Employee Spotlight: Dan Peterka

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

For thirty-two years, Dan Peterka has been an employee of Nahan. After over three decades of spending his time in both the Customer Service and Sales departments, Dan will be retiring as of early August. Dan has been such a pleasure for the entire team to work with and we are excited to share more about his time at Nahan and what his future plans hold.

Dan accepting his Newbie Award in 2013 for having the most new accounts in a month.

Looking Back on His Nahan Career

Dan began his career at Nahan in the Customer Service department where he spent approximately twenty-two years. He credits this time for helping him grow in the field and eventually helped him move into Sales, where he has spent the past nine years.

What Did Dan Enjoy the Most?

When asked this question, he responded that working with and getting to know clients on a variety of projects. One of the benefits of working in the print industry is the ability to meet so many interesting people and help bring their vision to life through print. Dan says that relationships have been key to his success and joy at Nahan, not only with clients but with his Nahan team. Having the opportunity to work with a group of dedicated people is something he will always be thankful for and will cherish as he moves into retirement. One of Dan’s fondest Nahan memories is “Quality Days” where everyone in the company would come together in an auditorium to do department report-outs. He enjoyed how everyone was together and how great of a time it was.

“To any of our new employees or those considering starting a career at Nahan, Nahan is a great organization – and if you want to grow and develop, you will get the chance here.”

Dan Peterka
Dan (left) and other Nahan team members accepting an award at our 2018 Sales Recognition Event.

Plans for the Future

On his first day of retirement, Dan plans on creating a master list of everything he wants to do before Thanksgiving. He also plans on cooking a special dinner for his family with the help of his granddaughter. Overall, Dan is looking forward to being able to have more time to be present in the moment and available for family and friends. He is excited to start checking off things on his list to get done,  and also to be able to volunteer and give back to the community in new ways.

I had the opportunity to work with many outstanding customers, and to them I want to say ‘thank you for the opportunity.’”

Dan Peterka

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Printing 101 Series – Common Printing Terms: Postal Glossary

Author: Melissa Fransen

In the print industry, like any industry, there are a lot of acronyms and terms that are used and that is why we are here to help! In this blog, we’ll explore common printing postal terms.

Common Printing Postal Terms

Aspect Ratio (Letters only) – The length of the mailer divided by the height. For letter-rate mail this is required or an upcharge in postage will be incurred.

Bulk Mail – This term is generally used to describe commercial, business, or advertising mail. First-Class Mail presort requires a minimum of 500 pieces for each mailing. USPS Marketing Mail (previously Standard Mail) requires 200 pieces or 50 pounds for each mailing to qualify for presort discounts.

Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) – The area of or individual postal facility where mailers present commercial and permit mail for acceptance.

Carrier Route Mail – The routes where individual USPS carriers deliver mail. They are much smaller than ZIP Codes, with roughly fifteen Carrier Routes per postal ZIP Code. They are useful in helping to reduce direct mail marketing costs while increasing response rates.

CoMailing (Flats only) – Is the process of merging individual mail pieces from multiple mailing streams into a single mailing stream. This process improves the USPS delivery sortation characteristics of the total mailing which reduces postage and the number of times mail pieces are handled within the USPS.

Commingling (Letters only) – Is a process by which mailings from more than one company are combined to meet USPS discount minimums for quantity for mailings to NDC/SCF locations. Sorting the mail by zip code in much larger volumes reduces postage.

Flat – This term is used to describe large envelopes, newsletters, or catalogs. Flats must have one dimension that is greater than 6 1/8” high or 11 ½” long or ¼ inch thick. Aspect Ratio does not apply.

Indicia/Mailing Permit – Imprinted designation on mail piece that denotes postage payment (e.g., permit imprint). Minimum size of ½ x ½”. A printed indicia, instead of an adhesive postage stamp or meter stamp that shows postage prepayment by an authorized mailer.

Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) –  Is used to sort and track letters and flats. It allows mailers to use a single barcode to participate in multiple Postal Service programs simultaneously and assists in the tracking of individual mail pieces.

Letter-Rate – This is the rate charged to what the USPS determines to be letter sized pieces.  Here is a link to a USPS rate chart for easy reference to letter rate criteria and more.

NCOA National Change of Address –  Is a USPS service that makes available current change of address information that can help reduce your undeliverable mail.

Network Distribution Center (NDC) – The NDC network consists of strategically located automated facilities that serve as centralized mail processing and transfer points for designated geographic areas, including Area Distribution Centers (ADCs), Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs), and auxiliary service facilities (ASFs).

Non-Machinable Mail – First-Class Mail letters, that are nonmachinable, USPS Marketing Mail letters that are square, rigid or have one or more nonmachinable characteristics are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Examples of a nonmachinable letter include:

  • It has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 (a square envelope has an aspect ratio of 1, making it nonmachinable).
  • It is more than 4-1/4 inches high or more than 6 inches long and is less than 0.009 inch thick.
  • It has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.
  • It is too rigid.
  • It has a delivery address parallel to the shorter side of the mailpiece.
  • It contains items such as pens, pencils, or keys that create an uneven thickness.

Letters with non-paper surfaces, other than envelope windows or attachments that are allowed under eligibility standards by class of mail.

Presorted Mail – A form of mail preparation, required to bypass certain postal operations, in which the mailer groups pieces in a mailing by ZIP Code or by carrier route or carrier walk, qualifying for automation rates. Presorted First-Class Mail is a nonautomation category for a mailing that consists of at least 500 addressed mail pieces.

Sectional Center Facility (SCF) – This is where mail is combined with other mail geographically by zip code prefixes so it can travel to a larger regional facility called a NDC (Network Distribution Center). (Travels from a NDC to the SCF then to the local facility for delivery).

