In 1923 Woodward “Woody” Foster started Foster Printing Service in a one car garage at 103 Tilden Avenue in Michigan City, Indiana. At this time Foster consisted of a one man shop with a small paper cutter and a one color Kluge letterpress. In the following two years, business grew and John Griswold was hired to assist in the print shop. As business continued to grow, Mr. Foster knew he needed more equipment, more staff and more space.
Foster’s first expansion moved the business to 2142 Franklin Street. In 1931, a Linotype was purchased to streamline to production process. Nine years later, a one-color Mulitilith offset press was added to keep up with the speed of the Linotype. However, even with all of this new machinery, Foster needed additional resources to handle The Long Beacher, a local newspaper, as well as The Crimson Comet, Elston High School’s weekly paper. To meet these local needs, a 38” Miehle horizontal letter press was purchased as well.
In 1956, John Griswold purchased the company and kept the name Foster Printing Service. In 1960, through generous financing by the owner of The Long Beacher, Foster was able to purchase an 18x24 Chief offset press. As the much improved local paper made its way around Michigan City, business at Foster increased greatly.
Within 6 years, Foster had outgrown the Franklin Street location and moved to 717 Sheridan Ave in Michigan City. The new space allowed much needed room for new equipment and updated offices. In 1973, one of Foster’s biggest customers moved to Chicago. This began the expansion of the sales force and movement from local to national work. A year later, Foster again expanded to 10,000 square feet. This additional floor space made room for a Miehle two-color offset press and updated camera equipment.
The 70’s and 80’s were a time of enormous growth for Foster. Much of the equipment was replaced and upgraded with new technology. With this new growth, the business went through many changes.
Foster Printing Service became a corporation; Nick Griswold was named the President. The 80’s saw the addition of a new Solna press, automatic film and plate processors, a Stahl folder and construction of new offices.
After 18 years, the Sheridan Ave building was too small to house the growing business. In 1984, Foster moved into a smaller version of the current location at 4295 Ohio Street. With the new 40,000 square foot facility, Foster was able to grow by leaps and bounds. New presses were added and upgrades to computers, the phone and shipping system all helped the growing company exceed customer expectations faster and with better quality.
In 1993, Foster Printing Service was named the Small Business of the Year for the state of Indiana. The next year, foster added the Didde Comperfector half-web heatset press with inline finishing. With all of this growth, additional space was again necessary and construction began to add 50,000 square feet.
In the late 90’s computers took over Foster Printing Service. The addition of computer to plate technology, an internal job tracking system, and a computerized shipping system took Foster into 2001 ready to take on more customers and more intricate projects.
In 2005, Foster replaced a Heidelberg 102AP with a Komori LS640. This allowed Foster to offer better color management and outstanding quality without increasing prices.
In 2008, Foster went back to its roots, leaving the FosteReprints name behind and branding once again as Foster Printing Service, Inc. The new name brought with it a variety of service and product offerings.
2011 brought about increased product offering greatly by adding a 2 color Hamada and a new digital press. These additions allowed Foster to produce a wider array of products quickly and efficiently. At this time, Foster also earned G7 Master Printer Certification.
In 2013, Foster started to produce rack cards for many customers. This portion of the business has grown so much that in 2016, Foster is the largest rack card and brochure printer in the United States.
Foster has much more growth on the horizon. Stay tuned to see what the future holds!