Fit to print (just about anything): Loris Printing evolves with the times

Loris Printing Vice President Craig Hofer remembers when the Sandusky shop got its first color copier.

“I told my father-in-law at that time — I said, ‘This is going to be the future,’” and he laughed,” recalls Hofer, who gave up a career in horticulture to marry into the printing game.

He and wife Debby Hofer, formerly Debby Loris, bought the business — started in 1966 — from her parents, Joe and Kathy, and have continued to oversee its evolution from an offset print shop to a modern juggernaut with multiple major pieces of equipment, off of which helps to make Loris capable of myriad types of jobs, including wide-format printing.

“When we had our first copy machine … I want to say it (made) seven copies a minute, if I recall,” he says. “And they were very, very expensive to operate. You’d pay $1 for a color copy.

Courtesy of Loris PrintingOne of Loris' new machines is the Canon Arizona 1360 GTF, which is printing a 4x8 foot sheet of yard signs.“They don’t even call them ‘copiers’ anymore — you can’t make a copy, but we can print directly to them — but our main production printer is running 135 copies a minute.”

In 2019, Loris Printing acquired Lake Shore Graphic Industries and now has about 18,000 square feet of production and warehouse space, according to the company history on its website

Its most recent big investment, Hofer says, was a wide-format flatbed printer and a flatbed cutter for a cool $230,000 or so to stake its claim to the wide-format commercial business in the area.

“(It) puts us into a spot where there’s really nobody around us between Cleveland and Toledo and probably north of Mansfield that has that type of equipment, just because of the cost of the equipment,” he says. 

Among the services you’ll see on its site are banners, business cards and yard signs. For an example of some nifty wide-format, check out the transformation Loris did to the C & C Donut Factory food truck

“We completely wrapped it and basically transformed it into something that fits his needs with his growth potential,” Hofer says. Those are always fun — every time we do vehicle wraps.”

The business has about 12 employees, including the couple’s oldest daughter, Elisha Noon, who works in customer service, and their youngest daughter, Jenna Ford, who is planning to one day take over the business with her husband, Zeke. 

“(Having) all the family involved is something fun,” Hofer says.