Sortation – To separate mail by a scheme or ZIP Code range; to separate and place mail into a carrier case; to distribute mail by piece, package, bundle, sack, or pouch, for distribution to its final delivery point.

USPS Tracking –  An extra service (for example, TrackMyMail) purchased by mailers to have their mail piece scanned to record the final scan from the SCF to the local facility for delivery. Extra services fees are in addition to postage.

Walk Sequence – This is where the mail is provided in the exact order (in the line of travel that the carrier delivers in his/her route) in which it is to be delivered so the carrier does not need to sort the mail, resulting in time and cost savings for the USPS.

Nahan is Here to Help!

Questions? Our friendly Sales Team is always here to help with unfamiliar terms and to guide you along the way! Contact us any time.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Mixing PMS Colors

I remember the days in a small Minnesota print shop, when I guessed at color by number of parts (Note, a part is actually a percentage of total weight) and mixed them up on a slab of granite. I used a razor blade to draw down the color and compare to the book.  Soon the “by guess” and “by golly” method changed to include a scale and a “quick peek,” which was a small rubber roller that would apply a measured amount of ink to the paper for a closer color match. Not very scientific but it worked.

How to Mix Colors

For point of reference, an easy color to mix is PMS 185 – the build of 185 is 75% Rubine and 25% Yellow.

Direct Mail

How to mix??

  • First, you will need an ink knife, sort of a longer putty knife, and a hard surface like glass or stainless steel.
  • Then, determine how much ink you need (that is a different story for another blog).  Let’s say two pounds.
  • Multiply  2 by .75 = 1.5 lbs. of Rubine Red (75% Rubine)
  • Weigh out 1.5 lbs. or Rubine red and put this on the mixing surface
  • Multiply 2 by .25 = .5 Yellow (25% Yellow)
  • Weigh out .25 lbs. mixing yellow and put on the mixing surface

Just as in the old days you can put your ink on glass or granite or other smooth surface and mix them together. On a larger scale these colors would be mixed on a machine.

Do watch out for the comedian mixing up warm red!! See explanation below…

  • Once thoroughly mixed take a sample and draw it down on your paper and compare it to the PMS guide. Note: colors change as they dry, use a hair dryer or hot air gun to speed up the process, if you are mixing up UV ink you will need a light source.
  • Also, you must use the right matching guides to match your mixture. Formula Guides are based on the paper you are using coated or uncoated. Important note: Paper makes a big difference when matching color. Make sure you are drawing down the ink on the same paper you are going to be printing on..

Color Matching

If you are comfortable matching with your eyes, and the color looks good, you are good to go. The light in the area where you are reviewing color does make a difference. Are you viewing in 5k light? 5000 Kelvin light is the industry standard for viewing color.  Here is an old but interesting link about viewing light.

Even though color has become more of a science with processes and standards, one can still weigh out small batches and mix them on a table and get relatively close.

Your ink company has become the expert with all the tools and standards for consistent larger batches of PMS spot colors. They will provide you will a drawdown of the color on the paper you are going to print on and provide spectral analysis if requested. (Some clients insist on the LAB having a Delta E of  +/- .02), and for good reason. Corporate branding is expensive to achieve and maintain for immediate brand recognition.

If you need more high-tech color matching, request a drawdown from your printer and ask for LAB print out to accompany it. (What is LAB? Check out X-rite blog)

If you know the spectral specifications for your color and you have a spectrophotometer, you can check your LAB, or you can compare the LAB number to the book (or your swatch) and then get an LAB +/-, which is also known as Delta E. Here is a great link about LAB and Delta E.

Commercial Printing

About Pantone

Around 1963, The Pantone (PMS) concept came along to help printers mix a color that would match if it were mixed in New York or California or any other state.

Originally, Pantone colors were mixed using a set of 11 base colors to achieve 500 colors and used a numeric system to identify them.  

Now, 14 basic colors are used as the building blocks that grew in to 1,114 available colors in the formula guide.

Base colors include Yellow, Warm Red, Rubine Red, Rhodamine Red, Purple, Violet, Process Blue, Reflex Blue, Green, Black and Transparent White (clear), Yellow 012, Orange 021, Blue 072 and Red 032.

Speaking of high-tech, Pantone now provides RGB, HEX and CMYK equivalent values for each color. You can look up PMS colors like 185 on their Pantone Web Site.

In 2007 Pantone and Xrite teamed up to become one company.

The new color guide with additional colors has 1,755 solid color choices.

There are other colors that can be used such as florescent or metallic inks; however, the standard color matching guides or PMS colors are the starting point and base of the main color matching system.

Pantone recommends changing your formula guide annually as paper can yellow and color can fade.

Nahan’s In-House Ink Company, INX

Nahan Printing has an in-house ink company called INX. They are industry-leading experts in color consistency and creativity. This allows Nahan to build custom mixed colors on site, provide quick turn drawdowns to customers, and create an ink mix that matches across all of our presses. This helps to maintain color consistency across components and help maintain brand standards.

Hot ink trick

The HOT INK TRICK is an old spoof. As the press comedian is mixing ink on the slab, an office person (You) walks up and asks what you are doing? (S)He will respond: Mixing warm red, it gets real hot when I mix it. Want to feel? So you put your hand near the ink and the press comedian slaps your hand in to the ink…The old hot ink trick is not very funny 🙂

(Stay tuned for more printing inside jokes….perhaps next time I can fill you in on the paper stretcher or the dot gain. We usually keep them in the basement).

Author: Jim Hesch is Customer service leader at Nahan, with ink in his blood…

Employee Spotlight: Chad Coss

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to welcome our newest addition to Human Resources – Chad Coss. In only a short time, Chad has proven to be a hardworking and dedicated team member. We are excited to see how his talents will continue to make Nahan a welcoming place for our employees. I had the privilege to get to know Chad and learn how he has been enjoying his time at Nahan and what led him here.

