Rush-In to New New York’s Information Access Center
It’s 2027, and Quick Printing is celebrating its 50th anniversary. What’s the typical printshop doing?
Note: I was the art director, production manager, editor, writer, coffee-maker for Coast Publishing for more than ten years. We produced several magazines, but Quick Printing was the flagship title. I wrote this article early in my career, in 1987, and predicted what would become of the quick printing industry 50 years hence—in 2027. How much did I get right? Well, not a whole lot really. But, shortly after the publication printed, we received a letter from Kinko’s founder, Ray Orfalea, who requested several copies for his staff. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Orfalea via video-conferencing in 1995. The future was fun back then!
My father opened Rush In Printing in 1987. At that time it was called “quick printing,” Adam de la Monde says, “I started working in the shop wen I was 10 years old—back in ’97. I’ve been with it for 30 years now. “Rush-In Printing is an Information Access Center success story, a company that has changed with the times since its founding in 1987.
Rush-In opened its first shop in Lakewood, Colorado, a fast-growing Denver suburb. Oscar de la Monde, a 30-year-old pressman from Denver, owned the shop, and his wife just gave birth to their son, Adam. Tired of working in downtown Denver, fighting the traffic, and inhaling the infamous “brown cloud,” Oscar borrowed $25,000 to get through the first year in business and moved west, to Lakewood.
As a typical “yuppie” (in the jargon of those times), Oscar fulfilled his dreams of owning his own business. Lakewood, with a population of 112,000, proved fertile ground for the new enterprise. Rush-In Printing operated out of a storefront in the Villa Italia Center, a popular Lakewood mall. Customers waiting for orders browsed the mall until their job was finished. In short, Rush-In operated as a typical copy center in those days.
In the front was a Xerox 9400, a self-sever copier (with an “out-of-order” sign on it), a coffee pot, and smiling receptionist—Oscar’s wife, Cora In the back, were the mainstays of the old-fashioned printshop—an A.B.Dick 360, an Itek platemaker, a VGC Pos One Daylight Camera, an Apple Macintosh, and an assortment of bindery equipment. Always on the front counter was a copy of Quick Printing magazine, then only a monthly.
Adam began working in his father’s shop early. By working in every possible facet of the business, he became a talented craftsman and an astute businessman. Information creation and retrieval became Adam’s specialties. Working with computers all his life, he became quite knowledgeable in the field of word processing and “memory management.” This knowledge was valuable to his father, who didn’t have the luxury of working with computers until he was an adult.
In 2010, Oscar de la Monde retired and Adam took over the business, at 23. “Although I was only 23, working in the shop all my life had given me the experience of a 50-year-old,” Adam says. “and, always, my father owned a copyshop, so I have toner in my blood.”
When relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union improved, and each country established a reciprocal city in each other’s country, de la Monde saw a potential market. He wasn’t interested in Gorbacheville, because who in their right mind would want to live outside of Trenton, New Jersey? However, New New York, located on the outskirts of Moscow, intrigued him. When President Amy Carter invited business to set up in New New York in 2012, de la Monde opened his Rush-In Information Access Center in a freshly painted dacha on Baryishnikov Prospekt.
Isaw this as a way of tapping the foreign market,” says de la Monde, “especially the Russians, who, as you know, are still a ways behind the times in information access.” He adds that Rush-In has “installed a Weidner translation program to convert from English to Cyrillic. I still operate the shop in Colorado, and have to translate a lot of this stuff.”
de la Monde’s New New York shop specializes in service, as you might expect from a United States businessman. “The economy in the U.S. is based on service,” Adam says, “we provide better service than any other nation in the world. The manufacturing giants of the Third World require a lot of printing and information access to drive their economies, and we’re there to meet that need. The best thing is our location, in an environment closely associated with the Third World—New New York.
One problem that has endured since his father’s days in the shop is finding quality workers at an affordable price. “I can’t afford the pay scale back home,” de la Monde says, “I can only afford to pay my Colorado manager about a quarter-million a year.” It’s not that there aren’t enough workers available, but a lot of American workers have moved to the Third World countries. “I have only one human working in the Colorado center now,” de la Monde says, “I fill in with a few robots, and occasionally some temp robots. I’ve got my average sales per employee up to $792,812.”
That’s not bad for an average information access center like Rush-In IAC. The shop pulls in about $8.7 million a year, and de la Monde takes roughly $440,000 of that back to his apartment each year.
