Wood Veneer Print Items Turn Heads

By Mark Vruno | Posted: 04/05/2013 1:13PM


click image to zoomUniversal VeneerWood business card and label supplier Universal Veneer, Newark, Ohio. NEWARK, OH - Can veneer printing save a business?

Printing is not so good to many printers these days. With the prevalence of iPads and smart phones, sales of printed goods continue to drop. So to boost his 23-year-old, Newark, OH print firm’s revenues, owner Jeff Barrett decided that he had to do something.

The solution contains real wood, as in the wooden business cards, wooden beverage coasters, and wooden labels and gift tags that Rolling Hills Reprographics now sells.

The products are a natural fit for image-conscious people in the competitive woodworking industry. For his wood items, Barrett buys the veneer from Universal Veneer Corp., a neighboring company in Ohio. Rolling Hills is one of several companies that have branched out to offer wood-based novelties.

Indeed, Cards of Wood has established a very successful business here, exhibiting at major trade shows such as IWF. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, it is a third-generation, family-owned firm in business for more than 40 years. Cards of Wood says it is one of the only micro-thin veneer manufacturers in the world, which makes its cards more wallet friendly. Cards of Wood also has a team of designers and printers to produce its custom design work.

Ohio Hills
Some 30 miles east of Columbus, OH, Rolling Hills Reprographics wondered if cabinet makers and other woodworkers would pay $130 for 250 wooden business cards in his or her choice of cherry or maple. How about wooden gift tags for next holiday season? A quantity of 300 costs $59 (plus a $6 shipping/handling charge).

Adding wood as a substrate (the veneer is as thin as traditional paper) is one way that Barrett has increased sales at his one-man operation. Creative inspiration struck when he recalled a business card printed to look like wide that he had received 21 years ago from a local businessman, Barrett told the Newark Advocate last month.

When he first started printing on veneer, Barrett used raw oak but found the material to be too brittle. He switched, instead, to cherry and maple for more flexibility.


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