Print Week 2023: Maxwell and Printer of the Year Award Recipients
Our Print Week traditions not only include celebrating our Print Excellence Award winners, but we honor individuals and companies who have greatly impacted the industry. This week, we congratulate our Southern Region special awards recipients.
Since 1963, our Southern Region has recognized an individual in the print community, as well as a prominent company, for their outstanding contributions.
The Maxwell Award is given to a company who demonstrates forward thinking, is a market leader, and is recognizable for its contributions to both the industry and local community.
Congratulations to our 2023 Maxwell Award Winner, Graphic Village!
The humble story of Graphic Village began a century ago when Sylvester Bramkamp founded the Bramkamp Printing Company in 1921. Shortly after opening the doors, the company installed one of the first Heidelberg presses in the Cincinnati region; establishing Bramkamp not only as an early adopter of printing innovations, but also as purveyors of exceptional quality and customer service – standards that continue to distinguish the company today.
The genesis of what would become Graphic Village occurred in 1998, when Larry Kuhlman and Kevin Murray purchased the Bramkamp Printing Company, which was still operating in Downtown Cincinnati. They soon realized the space was not large enough for their intended company vision, and, in 2000, relocated to a 21,000-square-foot facility in Winton Place. Business continued to grow, and in 2008 they moved to a much larger facility in Blue Ash, Ohio.
Much has changed since the early Bramkamp days. Digital printing and other advanced technological innovations have transformed the printing industry – and the company – in ways that would have been inconceivable to Sylvester Bramkamp. The vision for a graphic village originated in the early 2000s with owners Kuhlman, Murray, Jeff Hudepohl and Bob Smith, who understood that it can take a village to provide exceptional service in order to bring a brand to life. The concept was formalized in 2013 shortly after Eric Kahn, the current Executive Chairman, purchased the company and renamed it Graphic Village.
Backed by 100+ years of experience, and a 160,000-square-foot headquarters, Graphic Village has evolved into a premier provider of specialized printing services – representing a range of skills, strengths and experiences, and growing their presence to comprise four locations in four states, these include Cincinnati, Ohio, Muncie, Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois. As their Midwest reach expands, so too does their support in those cities. Graphic Village is committed to investing time and talent in the communities they work, play and live; and whether it’s through volunteer efforts or charitable donations, they strive to have a greater impact in helping those communities thrive and grow.
With an eye continually focused on leveraging new technologies, the company has experienced exceptional growth and development over the past decade – leading them to offer an array of printing solutions as varied as the clients they serve. Today, their suite of capabilities comprises, among other things, comprehensive printing, packaging, large format, direct mail, large-volume kitting, fulfillment, shipping, warehousing and branded merchandise services.
Operating with collaboration at the forefront of each partnership creates stronger, personal ownership in a project outcome. Concurrently, with so much time, thought and work going into a client’s concepts, Graphic Village understands that white-glove service and flawless production are also unequivocal expectations of a partnership. Opening up the process, listening, guiding and communicating is how they provide real value to every relationship. Accordingly, they execute, with precision, craftsmanship and accuracy, the right combination of technology, techniques and finishing to transform creative ideas into unique experiences that flatter a brand – most often with award-winning results. Their open approach inspires them to discover new ways of working better, smarter and more efficiently, and elevates the positive impact they can co-create for their clients and community.
The recipient of Printer of the Year is actively engaged in any field of the graphic arts industry, have a minimum of 15 years’ experience and have distinguished himself/herself by their contributions in the industry. They should also be involved in their community and/or civic affairs. This year we are pleased to present the Printer of the Year to Kevin Murray of Graphic Village.
"I have dedicated my entire career to the printing industry, starting with a part-time job at Bramkamp Printing when I was just 15 years old. My father, Tom, was the President and part-owner of the company for many years, and his passion for printing was contagious. After earning my degree from Xavier University in 1985, my father asked me to join the company full-time, and I have been with the business ever since. I have held various positions over the years, including as President for a decade.
In 1998, I partnered with a college friend, Larry Kuhlman, to purchase Bramkamp Printing, and in 2013, we sold the majority interest to Eric Kahn. Eric renamed the company Graphic Village, which we had been using in our marketing campaigns to promote our services in prior years.
Throughout my career, I have been an active member of various business councils, such as the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory, Blue Ash Business Advisory, and the Graphic Media Alliance (formerly PIANKO) Southern Advisory Council. Being a part of these organizations has allowed me to give back to the business and printing communities as well as to learn from my peers.
However, my most significant blessings are my family. I have been married to my loving wife, Linda, for almost 37 years, and we have two children: Michelle and Josh, as well as two grandchildren: Grayson and Ella, with a third, soon-to-arrive, Melina. Spending time with my family and friends is one of my top priorities. I spent many years coaching baseball, basketball and serving on my parish's pastoral council, finance committee, and festival committee.
And finally, as many folks know, I am an avid Xavier Musketeers basketball fan! Go X!"
We look forward to you joining us at The Backstage Event Center on Thursday, March 2 to honor these well-deserving award winners. Registration details can be found below.
In the Southern Region, you can attend the annual Southern Region reception to honor the Print Excellence Awards winners and vote for the People's Choice Award winner. We will also be presenting the 36th Maxwell Award and the 2023 Printer of the Year. The Southern reception is set for Thursday, March 2 starting at 6:00 pm. Registration is $75, and non-member is $120.
New Location This Year:
The Backstage Event Center
625 Walnut St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Central Region reception will honor Print Excellence Awards winners on Thursday, March 9, starting at 6:00 pm. Come for the Print Excellence Awards, stay to celebrate the recipient of the 2022 Franklinton Award! Registration is $75, and non-member is $120.
New Location this Year:
Brick & Mortar
580 N. 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
The Northern Region combines the fun and the awards at the annual Ben's Bash. Join us on Thursday, March 16, starting at 6:00 pm. In addition to the Print Excellence Awards winner being recognized, we will be inducting a new member into the Hall of Distinction. This event will be the highlight of the print scene; don't miss it! Registration is $75, and non-member is $120.
New Location This Year:
1501 E. 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
For the Michigan Region, we will be celebrating the Print Excellence Awards winners on Thursday, March 23, starting at 6:00 pm. You won’t want to miss which wonderful printed pieces were awarded gold, silver and bronze and which companies will take home the Best of Region designation as well as the People's Choice Award. Registration is $75, and non-member is $120.
New Location This Year:
Diamond Banquet and Conference Center
46100 Grand River Ave.
Novi, MI 48374
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