is a full-service commercial printer with manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Berkeley.  They are dedicated to maximizing the impact of your brand through the art of printing and engraving while simplifying the order process.

BurdgeCooper brings ten in-house printing and finishing processes to international clients with production facilities in Los Angeles. A specialty print house with roots going back a century offering Engraving, Letterpress, Embossing, Foil Stamping, Die Cutting, Offset, Digital, Binding, Thermography, and Edge Painting under one roof.

The Ligature and BurdgeCooper are both owned by Taylor Corporation, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and a premier provider of interactive, printing and marketing solutions to more than half of the Fortune 500 companies and millions of small businesses and consumers around the world.

Design to Touch Books

Design to Touch Books

SF Center for the Book

SF Center for the Book – Engrave SF Venue

EngraveSF takeaway

The take home piece being produced at Engrave SF.

Merit Badge Day


August 15, 2015 – Carson, California – One Hundred Boy Scouts descended upon the International Printing Museum in Carson California on a warm Saturday in August to earn two merit badges; Pulp & Paper and Graphic Arts.  Thanks to over 30 museum and industry volunteers, the boys made paper, silk screened t-shirts, and printed cards they designed that day.


Ten groups of ten boys rotated every half hour to various stations set up around the museum property in order to pass the requirements for the two merit badges.  On the museum grounds, volunteers helped the boys blend pulp which was then poured onto wire frames allowing each boy to take home the paper they made.

The boys silk screened their own commemorative Merit Badge Day T-shirts while volunteers taught the boys about various bindery methods and how to identify different types of printing they run across at home and at school in order to fulfill that requirement for the graphic arts merit badge.

Since the first Merit Badge Day on May 7th 2011, over 1,800 boys have been exposed to the graphic arts and paper industry at the International Printing Museum.  Mark Barbour, curator of the museum, Dan Freeland, museum chairman, and I came up with the idea to host a merit badge day in order to promote paper making and the graphic arts to a generation of kids raised on iPads and cell phones.  This was during a time when funding was cut in the education system for printing programs.


Fewer and fewer boys are learning about our industry and we thought there might be a desire among the boy scouts to learn while earning a merit badge.  I contacted the Boy Scout National Office back then and learned that the Graphic Arts and Pulp and Paper Merit Badges were among the least popular of all the merit badges boys can earn.  When my son was in scouts, I remembered that Merit badge days were popular among boys seeking rank advancement. At the same time Mark had been working on a way to get the Boy Scouts more involved with the museum so we came up with the idea of creating a Merit Badge Day.

When asked why they signed up, one boy from Orange County said he had always been interested in Printing and this sounded “Cool”.  Another boy said he liked engineering and he thought a job in this industry might be interesting.  A third scout said he was there because his friend decided to come and he liked the chance to make something by hand.


Because of the Merit Badge Day, the Printing Museum now has a steady stream of new visitors, the Boy Scouts now have a way to learn about our industry while earning two merit badges, and the printing industry is once again educating a group of smart and engaged boys who will soon enter the workforce. Now thousands of boys are learning about the careers and benefits of the graphic arts and paper industries.


Welcome to BurdgeCooper!

Joe Fontana

August 5, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA:  BurdgeCooper is proud to announce that Joseph L. Fontana has joined our sales and marketing team as Manager of Business Development.  Joe has been a successful leader in the high quality engraving and printed graphics global business market since 1972.

A former three-term board member of the International Engraved Graphics Association, IEGA, Mr. Fontana was also the chair of its Marketing Committee where he directed numerous successful educational international marketing campaigns on behalf of IEGA members worldwide.

Joe was also instrumental in founding the national organization for Law Firm Marketing professionals from his base in Chicago, Illinois.

According to Don Burdge, president of BurdgeCooper, “Joe and I have competed against each other for decades and I’m pleased that he has joined our team to help bring the art of engraving to America’s leading businesses and top professional firms.”

“BurdgeCooper has a reputation for producing the very best engraving and printing craftsmanship in our industry,” stated Mr. Fontana, “I’m looking forward to helping the company grow and prosper on a national and international level.”

We welcome Joe to our BurdgeCooper family.


Pizza Box Campaign



We recently started our new Pizza Box Campaign here at BurdgeCooper.  The “pizza boxes” contain samples of printed pieces from our plant that we send to customers.  The boxes are tailored to the customer it is being sent to i.e. a graphic design firm will receive our more “design-y” stationery that we make or a hotel will receive more hospitality related pieces. I had the pleasure of interviewing Don Burdge, our President of BurdgeCooper, about our new campaign, so below are some questions and masterfully crafted answers from an expert in the field.


Q:  Why are we using these boxes?

A:  We’ve heard time and again that customers want to see samples from us.  The type of printing we do sets us apart from so many other printers that when a customer sees what we can do and who we do it for, they are interested.  The boxes we use are from Mohawk Paper and are part of their “Makers” promotion.  Mohawk is a valued partner of BurdgeCooper and they have offered to allow us to use the boxes they send their paper samples in for us to send our printed samples in too.


Q:  How are they a more effective tool for the sales person?

A:  Sales people can use the samples in the box to get an appointment to see a potential       customer or to at least have a conversation with them. They help open doors and qualify a prospect for future sales

Q:  How are they a more effective tool for the customer?

A:  Customers are busy doing so many things these days they don’t have time to meet new vendors.  The sample box gets noticed when it arrives on their desk and if the samples are something the customer has a need for, or knows someone who has a need for this type of printing, then it becomes an effective tool.


