PRINTING COMPANY…100 YEARS IN BUSINESS

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PRINTING COMPANY…100 YEARS IN BUSINESS

 user 2005-12-26 at 9:45:00 am Views: 61
  • #13815

    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.