Martinsburg Printing Company celebrates 25 Years - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Martinsburg Printing Company celebrates 25 Years

Posted: Updated:
Missy Sheehan / For The State Journal. Scott Schoppert, owner of Printing Impressions in Martinsburg, stands next to his original Heidelberg letterpress from 1955, which is still in use. Missy Sheehan / For The State Journal. Scott Schoppert, owner of Printing Impressions in Martinsburg, stands next to his original Heidelberg letterpress from 1955, which is still in use.
Scott Schoppert shows a piece that’s used along with his original 1955 Heidelberg letterpress to print numbers. Scott Schoppert shows a piece that’s used along with his original 1955 Heidelberg letterpress to print numbers.
  • BusinessBusinessMore>>

  • Union workers at Frontier OK 3-year contract

    Union workers at Frontier OK 3-year contract

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:17:18 GMT
    The new contract will expire in August 2017. It covers about 1,500 employees in 42 West Virginia counties.
    The new contract will expire in August 2017. It covers about 1,500 employees in 42 West Virginia counties.
  • Shale activity spurs WesBanco growth

    Shale activity spurs WesBanco growth

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:00:29 GMT
    Managing growth has been a problem for some companies in the shale gas region of West Virginia, leading WesBanco to provide services to help them.
    Managing growth has been a problem for some companies in the shale gas region of West Virginia, leading WesBanco to provide services to help them.
  • WV workforce lacks oil and gas expertise — for now

    WV workforce lacks oil and gas expertise — for now

    Sunday, August 31 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:00:19 GMT
    Despite the relatively high amount of natural gas production in West Virginia, less than 3 percent of employees in some of the major occupations that make up the sector's workforce live in the Mountain State.
    Despite the relatively high amount of natural gas production in West Virginia, less than 3 percent of employees in some of the major occupations that make up the sector's workforce live in the Mountain State.

By MISSY SHEEHAN
For The State Journal

Scott Schoppert, owner of Printing Impressions in Martinsburg, has been in the printing industry for most of his life.

“I grew up in this business,” said Schoppert, whose father owned The Martinsburg News, a weekly newspaper and print shop in Martinsburg that closed several decades ago.

“I learned everything I know from just being there all the time,” he added. “Anytime I wasn’t in school, I was there.”

Though his father sold the shop before he was old enough to take over, Schoppert returned to the printing industry in high school when he began working for Martinsburg Printing Company, which also eventually closed. He worked there for five years, during which he attended the Woodland School of Photography in White Sulphur Springs and began shooting pictures of weddings and personal-injury photos for lawyers.

Schoppert left all that behind, though, when he opened his own shop, Printing Impressions, on May 15, 1989.

“I started my own place from scratch — no customers, no money,” Schoppert said. “Now, 25 years later, here I am.”

Today, Printing Impressions is a full-service printing, graphics and marketing services company located at 68 Reliance Road in Martinsburg.

Housed in a 4,000-square-foot-plus facility that Schoppert designed himself, Printing Impressions offers a wide variety of printing services, including stationery, newsletters, carbonless forms, point-of-purchase displays, window graphics, vehicle graphics, posters and banners, to name just a few.

“Our core business is printing and marketing,” Schoppert said. “And we do almost everything in house so we can turn it around really quickly.”

In addition to printing, Printing Impressions offers graphic design, bindery and finishing services, including collating, folding, laminating, perforating and more, to enhance printed pieces.

Printing Impressions also offers marketing services such as direct mailing and mobile-website building. “Smartphones are taking over,” Schoppert advised. “We can create mobile sites that appear better on a smartphone.

“And we tie that into direct-mail pieces featuring a response mechanism, like a QR code, leading to the website.”

With 98 percent of the shop’s customers being other businesses, Schoppert said he’s expanded his services over the years to suit their needs.

“A lot of customers want a one-stop shop,” he said. “Blueprints, for example — we started printing those because contractors didn’t have a good resource locally, and they were already in here getting signs and stuff, so we started doing that. Likewise for screenprinted T-shirts.”

Besides keeping up with customer demands, advances in printing-industry technology and the rise of the digital age have kept Schoppert on his toes over the last couple decades. “Printing technology is constantly changing,” he said. “Digital has taken over. When we first started, we had to make negatives and burn plates of everything for the press. Now we can just send it right from the computer.”

While Schoppert has kept up with new technology, he offers both conventional and digital printing at his shop.

“Digital printing is basically a souped-up copier that’s extremely high quality; it’s a faster turnaround, and you can get a shorter run, so you don’t necessarily have to order 500 brochures,” he said. “Conventional printing is a longer process, but if you want a lot of something, it’s a bit cheaper.”

Even with the rise of new printing technologies, Schoppert is still using some older machinery in his shop. One such piece, an original Heidelberg letterpress from 1955, is used for things like die-cutting and perforating — anything that requires an impact, Schoppert said. “We run it almost every day,” he said. “You don’t find something like this in a lot of small print shops anymore.”

“Old presses still have their place,” he added. “They have some newer machines out to replace them, but they aren’t as effective.”

But, Schoppert has plenty of modern digital printers, too. “Technology has allowed us to do more work with less people,” he said. “Of course, it’s costly to try and keep up — but if you can’t keep up, you get left by the wayside.”

Another obstacle for small print shops brought on by the rise of the digital age has been the drive toward going paperless. “We’ve certainly lost some business from that,” Schoppert said. “But I don’t think we’ll ever be completely paperless. We can certainly reduce it some, but paper is more portable than any other medium when you’re trying to get your message across.”

Online printers like Vistaprint, that often undercut what small print shops like Printing Impressions can afford, also are a threat.

While online printers might offer cheaper prices, Schoppert said they will never beat small print shops on customer service. “You never get a human being to deal with when you’re using those online services,” he said. “We offer that personal touch you just can’t get online. So if you have a problem or question, we’re here for you.”

To learn more about Printing Impressions, visit printing-impressions.com, or call 304-267-7327.