From Milking Cows to Human Resources

Chad’s work history goes back to a younger age than most. At just 13 years old, he held his first job in rural Wisconsin working on a dairy farm feeding calves. Eventually, he was promoted to milking the cows at 4:00 AM on weekend mornings during the school year. He credits this hard work at a young age for being a major factor in teaching him responsibility. Later on, Chad traded milking cows for attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls for a Bachelor of Science in Business Communications and then a Master of Science in Human Resources Development from Villanova University.

Human Resources Around the World

Chad has been working in Human Resources for over 18 years as either a Human Resources Manager or another Human Resources Leadership role. Before coming to us, he had spent 5+ years in the Technology/Software/SaaS industry. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Human Resources Manager for a family-owned organization that specialized in Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti after the earthquake and helped create a new international business entity in response to the natural disaster. He has also spent several years in other manufacturing and medical device industries as a Human Resources Leader supporting global production operations. Chad credits the variety of industries and locations he’s devoted his time and talent to for what he has learned about different Human Resources practices.

“I have worked all over the U.S. and the globe and I am honored to now call Nahan my home.”

Chad Coss with his three sons and puppy.

Exciting Projects in the Works

The Human Resources Team is excited for the opportunity Chad brings to the team for growth and evolution as a business and  for workforce. Chad believes that Nahan is home to terrific people in every department and he is excited to see how the team will work together to grow. He believes that digging into the talent that is available in our team and making continuous learning and professional growth opportunities available will strengthen the entire company.

Chad Coss and his family at Disney World.

“The best advice I’ve ever been given is to “always do your best.” My parents gave that to me when I was growing up, and I still give this same advice to my own kids because it’s relevant and true regardless of time period, generational category, or time in your life.”

Life Beyond Nahan

When he’s not leading the Human Resources Department, Chad enjoys camping, hiking, golfing, and many other outdoor activities. He enjoys spending time with his family. He is proud of how his young boys are growing into caring and responsible people. Once the pandemic is over, Chad says he would like to visit Glacier National park again with his family.

Careers at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Printing 101 Series – Coatings

Author: Melissa Fransen

For the first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do to drive your digital marketing efforts, this blog is for you! In this blog, we will discuss coatings.

Why do I want to use a coating on my piece?

A coating adds protection to your piece to get through the mail in good shape and is strongly recommended, especially if your piece has heavy ink coverage. Coatings can also be used as a design element.  Applying a coating can change the final appearance and tactile experience.  Multiple coatings can also be used to create special effects or draw attention to a specific image.

What is the difference between coatings?

There are three main types of coatings: UV, Varnish and Aqueous.

  • UV coating is a VOC-free (when cured) liquid coating that can give incredible gloss, textures, or gloss dull effects. It cures by exposure to UV light.
  • Varnish is an ink; it can be Gloss, Satin or Dull. 
  • Aqueous is a water-based coating; it can be Gloss, Satin, Dull, or Soft Touch.

There are a lot of variables that impact which coating will be best for your printed piece.

Variables can include things such as paper type, ink coverage, desired outcome of the final product, and more. Our experienced Sales Team will guide you through the entire process of choosing the best coating for your printed piece for optimal results.

Request a Sample Pack

Let us show you some samples of different coatings to give you ideas for your next marketing piece. Request your sample kit today.

We are Here to Help

Our Sales Team is here to help guide you. Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Printing 101 Series – Binding

Author: Melissa Fransen

For first-timers to print or those just starting to consider what a printed campaign can do for your marketing efforts, this blog series is for you!  We’ll call it our Printing 101 Series and we’re just getting started! We’ll be adding Printing 101 topics each month and if there is something we can help you learn about, let us know. We want to tailor our Printing 101 series to you!

Without further ado, let’s get started on the first topic – Binding! At Nahan, we primarily bind booklets or catalogs two ways: 1) Perfect binding and 2) Saddle Stitching.

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding binds the book together by gluing folded pages (signatures) to form a spine. The below photo shows an example of a perfect-bound catalog. Perfect binding creates a nice, polished look for your catalog and is a great option for high-impact branded marketing pieces and larger page counts. For a perfect bound project to be successful, we typically suggest a minimum of approximately 48 pages.

Design Tip: How do I setup the cover? Your Account Manager can calculate the spine thickness for you. The cover files should be set up as a 2-page spread including the spine amount. A hinge score is almost always necessary and applied 1/4” away from the spine on both covers and is included in the final size of your front and back covers. A knockout is required for the entire spine plus 1/8” into the hinge score (either side of the spine) for the inside front cover and inside back cover. (A knockout is the removal of part of an image or colors so glue, ink jetting, etc. can adhere to the paper).

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching binds pages that are folded, nested, and then stapled together with wire staples. Saddle-stitched jobs are generally a cheaper option than perfect binding. They typically focus on a lower page count and this option is often selected for longer-run projects.

Design Tip: Total page count must be in increments of 4.  You will need to be aware of your page placement as crossovers (see below) must be designed to retain the lineup of the images across the pages.        

Request a Nahan Sample Pack and Learn More

Let us show you some samples of both perfect bound and saddle-stitched catalogs! Request your sample kit today.

Also, check out our blog on The Fine Art of Finishing Print to learn more about Nahan’s focus on finishing. As an added bonus, we also have a number links included in that blog with some great resources from Sappi.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Employee Spotlight: Pat Nahan

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Part of what makes Nahan unique is its devotion to being a family business ever since it was founded by Jim and Helen Nahan in 1962. Pat Nahan, the grandson of the founders, is the Vice President of National Accounts and is celebrating his 25th anniversary this month.