Q:  How did we hear about these “pizza boxes?”

A:  From our vendor, Mohawk Paper.

Q:  What are you hoping to gain from using these boxes and how are they different from old methods we used to use for getting samples to customers?

A:  The Mohawk “makers” boxes look “cool” and have a quality hand made aspect to them.  They work well to set us apart from our competition by showing high value-high touch products we make.

Q:  Where can you request to get one?

A:  You can request a box of great fine printed samples on our website  Go to the Contact page and say that Don sent you…





Complete Graphics of Minneapolis Minnesota won the Best of Show at the International Engraved Graphics Association’s 76th Annual Conference in Vail

Best of Show!


Complete Graphics of Bloomington (Minneapolis) Minnesota won the Best of Show at the International Engraved Graphics Association’s 76th Annual Conference in Vail, Colorado on June 29th.  Rick Haman, VP of Business Development for Complete Graphics accecpted the award from IEGA president David Nussmeier of Nussmeier Engraving and Brad Cannaday of Neenah Paper.


The winning piece was a diploma for Seton Hall University beautifully engraved with 4 press passes on over-sized Neenah 80# ivory paper and transcribed in Latin. “The diploma is not only a beautiful certificate recognizing academic achievement, and but also acts as a security document insomuch that it cannot be authentically reproduced or counterfeited. Obviously, this is a critical requirement in the scholastic and academic world.”  according to Mr. Haman.


Complete Graphics has been in business since 1918 is currently owned by Taylor Corporation as part of Taylor’s fine print and engraving division. Other Taylor engraving companies to win awards that night include BurdgeCooper and The Ligature of Los Angeles and Berkeley California.

IEGA is the engraving industry trade association consisting of the leading commercial engraving companies around the world.  It holds an annual competition to honor the best pieces of craft work done the previous year, as voted by their peers.


BREAKING NEWS: Taylor Corp. Buys Standard Register


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The Taylor Corporation, one of the largest Graphic Communications company in North America, has announced today that they are acquiring the Ohio based company, Standard Register.  The sale will take 45 to 60 days, but is pending upon any objections from the Unsecured Creditors Committee.  Final approval of this acquirement is expected to occur within the next few business days. With the addition of Standard Register, Taylor Corp will be gaining about 3,000 new employees in North America and Mexico.

Standard Register is a top printing company in the US and provides solutions for many different types of businesses including healthcare, financial services, commercial business and industrial markets.  Standard Register will be a great addition to the variety of fields that Taylor Corp is involved in.taycorpandstandardregister


The New Wave of Business Cards

Business cards, in essence, are simply a way to exchange information with another person. They are tangible items that someone can refer to for future use. Although the functionality of the business card is simple, the execution of it is anything but. Many companies have realized that like any other marketing activity, a business card is an extension of a brand’s image and perception. It is the first glance into the company’s persona. Here at BurdgeCooper, we have seen an influx of unique designs, interesting layouts and intensive printing processes to create these specialized business cards. Here are a few trends.

Color On the Rim











Black Emboss




Unique Layouts




BurdgeCooper allows for your company or client to be creative. With our extensive list of cost-effective printing processes and our unmatched expertise, we can help you achieve the look and feel that you are looking for. For a full list of our services, visit

The Beauty of Engraving


Have you ever thought about the process of engraving? What it takes to get the perfect amount of ink applied to the paper in such a way that it raises off of the page, giving it a unique look and feel? Chances are you have come encounter with engraving many times but never knew the labor-intensive printing process that it took to get you to not only see the design, but feel it as well.

The Ligature has teamed up with Neenah Paper as well as MODSF, a design solutions firm, to display how when design, quality materials and engraving come together, they can produce a truly beautiful piece of art.

2-Fanned-Prints-500-widePhotographer: StudioAlex Photography

Michael Osborne, the president and creative director of MODSF, designed this limited edition print No. 6 for Neenah’s Beauty of Engraving series. He derived inspiration from his personal collection of currency, stocks and bonds to push the boundaries of the engraving process. With original cartouche, very tiny print, special inks and special paper, this exquisitely detailed work of art masterfully highlights the intricacies of engraving and the possibilities abound. See below just how this exclusive print was made and the true beauty and essence of engraving.

Are Custom Branded Online Catalogs and W2P the Same Thing?

Not even close. W2P (the generic term for web-to-print) services run the gamut from “plain vanilla” to gorgeous, comprehensive platforms where users may not even realize they’re no longer on a company site.

Some confuse e-commerce with W2P because  both happen online, but e-commerce is generally a “generic ordering platform”whereas sophisticated W2P services provide a User Name/Password-protected platform where customers can see all of their print and related needs, can enter only variable information to proof and order anything from a brand image business card or digital printed brochure with variable text options.

The “flip side” of custom branded online catalogs is that they come in several ‘flavors.’ One model is purchased software which printers buy and tweak for each new customer they add. Another model is “co-op” where those running the actual system are 3rd party resources who may take a small piece of each transaction.  Not every system or platform offers all the same advantages. Most offer good ordering and proofing tools, but the best offer sophisticated usage information which makes future budgeting easier, enable “direct oversight” of “who can purchase what, in what quantity” and do not permit deviation from brand image standards.

It pays to ask for a W2P demonstration when a printer offers these services. Know what you want, understand the reliability and security of an offering before you commit.

If you’re interested in establishing a custom branded online catalog, you can contact us today about getting started! If your employees regularly purchase the same branded products in volume, it’s worth consideration.