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Our Story Data to Distribution
Find out about us  

Daring to think differently.

Quad/Graphics is the embodiment of one man's dream to find "a better way." That man was Harry V. Quadracci (above in white shirt), a man who has come to be celebrated as much for his printing industry accomplishments as for his forward-thinking management philosophies. Using a $35,000 second mortgage on his home and capital raised from a handful of associates, Harry launched Quad/Graphics on July 13, 1971, in an abandoned millwork factory in Pewaukee, Wis. While the company's beginnings were humble survival hinged on a rented press and a borrowed binder Harry and his 11 co-founders agreed to build a business unlike any for which they had ever worked.

A company with a soul
Harry's prophetic approach to business had its genesis in a 1969 labor dispute at the W.A. Krueger Co., a printing firm his father co-founded and for which young Harry worked in a variety of management-level positions beginning in 1962. Delegated to handle negotiations between the company and the union, Harry encountered conflicting pressures from Kruegers top management and the board of directors, both of which were imbued in short-term, bottom-line thinking. Feeling stymied in his efforts to succeed, Harry resigned and set his sights on creating his own company, with employees and clients working as partners.

From a slow start to rapid-fire growth
Quad/Graphics' success was neither immediate nor easy. As with most new concerns, the first years were lean and print jobs were few and far between. With patience and a can-do attitude a characteristic that continues to distinguish us from other printers work slowly trickled in, but usually only because no other printer would take it.

Quad/Graphics' big break came when we landed Newsweek in 1978. A turning point for our fledgling company, the weekly magazine work enabled us to establish a consistent workload and the opportunity to prove ourselves as a quality-minded, innovative print services provider.

With our Pewaukee plant bursting at the seams in 1982, we made our first bold step toward expansion, building another printing plant on 66 acres just five miles north in Sussex, Wis. Two years later, we ventured East, building a plant in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. That same year, we announced our intent to enter the gravure market, purchasing a vacant cannery in Lomira, Wis. Gravure product began rolling off our presses in 1986.

Following Harrys philosophy of "if we build it, work will come," we continued our rapid-fire expansion, building additional plants across the country and equipping them with the latest technology. Along the way, we also began establishing an intricately linked network of imaging sites and photography studios, as well as a global presence through international partnerships in Argentina, Brazil and Poland.

In June 2010, we acquired Worldcolor, then the second largest provider of print, digital and related services in the Americas. With one stroke, Quad/Graphics' geographic footprint greatly expanded, our product and service offerings increased, and our operational efficiencies were enhanced. With facilities in North America, Latin America and Europe, we now rank as the second largest print and multimedia provider in the world.

From loss to new leadership
Quad/Graphics was challenged in July 2002 when, several weeks after a major fire at one of our production facilities, we unexpectedly lost our founder Harry. And while the adversity we faced may have felled lesser companies, Quad/Graphics persevered and has since prospered a fact that underscores our employees' resolve and powerfully illustrates the pride they take in being members of the Quad/Graphics family.

Despite the cynics who thought the company would crumble following Harrys death, Quad/Graphics hasn't missed a beat, largely because of the solid foundation Harry put into place, including a strong culture and management team, and a clear succession plan. Without pause, Harry's brother Tom, a company co-founder, assumed the role of President & Chief Executive Officer in a transition so seamless it quieted the cynics and quelled any fears employees and clients might have had about the companys stability.

Today the next generation of Quadracci family leadership guides the company. Harry's son, Joel, took over as President & CEO in 2006, the 35th anniversary of our company's founding. Poised to lead Quad/Graphics into the next generation and beyond, Joel has literally grown up with the company and is committed to executing the vision his father set forth at its founding.

With the acquisition of Worldcolor, Joel's role expanded to include Board Chairman. Despite the fact that the company is no longer privately held, the Harry V. Quadracci family continues to control the company through the ownership of high-voting shares, and their leadership and strategic vision continue to drive our progress.

Ordinary people motivated to accomplish extraordinary things
At its inception, Quad/Graphics was nothing more than a dream; however, Harry made his dream a reality by motivating ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. By offering continuing education, an ownership stake in the company and, above all, his unquestioning trust, he inspired every employee to be more than they ever hoped to be.

Today, Quad/Graphics is a leading employer and provider of print and multichannel solutions, and we remain fully committed to realizing Harry's vision of finding "a better way" whether that's putting ink on paper, creating revenue-generating marketing solutions, servicing customers beyond expectations or taking care of employees and their families.

As for the future? In the words of our founder, "We'll tell you when we get there."

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