*NEWS*100 YEARS IN BUSS FOR PRINTING CO.

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*NEWS*100 YEARS IN BUSS FOR PRINTING CO.

 user 2005-12-26 at 9:46:00 am Views: 48
  • #13359

    Printing company sees many changes in first 100 years
    TROY
    - On Oct. 24, 1895, Walter Snyder opened his print shop across from the
    Green Island Bridge on River Street. He paid $13.25 for the first
    month’s rent.
    The family business, now on its fourth generation,
    still keeps his expense journals stashed carefully away in the safe,
    the outsides of some blackened from a fire in the 20th century. One of
    Walter’s most extravagant purchases, a paper cutter, cost $70. The
    family paid more than $70,000 when they bought a new one three or four
    years ago.
    “It’s something I always wanted to do as a kid,” said
    Dona Snyder-Reardon of running the family business. “I really wanted to
    be the first woman president of Snyder Printers. Printing is still such
    a male-dominated industry.”
    Reardon always knew she would follow in her father David’s footsteps. “I joke with people that I have ink in my veins.”      
    Snyder
    Printer has survived a multitude of technological changes that are
    unique to the printing industry. When Walter Snyder opened his shop, he
    hand set wood or lead type.
    By the time David Snyder inherited the
    business from Dona’s grandfather Phillip Snyder in the 1960s, the
    company had moved to the building now occupied by Brown’s Brew Pub.
    (Walter purchased the roomier location in 1929.)
    By David’s era the printing industry had moved to making films and plates from photographs of original artwork.
    Today, the entire industry is computerized.
    “There’s
    no artwork, no plates, no film. It’s all from disk,” said David Snyder.
    He retired from the business in May 2004. “It’s faster, it’s more
    accurate with less manpower. There used to be six people in the
    (pre-press printing area.)”
    In 1981, the printing company again
    relocated to its current home at 691 River St. after a devastating
    fire. “We were out of business for about six months, and we found out
    who our friends were,” said David Snyder. Dona was just a freshman in
    high school.
    The company now uses the staccato process. Instead of
    printing in a traditional series of dots, the process uses a random
    pattern. “It’s true photographic quality,” Reardon said.
    Juanitia
    Brown began working for Snyder Printer this spring. After having worked
    for huge printing companies, including Crest-Litho that went out of
    business in the mid 1980s, Brown has an appreciation for Snyder
    Printer’s small size. “It’s small enough to really do custom work.”
    She
    said the company, which has 23 employees in addition to Dona and two of
    her three brothers, is large enough to offer the whole printing package
    to its customers. Snyder prints everything from business cards to
    28-inch by 40-inch posters. Its ability to fill small orders also gives
    the company a competitive edge. “A lot of people keep inventories very
    low,” said Brown.
    Reardon said the company has customers, such as
    Emma Willard, Albany Medical Center and Siena and Maria colleges ,
    because of the way it sells its prints.
    “Printing is not a
    commodity. It’s a custom product. … There’s a value to our service.
    And we promote that value. We follow jobs to the end and do what we
    have to do to make it happen.”
    Reardon contends Snyder’s pre-press proof system is the best in the region.
    In
    celebration of 100 years in business, the company had new logo designed
    by Randy Rump of The Design Works. It has also dropping the “Walter” in
    its original title “Walter Snyder Printer” in an effort to be listed
    consistently in directories.