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SPOTLIGHT: 5 Lakes Press Finds Growth in Personalized and Short Run Book Printing, Utilizing Canon’s imagePRESS and varioPRINT Solutions


MELVILLE, NY, May 31, 2022Short run and personalized books have created opportunities for printers who are able to adapt and simplify the production process for customers. In 2021, print book sales went up more than nine percent, with more than 825 million books sold compared to just over 757 million in 2020, according to Publishers Weekly.1

With reading skills imperative, it’s important to provide solutions that address workflow, turnaround times and overall ease-of-use for printing. These are hallmarks of the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based 5 Lakes Press, which has utilized Canon’s imagePRESS and varioPRINT 6000 TITAN to help streamline the print production process, offering quick response times while maintaining high-quality standards.

For the last five years, 5 Lakes Press has utilized Canon solutions to fulfill orders across a range of commercial print work, catalogs, fliers and educational materials. But important to the recent growth is personalized books, a medium where parents can create custom stories for their children by populating a template with their own special information.

Brad Rusticus, general manager of 5 Lakes Press, and Matt Landheer, the chief marketing officer, said a focus on automating the bulk of the submission process has helped facilitate faster turnaround times than many of their competitors. Through an online portal, clients can submit jobs, upload materials and track progress. Landheer said most clients have print-ready files and prefer the autonomy their portal provides. To help fulfill these orders, and meet the surging demand for digital orders placed over the past two years, Landheer said his company is considering adding a third Canon varioPRINT 6000 TITAN monochrome printer.

"Our digital business has exploded to the point we’re looking at adding a third Canon TITAN in the next year or so with a roll-feed system and even another color machine," Landheer said. "A large part of our success is that we’ve been able to stay reliable for our customers because of our automation. Our turn times have been significantly faster than a lot of our competitors."

Landheer said working with Canon’s color machines has helped their business, citing the positive experience in reliability and run time. The leaders of 5 Lakes Press said Canon’s ability to take feedback and concerns of customers and respond to those comments to offer improvements has been a major factor in continuing the business relationship.

Applied Imaging, a provider of office technology products and services across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Florida, is a dealer for 5 Lakes Press. Mason Olds, senior vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc., highlighted Applied Imaging’s ability to help 5 Lakes Press in its efforts to increase efficiency by providing products to help them meet customers’ needs.

"It’s very gratifying to hear that Applied Imaging, using Canon technology, has contributed to a customer’s success in achieving its goals and improving its digital print business," said Olds. "We are glad 5 Lakes Press is continuing to enjoy the benefits utilizing Canon’s imagePRESS and varioPRINT 6000 TITAN in its print production process and help create personalized books that are becoming more and more popular, and for Applied Imaging to help facilitate and provide the tools necessary to thrive in an ever-changing industry."

The views and opinions expressed here are based on the actual experiences of the customer. Testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results, and various factors can impact different customers’ results.

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1 Link to Publishers Weekly report of NPD BookScan