Typometer with color samples

Case Study: Graphic Partners

Using fast, affordable print-on-demand output to capture new revenue streams.

About Graphic Partners

Located in Zion, Illinois, Graphic Partners has delivered quality printing products and services for more than 100 years. With the RICOH Pro C9100, it can expand its capabilities to include more affordable variable data printing and capture more business-to-consumer (B2C) revenue streams.

"The Pro C9100 would make it possible to produce B2C applications at an attractive price point."

Kirk Larsen


Graphic Partners


After more than 100 years, Graphic Partners took its business personally. With print customers wanting to share personalized output directly with highly targeted audiences, the company invested in a new press and a web-to-print solution to expand its capabilities.

The new digital press could print smaller color runs, but it was insufficient for the growing demand of complex variable data printing (VDP) applications. Customers wanted higher quality output in less time for less cost. Graphic Partners sought a new digital press with automatic duplexing for VDP on longer sheets and a wider range of substrates.


Graphic Partners chose the RICOH Pro C9100 Color Production Printer to create VDP output quickly and economically on a wide range of substrates to expand both creativity and revenue.

Graphic Partners has produced an incredible amount of information for clients for nearly a century. Now, with the Pro C9100, they can customize that information with unprecedented speed and ease.

The company has moved many of the jobs from its offset presses to the faster and more versatile digital press. It can produce a wider range of print runs with near-offset quality output via stunning 1200x 4800 dpi resolution in a fraction of the time.

"Due to its longer sheet size, auto duplexing and variable print capabilities, we can print two-sided signs, and point-of-purchase displays," said Kirk Larsen, Partner. "All of which provide us with a competitive edge in the B2C market."

He added that the company is printing on metallic, coated, transparent and other synthetic substrates for the first time to support the company's expanding consumer portfolio.

"We want to offer every idea we can to customers that will move their business forward," said Larsen. "We like to say we can deliver a big impact for less."

It's been easier than expected. Operators access critical print details and make adjustments immediately with fingertip precision on the raised color control panel. It includes animated guides to simplify tasks during production. Maintenance is simplified, too. With Ricoh's Trained Customer Replaceable Units (TCRU) program, even novice operators can swap out drums, rollers, fuser cleaners and more in moments without technical assistance.


The company is delivering information in new and exciting ways. Graphic Partners can be more creative and produce shorter runs with personalized content for smaller budgets — and realize new sources for revenue. It's faster and more affordable to print on the Pro C9100 than the offset devices.

As a result, the company has several new retail customers. For example, it prints shelf tags and point-of-purchase displays for a larger beverage retailer with 32 locations in the area. It has created several prototypes with the Pro C9100's 13" x 27" sheet size, which is leading to new opportunities with the retailer.

Other projects include two-sided VDP applications and colorful personalized postcards to capture the interest of each recipient in a unique way. The team also produces short-run packaging to capitalize on trends and highly specialized information about the audience.

"What we can offer to a customer now is a variety of applications customized to promote their brand, from coasters to personalized packaging to items we can run in-sync on offset to create a full brand packaged," said Larsen. "Our reward is more business if their businesses are doing well."

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