Joseph Merritt Company has been synonymous with blueprinting since opening for business in 1908. Over the past 106 years the company developed to meet the changing needs of clients and evolved into 5 distinct divisions. In the past 20 years the company's grand format printing division, Merritt Graphics Big Color, outgrew the space available at company headquarters in Hartford, CT. As a result, Joseph Merritt Company announced the move of Merritt Graphics Big Color to a new location dedicated to the department's continued expansion.
The relocation followed diligent efforts to sell and promote the grand format capabilities of Merritt Graphics. The company successfully fostered a growing demand for services, and noted a trend in requests for increased job sizes. Ed Perry, President and CEO of Joseph Merritt Company explained that the Big Color division had become successful beyond the space available at headquarters, and the move was necessary to continue to meet client demand and position the company for sustainable progress.
Merritt Graphics Big Color moved high-tech printers and approximately 20 employees from the company's Hartford headquarters into a 27,000-square-foot facility at Prestige Park Road in East Hartford, CT. The new location is suited for the continued expansion of Big Color printing capabilities and product offerings. The space left behind at headquarters will be repurposed to support improvements in the company’s scanning and document management division, Merritt Scanning.
The relocation of Big Color is one of several strategic maneuvers Joseph Merritt Company has taken since 1908 to survive market fluctuations and technological advancements. The need for this move resulted from Merritt's efforts to combat the impact of the current recession with an aggressive outreach to acquire new business. The company successfully gained accounts in the Out of Home Industry, including retail and transit graphics; however limited space became problematic since these items can be tremendous in size.
For a time, it was not unusual for Merritt to use the gymnasium across the street at the Dr. James Naylor School to complete large-scale projects such as building wraps for the U.S. Supreme Court and the Andaz West Hollywood and other national projects. On occasion, Merritt would line the employee parking lot with paper in order to weld large-scale banners. Merritt also had to rent space to perform vehicle wraps indoors. “We were out of room and Big Color could not take any more space away from our other divisions,” said Perry. In addition to needing production space, Merritt was limited in the amount of supplies they could store and struggled to take advantage of bulk pricing on materials - a savings they could in turn pass on to customers. The new facility solved these problems.
The move to a dedicated Big Color facility enabled Merritt Graphics to acquire a new, grand-format UV printer. The company purchased a custom MATAN Barak 8QW. It is one of two in the United States configured as a five-meter-wide hybrid printer. This machine can print roll to roll or direct to substrates, with white ink capability, and optical camera registration for perfect double-sided printing. The MATAN is versatile and suited for all types and sizes of applications, both indoor and outdoor, producing top-quality prints at superior production velocity for products such as point-of-purchase (POP) displays, indoor decorations, backlit signs, exhibition graphics, outdoor billboards, fleet graphics, and building wraps. The grand-format white printing capability further expands profitable printing opportunities.
According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), Outdoor ad spending has been slowly recovering since dropping 16 percent in 2009. In 2012, spending totaled $6.7 billion, the closest it's been to the $7 billion mark since 2007. Vehicle Advertising grew 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and crept back into the top-10 spending categories for outdoor advertising, according to OAAA. The new facility empowers Merritt’s growth in this segment. It has enough room to drive larger vehicles inside, such as busses, to be wrapped in a climate and dust controlled workspace.
This move cements Merritt Graphics' dedication to deliver top-quality products with competitive pricing. Merritt will host an open house at the new location and looks forward to showing the new space to existing and potential clients. Merritt Graphics Big Color division can be reached at a new toll-free number, 844-BIG-COLOR, or 860-216-3193. The Hartford headquarters on Franklin Avenue will continue to service customers per usual.