Tukaiz LLC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. March 3, 1963 marks the date when Frank Defino, Sr. launched the firm as a prepress and plate-making services provider in a 5,000 square-foot basement space. Half a century later, the family-owned Tukaiz offers a diverse, innovative array of products and services at their campus that encompasses more than 175,000 square feet across eight buildings, but its commitment to excellence and customer care remains unchanged.
Initially, Tukaiz began with three employees, including Frank Defino, Sr., doing what had been the very time-consuming and exacting work of manual prepress and plate making. Building upon a reputation of integrity and service, the company grew steadily over the years, moving into ever-larger quarters and adding staff to handle its increasing customer base.
In the 1970s, Tukaiz led the marketplace by mastering color scanning. Its successes continued into the 1980s when they welcomed computer technology for production. Tukaiz jumped on this opportunity to project the company into the future and transform the way people did business by moving workflow from original art boards to digital. The 1990s brought the digital revolution in graphics and multichannel technology, and Tukaiz became the first in the Midwest to install two color digital presses. Aside from just print, Tukaiz set the pace for digital photography, multimedia and interactive and data development, which brought them into the 2000s as a premier marketing services provider.
The company has not only kept pace with technology, but has harnessed it to create new and unique products and services for household brand-name clients that now include corporate giants like Redbox, Frito-Lay and Burger King, and companies in a variety of vertical markets such as high-fashion retail, insurance and healthcare to name a few.
“Without our customers we would not be where we are today and we are truly grateful,” said Dan Defino, vice president and managing director at Tukaiz, focused on sales. Today, Tukaiz’s diverse capabilities range from in-house consulting, creative, prepress, color correction and retouching, to offset, digital, large format and banner printing, to online marketing management and print production systems, to software and data applications development, website development/hosting, multimedia solutions, finishing, and mailing and fulfillment.
“In business you either lead, conform in the middle or watch from behind. At Tukaiz, our philosophy has always been to lead. For five decades, we have been reinvesting in the business, leading customers to new products and services that help them grow and introducing new technologies that will benefit their business models and their customers. This has been a winning combination for Tukaiz,” said Frank Defino Jr., vice president and managing director at Tukaiz, focused on marketing and branding.
Fifty years and forward, Tukaiz continues to seek new frontiers. Most recently, the company announced that it will serve as a beta test site for game-changing Nanographic printing technology developed by Benny Landa, inventor of the color digital press.
Today, Frank Sr. and his four children run Tukaiz as an equal partnership, and the company employs over 200 people. “I’m proud to be part of the family that Tukaiz is. I look forward to our continued evolution,” said Christopher Calabria, chief financial officer at Tukaiz, focused on financial management.
“We believe the key to a successful company is to stay focused, especially on what customers need and want. With talented employees we can help change the marketplace for the better,” said Frank Defino, Sr. “There’s always risk involved, however re-investing in the business continues to be our primary goal. We’ve been extremely blessed and look forward to continuing this journey.”