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Richards Printing has origin in newspaper business

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Chris Keenan, pre-press operator for Richards Printing, prepares a job to be printed on the business’ digital Xerox press. Since 1945, Richards Printing has been owned by members of the Richards family.

ESCANABA — Since 1945, Richards Printing has been owned by members of the Richards family. However, the business’ history goes back further than that time — to the start of the 20th century.

Ray Richards Jr., former owner of Richards Printing and father of current owner Jeff Richards, said the business started operating in 1909 as a part of the Daily Press. It functioned as a job shop, which printed both newspapers and other items.

In the 1940s, the newspaper shifted to a different printing model.

“They decided in 1945 that they didn’t want to bother with job printing anymore,” Ray said.

Because of this, the printing business was sold off at this time. It was purchased by Ray’s father, Ray Richards Sr.

“It’s been run by the Richards family since,” Ray said.

In March 1969, a major fire forced Richards Printing to move from its location at 609 Ludington St. to 718 Ludington Street, where it is still located today.

“We moved here after the fire, so it’ll be 50 years,” Ray said.

Richards Printing also changed hands in 1969.

“At the end of the year, my dad offered me the business, and I took it,” Ray said. He owned the business until the 2000s.

According to Ray, Richards Printing used letterpress printing when it started.

“Under my tenure, it gravitated to offset print,” he said.

Richards Printing has continued to update its printing techniques over the years.

“The business is (integrating) the latest technology in digital,” Ray said.

Jeff said things have going well at Richards Printing.

“I would say that it’s positive — that we have a positive job flow and that we’re ever-expanding,” he said. Today, the business offers digital printing services, mailings, signage, promotional items and graphic design services.

In the future, Jeff said he will aim to increase Richards Printing’s profile and capabilities.

“Improve marketing and product development,” he said of his future goals for the business.

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