Magna IV

City: Little Rock
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2008

Gary Middleton always knew Magna IV Color Imaging Inc. would become a printer, his son, Kent, said.

"My father said all along we would be a printer," Kent said. "And in 1997, we just jumped in with both feet."

The company opened in 1975 and focused on prepress, or preparing images for reproduction by printers. Gary Middleton saw that the worlds of prepress and printing were merging, however, and made the first of three acquisitions. In 1997, Magna merged with International Graphics, followed by Parkin Printing in 1998 and finally Peerless Engraving Co. in 2007.

The mergers allowed the Middletons to serve almost all printing needs of a customer under one roof. The mergers also resulted in steady growth for the company, with healthy revenue growth two out of the past three years.

Now, with the Internet and computers allowing companies to become more involved in printing — and allowing some companies to print their own materials — Magna is working to expand its services once again.

"We have a lot of customers who use our online store to get their products to affiliates," Kent Middleton said. "They can build their items online, and then once they are done, create a PDF and it'll pop out of our machine."

With the Internet allowing Magna to attract customers who do business across the nation, the convenience is something clients enjoy, Middleton said.

In addition, as customers have become more wary of many mass-advertising ploys, Kent said, the company has developed methods for individualization.

"I can still produce sheet after sheet after sheet, but every sheet can be different," Kent said.

A direct-mail piece can include the name of each individual targeted, which, Kent said, brings better results.

Many printing jobs involve databases containing information sensitive to a company, he said. "We are very particular when dealing with databases," he said. "You have to be very careful with the data."

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