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The History of Dickinson Press

130 years of printing excellence  

We were founded by the Dickinson brothers, Albert and Randel, in Painesville Ohio, in 1884. Two years later they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. From that time until now, this market has flourished and grown into a major graphic arts and media center that has attracted a skilled and dependable workforce over the years.

As the city grew so did we. We have matured from our early 40,000 square-foot building downtown, to our present, suburban location, strategically located with easy access to the I-96 expressway and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Original occupancy of our new, 78,300 square foot location took place in 1987. It has since grown to 123,500 square feet, to make room for our steadily growing need for equipment upgrades, paper and inventory warehousing.

Each succeeding generation has respected the reality that age alone does not guarantee excellence. It is how these years are used to grow and improve that make the difference between old age and established leadership.

In the 1920s we developed a unique emulsion for making separation negatives, and are credited with printing the very first four color process catalog in the country.

In the 1960s we began to specialize in the religious market, and in the 1980s installed the first Mitsubishi four-color sheet fed press. Eventually we upgraded to a six color Perfection press.  We were the first in the United States to produce Bibles with lightweight paper on a heatset web press.

By 2006, we continued to lead by being the first printer in the United States to take delivery of the radically advanced Timsons T- 32 multi-module heat set web press capable of printing 192 pages in a single pass. During the same period of improvement we became involved with the RISC market targeting process for more creative versioning. We also introduced our real-time online Job Status Report program.

In late 2015, Blackford Capital, a Grand Rapids based private equity firm invested in Dickinson Press. This investment affords us additional capital and resources to help us expand operations and compete in a broader market. 

The core of all this growth and expansion remains today, as it was in the beginning... a total commitment to excellence, fair dealing, innovation, and customer satisfaction.