2020 Printing Impressions 350 Reveals Top Printing Companies


Je fact that our 37th annual ranking of the largest printing companies based in the United States and Canada, according to the ranking of annual sales, is now the Print impressions 350 – not the 400 – for 2020 serves as a microcosm of the current, unstable nature of the printing industry in the midst of a global pandemic. So it was only fitting that we also label the most recent list on our December 2020 cover as “The COVID-19 Edition”.

Compiling this venerable list has been no small feat – whether it’s sourcing the necessary information from a powerhouse of the $5.5 billion commercial printing industry like RR Donnelley , to our 350th ranked printer at $5.5 million. Due to the pandemic, print shops large and small have struggled to maintain sales levels and retain their skilled workforce through, in some cases, temporary furloughs and protection program funding. paychecks (PPP).

Since our editorial offices remain closed due to COVID-19, we were also unable to print and mail the pre-printed forms we normally send on our first attempt to collect information. So we moved straight to email sends that incorporated personalized URLs (PURLs) that allowed for inline updating. From there, it grew into a full editorial effort of sending emails and making phone calls to our database of nonrespondents.

Despite our attempts, several private print shops – which form the real core of the printing industry – have chosen not to disclose their sales figures. However, we have included both Taylor Corp. and the CJK Group, using Dun & Bradstreet’s (D&B) estimated annual sales calculation, due to the size and industry significance of these two companies.

So what had been the Print impressions 500 for several years, then 400 for many more, now it’s 350.

Great Printers on 2020 Printing Impressions 350 in Turmoil

The Printing Impressions ranking of the largest printing companies was once the PI 500, then became the PI 400.

The Printing Impressions ranking of the largest printing companies, formerly the PI 500, became the PI 400 several years ago, largely due to industry consolidation.

Nevertheless, the 2020 Print impressions 350 reflects current industry trends. Starting at the top of the list, unrest remains among many of the very large printers. For example, after the Chapter 11 filing, public company LSC Communications was recently acquired by private equity firm Atlas Holdings. Cenveo Enterprises – another public sector consolidator that left bankruptcy protection in September 2018 as a private company – instead, it became a 2020 seller of various assets to Intellicor and CJK Group. And the CJK Group continued to expand its bookmaking platform through merger and acquisition deals by acquiring Quad’s 1 million square feet. book factory in Kentucky last July.

Speaking of books, this market segment of the printing industry has shown the greatest imbalance between supply and demand amid COVID-19. Quad exited the book business altogether after selling its two remaining book manufacturing plants to Berryville Graphics (Bertelsmann Printing). Book printing powerhouse LSC has reduced capacity by closing its large book factory in Kendallville, Indiana. These changes partly reflect the changing demands of book publishers for shorter digitally printed (usually inkjet) quantities produced on demand rather than in larger quantities on offset presses.

The pandemic is accelerating the commercial printing industry’s shift from conventional printing to digital inkjet and toner-based printing

The pandemic, in general, appears to be accelerating the commercial printing industry’s shift from the lithographic process to digital print production. With the proliferation of e-commerce in all aspects of our society, changing shopping habits require more print-on-demand and fast-paced business models. With all the uncertainty surrounding physical establishments and a shaky economy in the wake of COVID-19, marketers and brand managers are looking for greater flexibility to pivot and less potential for obsolescence.

Toner- and inkjet-based production also allows for greater social distancing between employees in pressrooms and reduces the number of press operators and other production personnel in factories, which which helps to mitigate any outbreak.

Some printers on our IP 350 listings were able to pivot their businesses better than others in response to the pandemic, such as expanding into more recession-proof, higher-margin packaging markets; by manufacturing PPE such as masks, screens and protective barriers; and through large-format digital applications such as COVID-related signage and banners.

The year 2020 was surely a year that none of us will ever forget – for all the wrong reasons. But the hope is eternal that some sense of normalcy will return as large swaths of the American and Canadian population are vaccinated.

The printing industry is resilient and commercial printers are now positioning themselves to take advantage of the recovery expected in 2021 – and beyond.

Top 10 Printing Companies That Made The 2020 Printing Impressions 350 List

Rank|Company name|Head office|Annual sales

  1. RR Donnelley|Chicago|$5.50 billion
  2. Quad|Sussex, WI|$3.92 billion
  3. LSC Communications|Warrenville, Illinois|$2.84 billion
  4. Taylor Corp.|N. Mankato, Minnesota|$2.50 billion
  5. Cimpress|Waltham, MA|$2.48 billion
  6. Transcontinental Inc.|Montreal|$2.28 billion
  7. Cenveo Enterprises|Stamford, CT|$1.00 billion
  8. Donnelley Financial Solutions|Chicago|$874M
  9. CJK Group|Brainerd, MN|$664M
  10. Mondi North America|Jackson, MO|$650M

Click here to download the full 2020 Print impressions 350, including the top 5 rankings of the largest book, catalog, direct mail and publication printers, sorted by sales segment. For comparison, you can also click here to download the 2019 Print impressions 400 list.


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