years of service

In 2008 Specialty Press Print Group celebrated 80 years as a leading commercial printing business in Albury Wodonga. The company has a colourful history that has developed alongside the history of the Albury, Wodonga and the region.

For Clyde Munk, the father of former General Manager Brendan Munk, the business developed into a family run operation that became a landmark establishment in Albury for 67 years.

The location of Specialty Press reads like a road map of Albury when the company was started in 1928 and then developed into a partnership with Clyde Munk in 1932. Specialty Press began as a bookbinding and printing service in premises at Elizabeth Street in Albury.

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In the 1950s, the company moved to a building in Townsend St, where today’s Video Ezy store is located. It is here where the first of the Munk sons, Brian, joined his father in the business.

In 1959 the business moved to Kiewa Street, where Target Albury is now located. In 1969, nearly 40 years after the business started, Specialty Press moved to its current location at 552 Hume Street. Since then the building has undergone many alterations and extensions, enabling the business to expand its range of printing and expand into other print and print management services.

In the 1950, Specialty Press purchased a machine to automatically compile type letters in metal - a huge technological development at the time. It enabled operators to work a keyboard which set the words to a particular line length to make up a sheet.

Known as letterpress, these words would be stamped out in molten metal and later printed onto paper. Technology progressed then to lithographic printing, similar to the process used today.

block type letterpressBetween 1976 and 1978, Specialty Press utilised letterpress printed sheets to develop artwork for film that was then exposed onto a chemically treated metal printing plate.

This process of using metal printing plates and photographic films was the commencement of a new age in printing called lithographic or ‘offset’ printing. In 1976, Specialty Press purchased its first computer with a machine able to set type in a line format.

With offset printing, Specialty Press’s business changed from printing general stationery to print a range of Colour reports, colour posters and marketing products. Two important businesses that assisted the growth of the Specialty Press in earlier growth in colour printing was the Albury Commercial Club and Murray Grey Society with printing being sent all over the world.

Specialty Press has continued to move with the times and today has some 15 personal computers and Apple Macs running a modern management Quote and Print system with the latest graphic design software.

The business has come a long way from early days when manual hand-fed paper machines were powered by foot or lever. It wasn’t until the 1940s that presses became electric powered and in the 1960s machines were modernised to automatically lift sheets of paper and position them for printing.

In 1997 Specialty Press purchased a A2 Colour Printing Press and in later years and demands constructed a new building extensi on to provide a new Art and Prepress department on the secound floor. This also doubled the factory finishing department at the rear of the premises.

In 2008 the company installed a new state of the art 5 Colour printing press with full automation with the latest world press technology enabling us to produce consistent in colour, sharper quality producing in a quicker time than any previous press.

Acquiring the building next door in 2003 we were able to fulfil our growth plans to set up install extra finishing equipment plus a Print Management Warehouse.  A new modern and ful ly computerised CTP plate making and colour proofing system was set up so to provide our customers with new technology, and therefore enable Specialty Press to provide the best in colour Print and finishing but also a full Print Management System.

With the addition of our new Company division, Service Plus, we are now able to offer Print buyers the latest technology on a proven system to purchase and store their goods via the web, promoting consistent product quality; self managed purchasing using web On Line software. (See our “Print Management” section for more information.)

In 2011, Brendan Munk, Daryl Rixon and Peter McIlroy sold Specialty Press to a local consortium of business people. The new owners took over in December and have made a smooth transition with minimal changes evident from outside the business.

Mark Lafferty, Sales Manager will head the Sales team, while Kathy French, Business Manager will control the everyday running of business. Tony Konicanin, Production Manager, will head up the Production team.

All employees remain. Effectively, nothing much has changed, Specialty Press will still keep delivering great quality and service.

The new management team have injected new vigor and energy into Specialty Press and have great ideas to carry the business forward and keep Specialty Press at the forefront of technology, innovation and service within the Printing industry for many years to come.

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