Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press Herb O'Bryant smoothes out paper ads before they go into the cutting machine at Adams Lithographing Co., which recently won some key awards.
The Hogue family wants Chattanooga to know the best printing in the world is done in its own backyard -- and with just 37 employees.
Outshining more than 10,000 printing companies with more than a million employees, Chattanooga-based Adams Lithographing recently was chosen as "best in show" at the Printing Industries of America annual awards ceremony in Chicago. The Printing Industries of America is a graphic arts trade association.
"For Adams and for Chattanooga it's a big, big deal," said Don Benedict, account executive at Adams Lithographing.
The company's promotional piece called "With Our Own Hands" won two "best of" categories at the awards ceremony and was chosen as the overall winner, beating companies as far away as China and Brazil.
The accolade is more than just a shiny piece of metal sitting in the company's Chapman Road office, though.
"It can open doors endlessly," said Jason Hogue, co-vice president of Adams Lithographing.
His brother, Wyatt Hogue, also a vice president of the company, said winning the award in the printing industry is similar to winning an Oscar. That recognition can open doors for new business opportunities at the third-generation family-owned company, he said.
"It's an instant qualifier," said Bryan Hogue, co-vice president of Adams Lithographing, adding that companies looking for difficult or unique printing jobs typically seek out the winner of this award.
The piece that won this year's awards wasn't easy to make and took about two years to fully develop, the Hogues said. Using endangered species and sustainability as a platform to promote Adams Lithographing, the company showcased its printing skills with difficult effects such as embossing, spot glossing and gold foil stamping, they said.
Jason Hogue said the content of the book helped it to stand out from the others it was judged against.
"There was no other piece like it," he said. "For one, it was a promotional piece, but also the content and the effects were so different. There was a lot of different pieces to do."
Adams Lithographing also took the opportunity with the piece to focus on its role helping the environment. The company recycles all paper scraps and uses paper that comes from certified sustainable forests.
Benedict said the printing industry traditionally has not been known for being environmentally friendly, and Adams Lithographing wanted to showcase its efforts.
"We want to help the industry change," he said. "It's important to talk about."
Wyatt Hogue said the printing industry has taken a hit as a result of the down economy, with advertising dropping significantly.
But he and his brothers think things will pick up in 2011, and the help of the company's recent award will benefit their ability to grow in the future.
"There's a lot of promising things coming in the future," Jason Hogue said. "And this piece doesn't hurt."
Contact staff writer Brittany Cofer at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/brittanycofer.
Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...