The keys to being a 100 years old - Consistency, Integrity and Quality.
Unigraphics Limited was built one step at a time. It was created through the merger of several printing companies with the goal of offering all types of printing under one roof. The roots of this company are made up of the experience and quality that each new company brought to the Ungraphics group. Traditions and work that made each of these other companies stand-out continues today as part of Unigraphics.
Established in January of 1908, Hignell Printing Limited was a family business for four generations. In the early years, local commercial printing was the company's mainstay, but in the 1950s Hignell began to specialize in the printing of books (particularly in run lengths of 500 to 5,000). Soon Hignell's entire operation was dedicated to servicing the unique requirements of this specialty. Perhaps more importantly, the philosophy to have all the equipment necessary to produce jobs completely in-house was implemented from the very beginning. Hignell was acquired by Unigraphics Limited in February, 1989.
The next company to join the Unigraphics' group was Command Graphics, which began its life as a Xerox Reproduction Center ("XRC"), one of six set up across Canada in 1967 as an offshoot to copier sales. Command was a demand/instant printer specializing in high-speed Xerography and short-run offset, having built on the base already established by Xerox.
Performance Printing was created when Command Graphics and Burnia Printing, another local firm, were merged together in February, 1992. Burnia was started in 1979 by Don McKenzie and Rene Rajotte. It specialized in short-run offset printing.
Ketchen Printing had been servicing the local market for over 40 years when it was put under the Performance Printing umbrella in 1993. Ketchen specialized in letterpress and offset printing.
Canadian Greetings was incorporated in 1954 by Samuel Posner, who ran the business until 1981. The company designed and produced personalized greeting cards, mainly Christmas cards, aimed at the corporate and business market. Since 1987 the line has expanded to include business promotion cards. Unigraphics purchased a controlling interest in Canadian Greetings in 1995, after being its official printer for over 30 years. In 2001 Unigraphics purchased the remaining interest in Canadian Greetings, so that it now owns 100%.
Michalski Printing originated in 1933 with Charles Michalski Sr. His son Charles ("Chuck") Michalski continued to build the business until 1998, when it also joined the Unigraphics' group. The mainstay of Michalski had been its reputation for quality five-colour craftsmanship and high levels of service, as evidenced by their winning of numerous Printing House Craftsman awards, including "Best of Show". Michalski specialized in quality full-colour annual reports, publications, presentation folders and product/company profile brochures.
Futuremark Management Limited (doing business as "Print It") merged with Unigraphics in 1999. It originated in March of 1983 with co-founders John Heppenstall and Brian Malenki. Initially an instant printer, Print It's reputation for quality and delivery led the way to quick expansion over the years. The market that fueled the expansion was, and still is today, large corporate accounts that require a consultative approach to dealing with their printing requirements. By 1993 Print It had entered the four-colour process market.
In October 2008, Unigraphics expanded its services to the web with imagineitprintit.ca. An online site to create personalized gifts and prints was put into development. Along with the customer side of imagineitprintit.ca, an online printing system for corporations (B2B) was also being created. The site was officially launched on June 26th 2009, and is quickly growing month to month. Imagineitprintit.ca was re-branded as GroupBook.ca in June 2012. With the new look and feel, personalized products like Photobook and Calendars were aded to the list of products available.
Unigraphics really was built step by step and if our 100 year history proves anything, it is that we know how to change, adapt, grow and succeed. Through the years, we have made sure we maintained the values and integrity that our company was founded on.