Century-old Tacoma Print Shop gets Massive New Printers

Everything about Johnson-Cox Printing is historic. The company’s five buildings on lower Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma are relics of the past. The main building is even listed in the National Register of Historic Places. And the business itself, founded in 1909 during Taft’s presidency and the first year of broadcast television, is certainly historic.

However, just because a business has been around for 100 years, doesn’t mean it can’t keep up with the times. If you were driving down Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue last week, you may have noticed the vehicle-sized printers parked outside the shop. The massive printers required forklifts to bring them inside.

South Sound reached out to Head of Sales at Johnson-Cox Printing, Kenny Creech, to get the inside scoop on the machines that are modernizing this high-quality print shop.

“It’s a five-color press with aqueous coating, which gives us the ability to put a special finishing coating on all printed projects,” Creech explained. When asked if the shop was getting more business after the printers’ arrival, Creech simply stated, “We’re busy.”

Creech has his own nearly 40-year long history with the business. He began at the print shop in 1979 when he was just 14 years old, sweeping floors and making deliveries. Eventually, Creech learned the ins and outs of the trade and grew into the company leader that he is today.

In 1984, Creech’s father Ken Creech, along with Production Manager Gary Faul, bought Jonhson-Cox Printing and took over as president. The company had been owned by its founders and their kin for 75 years. Now the Creeches carry on Jonhson-Cox Printing’s family-owned tradition.

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