Label Impressions: with consistency, the right culture and equipment upgrades, this California converter is expanding into new markets.

Author:Katz, Steve
Position:NARROW WEB Profile
 
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Jeff Salisbury has learned the label industry from the ground up, and as president and CEO of Label Impressions he is always looking for new ways to improve efficiencies and quality. Salisbury's vision for the company has evolved, as has Label Impressions' direction and capabilities.

Located in Orange, CA, USA, Label Impressions began as a family business, founded in 1988 by Jeff's father, Ted. The company started small--with one press and a little hot stamping unit, and became something of a foil specialist, finding a niche in the personal care market. Working with a broker who specialized in beauty and personal care packaging, Ted Salisbury produced challenging work and was content with his company's modest success. "My dad pushed the envelope in terms of quality and intricacy, especially on foil," Jeff Salisbury explains. "We became known in the business for our high quality foil labels--but Dad never wanted to grow much beyond that."

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Salisbury never intended to work for his dad, but after graduating college with a production and operations major and a graphics minor, Ted asked his son for help. Jeff agreed to give it a shot. At the same time, Carolyn Deyoe, Jeff's sister, who had a background in HR and finance, started working for the company as well. Today she serves as Label Impressions' vice president.

JEFF-OF-ALL-TRADES

Salisbury walked in to his first day of work dressed to impress. Unimpressed, his dad said, "You might want to change your clothes, you're going to get dirty."

For three years, Salisbury ran Label Impressions' rewinder, from 5 AM to 5 PM, and even on some Saturdays. Through this experience, he learned his first lessons in equipment troubleshooting. "Dad was never one to spend money," he says. "When something went wrong, he would not spend a dime, but would flatly say, 'figure it out'. While I didn't appreciate it back then, the lessons learned during that time have proven invaluable to this very day." After his stint at the rewinder, Salisbury became a press operator and then on to the darkroom and platemaking. He then built Label Impressions' electronic prepress department.

Father and son had their differences. "Dad struggled to let me move from where I was, so I had to fight to 'move tip' every step of the way--something I never appreciated until recently," Salisbury says. "I begged him to let me do prepress, and he said only if my press work doesn't suffer. So in order to do it, I still had to work 12 hours a day on the press--so I did."

Salisbury bought a used Mac laptop, and while his press was running he learned Illustrator and Photoshop. Next--with his own cash--he purchased an imagesetter. "I told my dad we had to move into imagesetting, I explained how we can't keep doing this film thing. Of course, he said 'No way,' so I bought it myself. Three years later, when he realized the value in it, he paid me back." This was a pattern that would continue until 2005 when Jeff took over as company president.

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While Label Impressions was content to continue to focus mostly on high quality...

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