Working as a Family

As a teenager, Pat remembers getting his start at Nahan by mowing the lawn, washing windows, and painting. Over the past 25 years, he has invested his time and energy into the family business working in several different roles throughout the company. With his father as Nahan’s CEO, Pat has had to earn respect at the company like every other employee. He is thankful that his father expects the same results from him as everybody else at the company and credits that to helping him grow as a professional. Pat believes that his father expecting results from him has also taught him to treat others how he would like to be treated and to stand on his own merits.

 “The best advice I’ve been given by family has been to never give up. It doesn’t matter if it is on a job we are trying to win or a challenging startup of a new piece of equipment. The attitude of never giving up is what sets us apart.” 

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

The Nahan Difference

As a member of our Sales team, Pat explains what he enjoys most about his position is in the ability to help solve problems for people. He likes being able to work together with a customer to find a solution when they are faced with an issue. When asked what made him the proudest, he commented on the company’s ability to reshape and reinvent itself over the years. He believes a significant part of Nahan’s success can be attributed to the team’s dedication and flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. Over his 25 years, Pat has seen Nahan work through challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

 “The best part about being on the Nahan team is the culture. Everyone here wants to win and have fun while doing it. The culture here is great; it’s one thing to talk about it, but it is another thing to actually have it. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best minds in the industry.”

Pat Nahan
Pat Nahan

Outside of the Office

When Pat isn’t working at Nahan, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.. He can often be found fishing, boating, or working on his golf game (which he describes as seeing how far he can get the ball into the woods or water). While Pat doesn’t consider himself a machinist, he finds it fun to weld and make new ideas come to life with metal.  He also enjoys spending time with his father racing cars that they work on together.

Pat and his father Mike Nahan celebrating a race car win.

Interested in joining the Nahan family-owned Team? Learn more about our career opportunities. 

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

The 5 F’s of Color – The Challenges and How Nahan Achieves Color Matching

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

Nobody wants purple apples or green faces on their beautifully printed products. Nahan is proud to be a G7 Master Certified Facility and we also have two G7 Experts on our team. Color matching is just one of the ways that Nahan ensures a quality piece on every single product that goes through our doors. Let’s explore color matching and how Nahan deals with challenges regarding color.

Note: G7 is an international standard for ensuring color matching across multiple platforms.

What is the most challenging part about color matching on press?

Well, let’s just say there are many. Some images are a challenge without having to share the spotlight with other images. For example, a fresh cut steak could look inedible if not done right. Often times, the most challenging are the ones you want to look the best.

Which ones are most challenging?

Here are what we like to call as the 5 F’s: Flesh tones, Fashion, Furniture, Fur and Food. These are challenging because if a little off-color, furniture can look cheap and food can look unattractive.  Of course, these images may be your focal point and not getting them right can tarnish your brand.

Color matching

While on their own they may not be challenging, some images can collectively pose serious problems for a printer. Once a color is set on the first press form, all subsequent press forms are then driven by that first form. If there are crossovers, there could end up being some significant compromises.

Note: A crossover is one image running across multiple pages and possibly multiple press forms.

Color matching

How do you deal with them?

First: Prioritize your images and press forms

  • Go to your printer and do a “Press Check,” approving color on press.
  • Consult with your salesperson, look at all the forms and decide which one to start with – probably one with a couple of crossovers.

It is easy to be tempted to start with a form that has a bright color, corporate color or someone’s favorite photo and push the ink to make it pop. However, it is important to be careful with this. The next form may be a neutral and crossover to that first form and you may end up with a spoiled image.

Second: Make sure you are running to strict standards and specifications such as Gracol/G7

The use of real estate on the press sheet can be a challenge since different ranges of colors need to run in-line with each other. Perhaps it is fruit running in-line with flesh tones, or furniture running in-line with jewelry, which makes one image more difficult to hit your desired color.

  • Often there are limited choices as to what you can do about these.
    • You could stop the press and have a color technician mask off and color correct a disagreeable color area, however, this can be very expensive.
  • You could anticipate certain colors being a challenge and run a spot PMS color.
  • Running to a standard helps ensure matching to proof.
    • Make sure if you are supplying a color proof that it has color bars and has been produced to a standard like GRACOL / G7 or FOGRA.

Third: Paper quality is really important

  • Paper grain gives the sheet stability.
    • This can affect registration, which can in-turn, affect color. As sheets distort under the pressure of the printing press, the registration can move. This can cause color to shift and images to slur.
    • A good quality stable sheet will help with critical color matches.
  • If you are using uncoated or matte papers, the right calibration curve for those papers is very important.
    • Your experienced color technician should control this.

Fourth: Presses need to be in good mechanical condition, with repeatable results

  • This may be out of your control, but you can tell if you have chosen a printer wisely by how clean the machine is, or by how much your team cares about their work environment. When choosing, ask about their press maintenance schedule. Often times, their response can tell you a lot.

Nahan as a Trusted Color Expert

Nahan has two G7 Experts and Color Technicians who are here for consultation and will be at press as needed to help ensure premium color. We regularly calibrate our machines to ensure our high standards are met. Our presses are maintained by experienced press crews at regular intervals and we have a full maintenance department to help ensure all the G7 calibrating time is achievable and print results are repeatable.

In the event of a difficult color, our G7 experts can often achieve desired results without color correction, but rest assured, they are here for you if it is needed.

Nahan is a G7 Master Printer which means we have calibrated certain equipment to G7 gray balance & neutral tone curves for proofs, Offset & digital presses.

Interested in learning more about Nahan? Contact us to learn more about our printing services.