To service the Russian and Third World clientele, de la Monde operates an ECRM Autokon color scanning system and several Xerox color laser printers in the New New York center. He owns a satellite on which he relays work between Colorado and New New York. He also rents air time to certain clients.
Door to door
De la Monde uses regular embassy transport service to deliver his work to his Third World accounts. “I jump on a Concorde once a month to visit clients in Africa and Asia. While I’m there I do a little selling. Would you believe I actually go door-to-door? Some things will never change.
Of course, Rush-In’s market in Colorado is a bit different than that in Russia. The quick printshop Adam’s father opened in the late 20th century has evolved into a personalized information creation/retrieval service. Most of Rush-In’s customers use their own word processors and laser printers to produce the kind of jobs quick printers did 50 years ago, although de la Monde says he still has a demand for the the high quality of an A.B.Dick 360.
“People come to use when they want the look and feel of real paper,” de la Monde says. “Otherwise, they have to use synthetics like Kimdura, or pay the high price of real paper.” Rush-In is fortunate to have an EPA license to supply paper and paper-related products.
“Back in the ‘90s, when they relaxed the pollution control laws, my dad thought about getting out of the business, “de la Monde says. “He told me he’d read in Quick Printing that the pollution would destroy the ozone layer and ten the forests would be stripped,” Fortunately, for Rush-In, when the EPA started rationing paper and licensing paper-related products retailers, Oscar de la Monde was an early applicant for al license. “I don’t think information access centers can survive without some type of licensing deal—either holding their own or leasing one from a supplier,” says de la Monde.
One of the most profitable niches Rush-In has found is one most IACs enjoy—book publishing. Rush-In has gone from doing shorter-runs of 10,000 or so early in the century to producing a single copy for customers.
“Back in the 1980s, the Libraries of MIT began scanning, encoding, and storing books in disk,” de la Monde remembers, “The Ohio College Library Center catalogued and offered books on disk to 600 subscribers in 1982. IBM’s Vice President and Chief Scientist said then that all the books in the Library of Congress would fit into 20 IBM 3850s.
“Now, almost every book is available through the Library of Congress. Customers come into the Lakewood shop, as though they were coming into a library. Apparently, they prefer books printed on real paper, as opposed to what they’re using in their at-home laser printers. They tell us what book they want, and the Library of Congress communicates the information via my own satellite, and the book gets printed on our Xerox 9700,” de la Monde says. “The royalties are protected by the Adonis Project, the American Association of Publishers established in the 1980s.”
Rush-In offers other products as well. Increasingly popular is toilet paper printing. Advertising specialties have turned the paper shortage into an opportunity, and personalize toilet paper has become a popular item for the Lakewood store. Rush-In has its own TP laser printer. “This is one item that is really rolling, although it did take people a few years to get used to the idea,” says de la Monde. “It’s a way of keeping your message out there, and one on a one-to-one basis, too. I have a few of my own rolls installed at Mile High Stadium during some Broncos games,” de la Monde explains.
No IAC would be complete without offering some kind of hologram printing service. National Geographic really brought holograms to the nation’s attention when it became the first magazine to feature a hologram on its cover in 1985. Others followed, including Quick Printing’s sister publication, Publishing Trade, 1986.
“It’s sort of like thermography was in the 90s,” Adam says, “Radio stations like to order holographic bumper stickers with UPCs encoded in them, so they can track their listeners and contest winners from either helicopters or satellites. Holographic business cards are very popular, especially the ones that change scenes as one looks at different angles. We’re going to be offering “Scratch-And-Listen” holograms soon, too.”
de la Monde is a firm believer in associations, and belongs to the International Association of Electronic Quick Printers and Information Access Centers, which is holding its 51st convention and Information Access Expo 2027 at the McCormick Place Space Station in August. “I understand Multigraphics is featuring frictionless offset presses at McCormick,” de la Monde says.
“I read in Quick Printing,” he adds, noting that he is an avid reader, “It arrives every Monday, and I read it cover to cover.” Of course, he prefers the version that’s printed on real paper. QP’s Art Director, Douglas J. Macharyas, son of Art Director Emeritus, Jeff Macharyas, says that the full holographic version of QP will be available in 2028.
Back in the 20th century, Jeff Macharyas was Art Director of Quick Printing magazine.