California State University, Long Beach
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University Print Shop There to Save You Time, Money

Published: September 1, 2009

Having been in the printing business since the 1960s, which included running his own shop in the San Fernando Valley for nearly two decades, Mike Sternfeld likes what he sees at CSULB.

“This is a great place to work with a lot of really good people,” stated Sternfeld , who oversees six full-time employees in the University Print Shop he has managed for the last four years. “I’d just like to get the word out to people about all the print services that we have available here.

“Some people just like going off campus to have their jobs printed because that’s what they have been doing for years and some just don’t know about us,” he added. “When you have a turnover of personnel on campus, like at any large corporation, new employees may not know where to go to get something done. We’re here and we can handle most jobs.”

In the relatively short time he has been on campus, Sternfeld notes there has been a huge change in technology, which allows his department to provide more and better services.

“Computers are just so much more powerful and you can do so more with them than just even a few years ago and the software is just amazing,” he said. “With the programs we have, we can design and print almost anything. It’s a 180-degree difference in what we did back in the old days from the way things are done today.”

Of course, the explosion of technology is a double-edged sword, according to Sternfeld, who says that it seems everyone with a computer and Microsoft Publisher all of a sudden considers themselves a graphic designer, which in turn means he sees all kinds of creations come into his shop.

“People really need to know, if they have any type of project, they should call us or come by to discuss it first before they get started with it,” he suggested. “For instance, in a mailing, it’s very important that we know how a piece is going to be handled after it’s printed. Sometimes we have to start from the back end and move up because that could possibly dictate how the piece is printed and designed. Many times we get jobs in here for postcards and people don’t know what the minimum and maximum sizes are for postcards. They will have designed something for a five-by-eight card, but because of postal regulations it will have to go out first-class mail (that’s 44 cents instead of 28 cents per piece). That may blow their budget, but if they talk to us first, we can avoid that kind of thing.”

Another misconception clients may have as a result of new technology is how quickly a project can be printed.

“Sometimes people come in expecting that you press a button and the job gets done, but that’s not true,” he said. “It still takes time to put a piece together and to output it. And then you have finishing operations, all the things that need to be done to a job when it comes off the printing press or the digital copier. We get a lot of dated material to print and it has to be out by a certain time or else it’s of no value, so we are always under that pressure to get a job out. There are some projects that take longer, but others we can turn around quicker. A reasonable timeframe we tell people is 8-10 working days.”

The University Print Shop also offers graphic design assistance for free, either at your desk or at its location.

Print Shop
Photo by David J. Nelson
Working in the University Print Shop are (l-r) Mike Sternfeld, Jodi White, Wayne King, Keith Nixon, Claudia Nunez, John Feijoo and Richard Duarte.

“We will spend time with someone showing them how to use a program,” said Sternfeld. “Our graphic designer can show them all the basics of the program as well as give some shortcuts and tips. We give that as a free service (they do charge for actual design services). We see that as a win-win situation. We teach our customers on campus how to put a job together properly and in turn that will make their job and our job easier.” In addition, Sternfeld says he is available to give presentations to departments on campus detailing services his shop provides and is continually giving hands-on workshops to the campus community on how to use the print shop’s Web site.

Sternfeld says that one area of his shop that is not used nearly enough is the printing of posters.

“One of the areas that I keep pushing that is underutilized is our poster business,” he said. “We have this poster machine here that will do beautiful work, and our prices are much more reasonable than if someone goes off campus.”

He notes that the biggest poster they can do is 42 inches by 100 feet (that’s how long a roll of paper is), but that the most common poster size they print is 24 x 36 inches. Posters can then be mounted on poster board.

“We do a lot of this already, but there is so much more that goes off campus that we could do,” he added. “This is one service that we are continually promoting on campus.”

A recent addition to the University Print Shop is its digital press, which is in essence a high-end color copier that does 70 copies per minute of pages up to 12 x 18 inches.

“It does a beautiful job and it’s very versatile in the kind of papers it can handle. The quality is near-offset,” said Sternfeld. “A layperson would not be able to tell the difference. I’ve seen some things come off these devices and I can’t tell. We’re really coming into the 21st century with digital printing. That’s a big thing for us. Offset printing is not going away, but it’s getting to be less and less.”

Recently, the University Print Shop and Quick Copy (previously located on the first floor of Brotman Hall) combined under one roof, located at the facility on Palo Verde. The change is expected to bring about a more efficient operation in order to continue and serve the campus community in the best ways possible.

There will continue to be a drop-off point for orders at the current location in BH 178, as well as the Purchasing Office in BH 346. All production and customer service will now be at 562/985-4501 and its mail stop remains the same at MS 6601.