Bio: Jim Hesch is the head of Customer Service at Nahan and a certified printing geek. (Always make sure you print with someone who is certified)…

The Quality of our Employees – One of our Nahan Differentiators

Author: Melissa Fransen

Quality. We pride ourselves on the quality of our print. We pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service. We pride ourselves on the quality of delivering results. Ultimately, all of the quality we pride ourselves on comes down to one thing and that is the quality of our people. Expecting excellence from our employees requires a strong dedication and vision from our training team. Excellent employees are built with the support, encouragement, and knowledge of talented team leaders. When you become an employee of Nahan, you become a part of something bigger – an entire community of people who are invested in producing great results and in living our Nahan Values. No matter your position, whether you are a Production Assistant or a Leader in the company, everyone on our team plays an integral role at Nahan and every position matters.

“A fun fact about Nahan is that our average tenure is 12.2 years.”

Our Hiring Process

Finding quality employees starts with our hiring process. Great employees refer great employee so we offer an employee referral bonus program. Other than word of mouth for new recruits, we post open positions on our website, our social media pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter), on the radio, and through a variety of other advertising means. Our hiring process includes a series of interviews and if selected for a role, the new employee will be required to a complete a background check and a physical prior to starting with our team.

Starting a Job at Nahan – Orientation

Beginning a new role at Nahan starts with a day of orientation, which includes everything from basic safety to hearing protection to learning Nahan’s emergency action plans. We also invite a number of employees from across the company to a luncheon to welcome our new employees and to make them feel comfortable (Note: with COVID-19, this is temporarily suspended at the moment). At Nahan, safety is at the cornerstone of what we do, so we put a lot of emphasis on our safety programs right from day one. On the second day of employment at Nahan, we start training on manuals, processes, and procedures. For manufacturing positions, we also start to give new employees “a feel” of their new position with some very basic training on the production floor.

Setting our Employees Up for Success

After orientation, the employee starts to learn more about their new role each day. We get them comfortable with equipment, maintenance, trouble-shooting, basic procedures, and standard operating procedures (SOP’s). Our leaders also pair our new employees with a “buddy” so they will have a resource to learn from and a “go to person” with questions. Our leaders stay in close contact with new employees and they also move them to different equipment so they get cross-functional training on a variety of equipment. This provides an opportunity for our employees to gain experience and to find what they enjoy doing each day.

Mod Training

In addition to the above ways of setting our employees up for success, we also start doing “mod” training. There are four mods for each position. These mods provide “on-the-job training” for employees. Each mod takes up to twelve weeks. These mods give employees time to “practice” their new role. We track the progress of each new employee in their mods and each mod has a test at the end that will need to be completed and passed. If we see an opportunity that the employee should have further training, we will continue hands-on training with the employee to ensure they are successful in their role.

Certification Patches

Once an employee passes all four mods, they become “certified.” With the certification process, they receive a patch that they can put on the sleeve of their uniform to showcase their certification level.

Promoting Within

At Nahan, there is a lot of room for growth and for advancement opportunity. We prefer to promote within our walls for positions and post our available positions internally.

Jobs at Nahan

If you are interested in learning more about a career at Nahan, visit our careers page or contact us to learn more.

Bio: Melissa Fransen is our Marketing Manager. She started with Nahan in May of 2017. Melissa is responsible for Nahan’s marketing initiatives, which includes everything from conference planning to social media initiatives. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and enjoying time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Valuing Safety at Nahan: An Interview with Doug Roob

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Safety at Nahan is our top priority. Operating our business in this way allows us to attract and maintain our amazing employees and serve our customers in the best way possible. Our devotion to safety is made possible by our Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Doug Roob, as well as Nahan’s Safety Team, comprised of a team of dedicated employees. To learn more about how Nahan ensures a safe environment, I interviewed Doug to get his perspective on safety in the printing industry and how Nahan rises to the occasion.

Doug Roob – Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator

Can you tell me a little about your work experience prior to your current position?

Doug: While I was finishing my degree studying Physical Education and Health with a minor in Business Management, I began working part-time at Nahan. The strong “family feel” made me enjoy working here so much, that I decided to stay. While it was a smaller company at the time, it had such a great potential to grow that I went full-time in the fall of 1989. From 1989 to 1992, I handled the production scheduling. At this time safety was controlled by the department managers.

What led you to become the Safety and Environmental Compliance Coordinator?

Doug: As the company was rapidly growing, I was asked in 1992 if I would be interested in taking over safety matters. Since my background is in education, I saw the opportunity to be able to help educate employees on safety and to teach the necessary skills to work safely. I have seen how an injury from unsafe conditions can not only affect the individual but how it affects an entire family. My father was injured on the job while working in construction. He was out for almost two months and continued to suffer from nerve damage. He went through physical therapy to strengthen his right leg after not being to use it fully until he was healed up. His frustration with not being able to work and the effects it had on our family is a memory that sticks with me, and one that I don’t want others to have to deal with.  Helping employees recognize hazards and how to minimize their exposure or eliminate the hazards on the job is what I love to do. At the end of the day, if everyone goes home the same way they came to work I am very happy.  If they don’t, I wonder what could I have done differently. I still love it today.

What are the benefits of a Safety Team at Nahan?

Doug: At Nahan the benefits are many. The team is a link between the employees and Management. Employees bring their safety ideas, suggestions, and input to the Safety Team members who in turn bring those items up during the Safety Team meetings. They then review and discuss those items to find solutions and make recommendations to management to make Nahan more safe. The team is our on-the-job safety advocate. During these trying times with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are amongst their peers promoting social distancing, washing of hands frequently, covering your cough, staying home if not feeling well, and general safety all the time. They help promote the safety culture that is needed for us to be our safest and healthiest.

Are there any stand-out moments that made you proud of the accomplishments of the Safety Team or a particular way they improved safety at Nahan?

