In Praise of Print Workers

When I say that response to this year’s Top 100 has been staggering, it’s not hyperbole. In a single afternoon more than 100 people downloaded the PDF of the Top 100 list from There were almost as many downloads of the Honorable Mention list.

As it does every year, the flood of emails began as soon as the study went live. The messages tend to flow along the lines of people saying thank you or wanting information about how to get into next year’s list. But this year I also heard from printers who were disappointed that the Honorable Mention list was only available online. As one owner put it, “My people used to look forward to seeing our name in print, even if we were only in the Honorable Mention list.”

In almost every instance the core of the message was that they felt that QP had let down their employees by not printing the Honorable Mention list. The reasons it was done this way are immaterial. The buck stops on my desk, and I sincerely apologize to everyone who was disappointed by this.

Every company in the Honorable Mention list produced annual sales of at least $1 million—most reported significantly more—and they deserve recognition for that achievement. The thing is, though, when you read Top 100 and the Honorable Mention lists, the only names that appear are those of the company leaders. And they are always the first ones to make the point that their success would not be possible without the contributions of their employees. Almost every truly successful owner I’ve ever met or interviewed has insisted that their staff was best anyone could ask for. They want to give credit where credit is due, and so do I.

So I would like to take this opportunity to honor the people who almost never see their names in print. Thank you to all the men and women who run the presses, keep the mail pieces flowing, wrestle digital files into compliance, balance the books, put the finishing touch on every job, design and create beautiful documents, keep the customers happy, stock the ink and paper, sweep the floors, manage the social media, and do the hundred other daily jobs a printing company requires. You are the people who keep this entire industry running. Without you, all the words and images would disappear. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Thank you for choosing to apply your talents to the world of print.