By Keith R. Higgons
Located right on the corner of Berry and Broadway—389 Berry Street, to be precise—Print on Broadway (POB) is a premier new print shop that is home to some of the most state-of-the-art print machinery.
Jovial local publisher Abraham Lebowitz opened POB to fulfill his own printing needs, and then realized he could also fill the needs of the community. Having spent the past year mastering the tricks of the printing trade, he is now eager to take his skills to the other side of Broadway—the side that wears black for an entirely different reason.
Immediately upon entering Print on Broadway I was struck but the lack of flashy banners. There’s no unnecessary signage, just a wide array of machines, some big, some not so big. Some even look like they belong at NORAD. This was a print shop as it should be, full of equipment happily purring away. It is exactly this sort of aesthetic that gives POB the air of printing professionalism.
But it’s not just the look. As employee Yitzi Younger led me on a tour, he gave me the detailed lowdown on the machinery, from the complexity of the squareback printer, to the state-of-the-art Canon color printer, and everything in between, including the in-house UV coating capability.
Lebowitz has gone to great lengths to give the neighborhood access to an up-to-date printing facility. But perhaps more importantly, he has gone one step further: he has secured a staff of printing experts.
In a particular display of deep knowledge, Younger and a local graphic designer named Isaac explained the concept of “creeping.” The idea that it was more than just a Facebook activity was news to me. As they schooled me, I soon discovered that creeping is a pretty complicated and detailed print process that, based on the examples I saw, POB has become quite adept at.
Creeping is what happens when the bulk of the paper in a saddle stitched booklet (a very common binding method) causes the inner printed pages to extend or “creep” further out than the outer pages, when folded. To keep the margins consistent, the images or text must be moved slightly. It’s a pretty intense process, done both manually and with software. It’s one we don’t think about, but we would go bonkers if it weren’t there.
Home printers, despite their technological advancement, can’t get the color detail or the stunning grayscale that the machines at Print On Broadway can. If you require a more professional look, there are certain things better left to the experts. In our neighborhood, it’s Lebowitz and his team.
When I asked Lebowitz how he could serve both the local artistic and entrepreneurial Williamsburg communities, he became animated and said he couldn’t wait. He waved his arm around the room and said his shop can meet whatever printing needs artists, architects, or entrepreneurs have.
“We’ll do anything,” he said.
Print on Broadway
389 Berry Street (corner of Broadway)