Print Politics

100% Made in America Printing

The labor we use and the paper we choose all say something about the role that printing has to play in the politics of this country.

Printing is a funny business when it comes to political matters. On the one hand, we work for political campaigns, printing signs, posters, and flyers, running direct mail campaigns, and at Hotcards, even designing print ads and websites.

On the other hand, printing – like any other industry – has its own internal politics, the politics, for example, of being a union printer. As a unionized print shop, we're automatically considered for jobs that non-union printers are passed over for. These jobs are generally for politicians who support union labor, and for unions that need printing done.

At the same time, being a union printer represents who we are, and the standards that we, as a company, believe in. As a business owner, I absolutely believe that the success of a business rests on how it treats its workers. An empowered, respected workforce translates into great design and printing work, and hence, customer satisfaction and returning business.

But the politics of printing doesn't begin and end with unionized labor. Even the paper that a print shop chooses is a political statement reflecting how it approaches business and the role it prioritizes within the community.

You can learn more about choosing paper and about the paper we use at Hotcards here.

Many of my fellow printers and competitors are industry leaders when it comes to environmentally friendly printing practices, such as using partially recycled paper and soy-based inks. At Hotcards, we like to take our environmental stewardship a step further by doing as much business as we can locally. By using Ohio-based mills and paper suppliers, we avoid having materials shipped to us cross-country or from overseas, significantly reducing our environmental footprint.

Our paper supplier – the Millcraft Paper Company – is the only union paper supplier in the state of Ohio, and the only women-owned paper company in the U.S. They are recognized throughout the industry for their efforts on behalf of the environment and for their great support of American owned and run paper makers.

As the world develops into a global marketplace, we are seeing more and more American jobs going to foreign competitors. This is not a new topic, but with issues like outsourcing and the disappearance of labor unions across the country becoming increasingly prevalent, it is hitting home hard in the new millenium. Purchasing, using, and distributing products made in the U.S. by U.S. labor has actually become a rarity, and at Hotcards, that makes us prouder than ever to say that all our paper products are milled right here in the U.S, 100% American-made.

Our gloss coated cover stock is named Carolina – very appropriately – since it is a top of line grade manufactured in North Carolina. Our gloss text stock is named Amerigloss, and it's made right here in Ohio by a great American company called NewPage. Although our competitors all have great politics, we at Hotcards are the only ones who can brag that we use only 100% American-made paper.

By using paper that is milled and shipped locally, Hotcards contributes positively to efforts to reduce emissions and fossil fuels. We support American-made products, and we use the ethics that guide our unionized print shop to align ourselves with other proud union businesses. I not saying this just to toot my own horn, but to make the point that a 100% American-run business of any kind has the ability to make a huge and significant impact on its community and its country.

At a time when our country is less than popular on the world stage, it's nice to remember the reasons why this is a great country, filled with amazing, hard-working people. The more we can connect, work together, and support each other here in the U.S., the faster the rest of the world will remember why the statement “100% made in America” is something to be proud of.

Columbus Woodruff

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