Yearbooks Prove a Worthwhile Niche for School In-plant
It all began with a question.
Someone in the Hemet Unified School District approached Reprographics Manager Karl Melzer and asked him if his in-plant could produce yearbooks. He took a look at the sample yearbook presented to him and was appalled by what he saw. Its “cookie cutter templates” made it look just like every other yearbook, it was missing pictures of spring activities and even some students, it was printed in black and white, and worst of all it cost too much.
It didn’t take him long to give his answer.
“We can produce a better product, that’s more custom to your school, for less,” he replied.
Last month he made good on his word. His three-employee in-plant in Hemet, Calif., produced 3,000 yearbooks for 10 elementary schools in just eight days. Pages were printed on a Xerox 700 and bound on a C.P. Bourg perfect binder. A Graphic Whizard UV coater was used to make the covers shine. Charging just $10 a book, Melzer estimates the in-plant is saving the schools $6 a book, or $18,000 total.
But even better than that, he says, the yearbooks just look so much better than ever before. For one thing, every single child’s picture is included. Commercial yearbook producers traditionally require all photos and information by February, leaving out any new students or those absent when photos were shot.
“We will actually go out to the schools and take pictures of any students that missed picture day or that enrolled into the school later in the year,” Melzer says. “It is our goal to have every child in the book and in the right class all the way up to the week before school is out. That’s a service commercial companies can’t provide.”
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.