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Printing Lingo: What is a Union Printer?

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An example of a Union Label or "Bug" imprinted on Union-produced printing (enlarged for clarity)
A Union Printer is a commercial printer whose employees are represented by a labor union.

All printing produced by a union printer displays a special mark called a union label. This label is printed directly onto the print materials to indicate it was made by members of a labor union.

So as not to interfere with the design or message of the printed piece, the union label is kept relatively small. Because of its tiny size, the label used by union printers is informally referred to as a "union bug" because it often resembles a small insect on the printed sheet.

Having the union label or "bug" is important for customers that prefer to purchase printing that is union-made. For example, companies that employ union members will often require any printed items they purchase to be marked with the union bug.

Another example is the various printed items used by political candidates. In order to demonstrate union support, all campaign materials (such as signs and direct mail pieces) will often require that the union bug be printed on them.

If you ever have a need for union-printed materials such as brochures, booklets, stationery, presentation folders, posters, door hangers, direct mail pieces or similar items, give Formax a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you already know the specs of your project, you can submit our easy quote form by clicking here. To ensure that your project gets printed at our union print facility, please tell us upfront if union printing is required.

As always, we look forward to assisting with your printing needs!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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