Doug: The Safety Team has a few new members and I am happy with the passion each one has for safety. The willingness of the team to listen to the employees about their safety concerns and the willingness to help in any way they can to help improve safety is so great to see. They are willing to take action if need be and to work with the leaders and employees if asked. We have started a new program that the team is very excited about. The program consists of Safety Team members making Safety Observations weekly of their peers. When the observation is over, the Safety Team member meets with the individual they observed and discuss the great things the employee is doing safely and things they can do differently to stay safe. I see great things coming out of this program going forward with this group.

How can safety benefit Nahan’s customers?

Doug: The benefits of safety and a safe work environment carry over to the improved quality of service and a satisfied customer. When you have a safety culture that stresses safe work practices and having a clean/safe work environment, it carries over to a work behavior of paying attention to detail and to the quality of products being produced while completing jobs to the satisfaction of the customer without worrying about being injured. The employees can truly focus on the customer’s needs and expectations.

Here are our amazing and dedicated Safety Team members!

Thank you, Doug, for telling us about how the Nahan Safety Team works for the good of our employees and clients. We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Doug, view our career page for current openings.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Nahan Employee Spotlight: Kristine Ferguson

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is proud to have a driven and talented team working towards our common goal of being the best in the printing industry. I had the privilege to get to know Kristine Ferguson, a dedicated employee of thirteen years, and the leader of the Accounting Department at Nahan. She shared with me what she enjoys about being a part of the Nahan team, as well as a peek into her life outside the office.

From Saint Cloud State University to Nahan

Kristine credits her interest in accounting to the classes she took her senior year of high school. At the time she was planning on studying to be a veterinarian, but after talking with one of her teachers became more open to the idea of changing her major. The summer after her senior year she changed her mind and decided to pursue a study of accounting. In 2002, Kristine graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Kristine began working in the Accounting Department of a company in Avon, Minnesota. After a few years in that position, she joined the Accounting team at Nahan – where she is now the leader of the Accounting Department and has been a part of the team for an incredible thirteen years. Last year, Kristine also celebrated earning her CPA license. Kristine says her favorite part about working at Nahan is the people. She added that throughout her career, the lessons she has learned that stand out is the importance to never stop learning and to keep an open mind.

“My favorite part is the people. We work together as a team and are always striving to do better.”

Kristine Ferguson, when asked her favorite part about being on the Nahan team.

The Importance of the Accounting Department

To keep a smooth operating business, a detailed account of where and why money comes and goes is vitally important. Managing the cash flow is an essential part of a company to keep a close eye on its financial health. Keen attention to detail and knowledge of financial laws is key to leading the Accounting Department, and Kristine does an incredible job!

Beyond Nahan

When she’s not at work, Kristine enjoys spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoys watching her kids play sports and spending time on the lake during the summer. Her most favorite place she’s traveled to are the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which she has visited twice. In the future, she hopes to visit Ireland for its natural beauty.

“One person that has inspired me and that has been on my mind lately is my grandpa. He had an ability to truly connect with people. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He and my grandma opened their hearts and home to others, including doing foster care for children in need.  I am grateful to have had such a caring and wonderful man as my grandpa.”

Kristine Ferguson, when asked to share about someone who inspires her.

Thank you, Kristine, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We admire your work ethic, passion for achieving goals, the way you support your team, your drive to make change, and how compassionately you treat others in our company. You are part of what makes Nahan unique.

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

An Inside Look at Nahan’s Maintenance Team: Interview with Joe Walter

Author: Curt Tillotson, COO

“No Rework.”

These are words that Joe Walter lives by at Nahan.  No rework.  He strives to get the job done right the first time in everything that he does.  Joe joined Nahan in 2018 as our Maintenance Department Leader.  Joe brings over 25 years of print experience with him from 4 different printing companies.  He has held positions all the way from Helper to Operator to Department Leader.  Joe recently sat down with me to tell me about his experiences. 

Joe Walter (pictured on the left)

Q: What are the keys to being an effective Maintenance Department Leader for a 300,000 square foot printing facility?

A:  The most important key is to be honest and to treat everyone with integrity.  It all starts there.  More specifically, I have learned that I really need to have a working knowledge of the products we manufacture, the production equipment and the building systems.  Also, I come from a production background, so having a good understanding of the impact on our employees and customers if any of this equipment or building systems fail.  The stakes are high, so we want to make sure we keep the plant running.

Q:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since joining Nahan?

A:  One of the biggest challenges was learning the building systems which are very complex to say the least. It is a daily task to make sure they are functioning properly and that falls directly on my department. From the chillers to the Air condition units to the trim system. They are all critical. 

Q:  What big projects do you have coming up? 

A:  The biggest projects on the horizon are the upgrades on one of our major presses and replacing the 2 largest trim fans in the baler room. There is a lot of planning for these projects, working with vendors to provide all needed information (especially now during this crazy time we are in with everyone impacted by COVID-19), assigning tasks to team members and staying on time and on budget with the plan.

Q:  How is COVID-19 affecting your work?

A:  It is very hard for the team to work closely with machine operators with the social distancing rule. They are getting it done though. Communication is somewhat impacted, it is nice to sit down and have a meeting with individuals and team members. I have canceled our Morning Start up/Shift Crossover meetings for the time being and have implemented room occupancy rules. I have had to ask team members to spread out to different locations to limit exposure to each other.  We are constantly monitoring that we are following the precautions that have been issued.  It is a real challenge for the type of work that we do.

Q:  How do you maintain a safe work environment for your employees?

A:  The Maintenance Department at Nahan is historically one of the safest. The team is aware of their surroundings at all times. Most of the team has some dealings with electricity in some form or another. There are reminders to each other. If someone sees something, they say something.

