Case Study: HardingPoorman Group


  • Offset Printing
  • 1:1 Marketing
  • Direct Image Printing
  • Online Business Solutions
  • Print On Demand


  • Deliver the most consistent, “to customer spec” color across a broad range of substrates and print requirements


  • Adoption of four Techkon SpectroDens Premiums with implementation of a G7 certified workflow


HPG has built their color success by their ability to:

  • Effectively measure and adjust ink formulation while meeting demanding press schedules
  • Standardize customer libraries with stable, repeatable match colors
  • Consistently achieve less than 2 Delta E color variances in press runs
  • Dynamically react to changing pressroom conditions, delivering the best results possible for customers
  • Lead the industry with a 30% annual growth track, positioned among the top 1% of profit leaders

The Story

The HardingPoorman Group (HPG) is a $28m print conglomerate made up of 5 standalone divisions (SPG Graphics, Ropkey Graphics, Full Court Press, Saint Clair Press, and Discom Technologies), with each representing excellence in their field of printing expertise. With printing specialties that range from offset to CD packaging, and direct image printing from wide format to variable data, there is no match for the color control needed in this operation.

The solution? HardingPoorman Group has embraced color printing standards in a serious way, and is one of three printers in Indiana to earn IDEAlliance G7 Master Printer Offset Printing and Proofing qualification. HardingPoorman Group has also adopted TECHKON as the color measurement device that allows them to integrate modern process control techniques with state-of-the-art proofing and press controls, and industry-accepted standards to produce the closest visual match from proof to print.

“We employ a sophisticated array of printing technologies and a very talented, color-certified staff, yet our color management strategy hinges on having access to accurate color data at every step in our workflow. I first saw TECHKON at an industry conference and was attracted by their G7 functionality that can help compensate for different substrates. The instruments took all the math out of it, and were very user-friendly. From ink formulation to press proofing, TECHKON SpectroDens has become our pressmen’s measurement tool of choice because it helps them do their job,” states Jim Wachob, Prepress Systems Manager.

HPG’s vision to become “not just a good G7 printer, but the best G7 printer nationwide” will take considerable time, effort and resources, but they are well on their way to achieving this goal. It will take staff development, yet HPG has already embarked on an intensive program that has produced two G7 color professionals and 10 people proficient in G7 practices and methodology. They have just been re-certified for G7 by IDEAlliance for the third time.

It will take a comprehensive color strategy encompassing quality control of all processes from customer color library creation to ink formulation. Yet, with a TECHKON SpectroDens installed at every press, HPG is already standardizing, locking down, and implementing corporate color libraries via LAB values.

It will also take complete coordination of prepress, press and post press color controls and trend analysis, and in this arena the HPG team is already consistently achieving less than two Delta E color variances in press runs. TECHKON has been invaluable in helping HPG manage spot colors on press as well, enabling operators to quickly and efficiently troubleshoot and correct any color drifts. In all, adopting TECHKON user-friendly, highly accurate color measurement devices has been “instrumental” to achieving their success.

While Wachob envisions a color control process that will one day be based purely on empirical data, he finds a strong technology partner in TECHKON that enables him to continue to build stepping stones towards that vision, while successfully managing color in a dynamic press environment.

In the meanwhile, the implementation of TECHKON instruments has been “monumental to our business,” helping HardingPoorman Group rise to the top 1% of profit leaders in the printing industry, grow 30% per year, and be voted one of the 2011 Best Places to Work in Indiana.

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