Q:  How do you keep all of your tools straight? A:  This is not easy.  Each team member is issued their own tool box and is responsible for them. We also have shared power tools that are available to use when needed. These are in a locked room. Everyone is responsible for these.

Q:  Anything you are especially proud of?

A:  I am very proud of the work that the Maintenance Department does on a daily basis. From minor work orders to the R&D that goes into large scale projects.  We completed 6,888 work orders in 2019.  It is a team effort and I’m proud of this team.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being on the Nahan team?

A:  That’s an easy one.  The best part of being at Nahan is the people I work with every day. Nahan is a great company to work for. The team I work with is second to none, and we all know that the work we do has merit.

Thank you, Joe, for taking the time to talk with us.  We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Joe, view our career page for current openings.

Author Bio: Curt Tillotson, COO, started with Nahan in 2011 and leads all aspects of our operations. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. Curt also agrees with Joe on his answer on his favorite part of being on the Nahan Team – and that is our outstanding people. #nahanproud

Five Benefits of Print Marketing

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To be successful in advertising a product or service, it is not a question of which medium of marketing is best – print or digital – but how to combine their benefits. Both print and digital marketing methods are an essential component of an integrated marketing mix. Ignoring one method means ignoring part of the population and potentially part of your target market. As a printing company with over 50 years of experience, we’ve seen our fair share of print marketing materials and how they have impacted the world. Today, we’re sharing the top five benefits of print marketing and how they improve your integrated marketing mix.

Brand Recall

When consumers open their mailbox and receive a piece of direct mail or a catalog, they are able to physically touch it and open it – tangible attributes that are not available in digital marketing. Research has shown that the effects of tangibility impact brand recall. Consumers are 75% more likely to recall a brand after seeing it in a print ad, as compared to 44% for a digital ad (Adstream, 2018).

Greater Open Rates

A consumer’s email inbox is likely to be cluttered with many promotions, updates, and announcements – with more being added continuously. In all the clutter, many email marketing campaigns will not be opened (Pulcinella, 2017). Receiving a beautifully designed print advertisement in the mail stands out to be opened right away.

Increased Attention

The images on printed marketing materials are more saturated than those viewed on a computer screen. The mix of more attractive colors and the sensation of touch leads to keeping the reader’s attention. Most emails if opened, are quickly skimmed and disregarded. Consumers are more likely to take their time in deeply and thoroughly reading printed material (Nelson, 2019).

Repeated Exposure

As mentioned above, many emails are simply deleted once opened. Printed materials have the ability to last longer. A catalog that is placed on the kitchen table is more likely to be seen multiple times than an email in a consumer’s inbox. On the Internet, so much is fighting for the consumer’s attention. Ads disappear as quickly as they appear, rendering many of them unseen (Twose, 2019). Materials that are printed have higher durability and the potential to be seen more frequently.

Consumers Trust Print

Professionally printed marketing materials come across as more trustworthy than online ads that can appear like a scam. According to a survey completed by Marketing Sherpa, 82% of Americans trust newspaper and magazine ads compared to only 39% who trust Internet banner ads (Burstein, 2017). Using printed materials aids in being viewed as a trustworthy and professional business or organization.

The facts are undeniable – print marketing is a must to have a promotion reach its potential and be viewed by its entire target market population. Interested in learning more about printed materials? Visit our website or contact us to find out how you can get started.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.


Adstream. (2018). 8 things print advertisers need to know in a digital age.

Bursetin, D. (2017). Marketing Chart: which advertising channels consumers trust most and least when making purchases. Marketing Sherpa.

Nelson, R. (2019) 4 reasons print advertising is still important. Outreach Media Group.

Pulcinella, S. (2017). Why direct mail marketing is far from dead. Forbes.

Twose, D. (2019). Marketing Knowledge.

Employee Spotlight: Dawn Volante Brown

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

Nahan is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and passionate employees, one of whom is Dawn Volante Brown. A devoted employee for over twenty-one years, Dawn is currently the leader of the Planning and Estimating Department. I had the privilege to get to know Dawn and find out not only what led her to Nahan, but why she is here.

From the Education Field to the Printing Industry

In the 1990s, Dawn was beginning her study at Saint Cloud State University as an elementary education major. During the summer of 1998, she took a job at Nahan as a part-time front desk receptionist, providing sales secretary support in-between semesters. Six months later, Dawn moved into the Customer Service Department as a Production Coordinator. It was in this position where her exposure to the printing industry truly began. Over the years, she has experienced several roles in Customer Service including Customer Service Representative, Account Manager, Account Executive, Customer Service Shift Leader, and Department Leader. Currently, Dawn leads the Estimating and Planning Department. The opportunity to work in a variety of roles has given her the unique experience of viewing Nahan and the printing industry as a whole from many perspectives.

“The best work advice I received was given to me by mentor Bev Hugo. It wasn’t spoken but observed.Treat others in the manner in which you would like to be treated. We are all here with a similar goal. We will each achieve the best success in working together.” 

Dawn Volante Brown
Dawn with her husband and three children.

The Importance of the Estimating and Planning Department

At Nahan, our customers come first. To keep our customers first, our departments must work seamlessly together to produce each customer’s vision on paper. One of the departments we rely on to make this happen is the Estimating and Planning Department. When clients have talked with their Sales Representatives and Account Executives about their ideas, it goes to this department to start figuring out numbers and how the product can go to the press to be produced. As its leader, Dawn is trusted with the responsibility of running a smooth-operating department from start to finish.

Dawn (left) celebrating the 30th anniversary of Diane working at Nahan.

“My favorite part of working at Nahan has been all of the incredible relationships. Nahan is my extended family. I greatly value the years working with my dad, Donald Krebsbach. He was a Jet Press operator; retired December 2012. It was fun being able to touch base with him when I’d see him (and bring him my leftover lunch).”

Dawn Volante Brown

Beyond Nahan

Outside of being a team member at Nahan, Dawn keeps busy with her hobbies, passions, and family. She enjoys running and plans on participating in a few races this summer. At her church, Dawn is the co-coordinator of the women’s ministry and participates in the worship team. She and her husband have three children who keep them busy by cheering them on at sporting events and their other activities.

Thank you, Dawn, for being a dedicated Nahan employee. We incredibly admire your passion for your employees and our customers. You are part of what makes Nahan great!

Interested in joining the Nahan Team? Learn more about our career opportunities.   

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Print Partner – Part 1

Author: Jim Hesch, Customer Service

It can be quite daunting, challenging, frightening and overwhelming to pick a print partner when you have never printed before. It is common to have many questions. That is why we have developed a list of questions to ask to help make this process easier for you.  We have also included links to content within our own blogs that address these questions.

You may not choose Nahan, but we would like to help you choose wisely.

(Also, here is a link to our FAQ’s page, which contains some useful information).

Quality and Service



Nahan Mission Statement

To enhance our ability to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and employees, Nahan is dedicated to producing a quality product and providing dependable service through continual improvement

Our Values

Nahan Values

Stop back next month for Part 2, where we will explore other questions to ask, including questions about environmental sustainability, technology, and more!

My name is Jim Hesch, head of Customer Service, 40 year veteran of print and never done learning… I learn the hard way, so you don’t have to 🙂

The Partnership of the Printing Industry and the Postal System

Author: Camille Lehmann, Marketing

To explore the relationship of the printing industry and the postal system, I needed to get expert insight from Nahan’s Postal Logistics Team. I had the opportunity to talk with Nahan’s Postal Logistics Manager, Gary LaBarre, to discuss the importance of the two entities working together for a common good. Gary’s career in print and logistics is a major asset to Nahan. After graduating high school, Gary started working at a printing company, unknowing that it would become his life-long career as he worked his way up in the industry, spanning forty-eight years. Gary has worked in the postal logistics division for forty-five of those and has dedicated over ten years to Nahan.

From the Press to the Consumers

A beautiful new catalog just rolled off the press, eager to be placed into a consumer’s hands to be used for its purpose. Before it can end up in a consumer’s mailbox, however, it must go through the postal system. As a result, the printing industry must have a relationship with the postal system to be able to take a finished product to its final destination – the people. Gary’s wealth of knowledge about both the printing industry and the postal system make him an excellent resource for brands that are new to the world of print.

“At Nahan, our goal is to get the best postage price possible and to get it to the consumers at the time they want it – not too early or too late.”

Gary LaBarre , Postal Logistics Manager at Nahan

In the next few questions and answers, we explore the logistics of working with the postal system to minimize cost for our customers.

1. There are various ways that a finished product can be shipped to a consumer. Three of the most common methods include co-mail, commingle, and drop ship. What are the differences between these methods?

  • Co-mail – This method is used for catalogs and flat-sized pieces. Multiple jobs are put together in one shipment, the idea being to enhance the pre-sort, which gives the customer the lowest postage price and deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Commingle – This method is for letter-sized pieces and follows the same logic as co-mail. The shipments are intermixed with other customers to save money on postage in addition to deeper delivery to the USPS.
  • Drop Ship – This method consolidates pallets with other pallet jobs and then delivers it to postal facilities around the country.

2. Out of the three methods mentioned above, why is each beneficial to the customer?

  • Co-mail and commingle are beneficial because of their lower postage rate and delivery to the post office. If a customer has a smaller quantity, drop shipping would not be cost effective.
  • Drop ship is beneficial due to its low postage for large, geographically concentrated quantities, as well as the ability to hit a tight in-home window.

3. Why is timing so important in shipping a finished product?

Depending on what a brand is printing, there can be time sensitive information. For example, a company might be advertising a sale in a catalog or providing a limited time coupon code in a piece of direct mail. If a shipment gets delivered too late, the sale or coupon code will no longer be valid. Conversely, if a shipment arrives too early, customers are trying to order products that are not available in stores yet or score sales that are not set up in the system.

4. What is Informed Delivery? Why should companies sign up for it?

Informed delivery is a free service offered by the United States Postal Service, in which people can sign up to be notified of mail expected to be arriving soon. The service allows users to see a digital preview of their letter-sized mail and packages en-route to their mailbox. Users can access Informed Delivery on any computer or mobile device. It is beneficial to companies from a marketing standpoint. Companies can choose to participate in the Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign and include a link with the image. Companies then receive a summary report of users who clicked on links. While this marketing method is still growing, it is also relatively risk-free and does not eat up a marketing budget.

5. Overall, what is the essence of why the postal system is so crucial to the printing industry?

The printing industry could not exist without the partnership of the postal system. Without the USPS, your eye-catching and action-driving piece would never arrive to your consumer. To be a successful company, you must work with the postal system to deliver the best quality and service to the customers.

Minimized Postage Costs = More Consumer Reach for Your Money

When selling a product or service, no matter how wonderful it may be, marketing is what gets it out there. Print – whether in the form of catalogs, envelope packages, or self-mailers – is a significant contributor to a brand’s marketing strategy. Printing is all about a service that takes a brand’s vision and puts it on paper and makes it a reality. At Nahan, our job is to minimize their postage and transportation costs to allow them to mail as many pieces as possible for their money.

Curious about the current USPS postage rates? Check out our postage rate chart!

Contact us to learn more.

Bio: Camille Lehmann is on the Marketing team and started with Nahan in January of 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management. In her spare time, Camille enjoys writing, going to coffee shops, and spending time with friends and family.