Heeter announced on June 20th, 2023 that it had acquired Laurel Print & Graphics.
Laurel will become a Heeter Company, operating independently from its Duquesne, PA facilities. Here is a link to the press release.
Snapshot of Laurel Print & Graphics
Keith Jones bought Laurel Print & Graphics in 1990. The printer – originally based in Wilkins Township and then in White Oak – operated as a letterpress shop for much of its business life.
Laurel’s products are typically found in venues (think PPG, Acrisure, Star Lake) and retailers \. Products include signs, printed fabrics, vehicle wraps, and metal plates.
Laurel also adds graphics to manufactured products like Pickleball racquets.
Laurel employs 15 team members- many of whom have been with the company for many years.
A Major Storm Changes Laurel’s Focus
Hurricane Sandy struck Pittsburgh in 2012 and flooded Laurel’s facility. All of its equipment was lost and needed to be replaced.
Keith quickly mobilized to save his business. He attended the first print equipment trade show on the calendar and found it was focused on wide-format presses. He purchased a press, started focusing on this segment of printing, and hired a salesman with skills in selling wide-format products.
It turned out to be a fruitful focus as there were a lot fewer printers which could deliver the growing demands for signage and other large format signs.
Continued Investment in Leading-Edge Wide Format Presses
Keith has continued to invest in new equipment to ensure Laurel remains one of just a few printers in the region that can deliver very large and specialized printed products. Laurel has become the ‘go to’ printer for many projects that are very large or required specialized materials such as printing on fabric.
Laurel operates these presses:
- EFI Regiani Fabrivu
- (2) Vutek h5 presses
- EFI Pro 30
They also have extensive cutting, sewing and finishing capabilities.
New Facility in Duquesne
Laurel moved into a new building in the City Center of Duquesne about 5 years ago. The building is a RIDC (industrial) Park which was on the former grounds of the Duquesne Steel Works and is just up the road from Kennywood Park.
A positive feature of this industrial park is that it’s flat which makes expansion simple. Laurel recently expanded its building from 10,000 square feet to 20,000.
Project Snapshot: Heinz Bottle
We just finished up this little project (April, 2023). OK, it wasn’t exactly a ‘little’ project considering it was a 35′ tall, 7500 pound, Heinz Ketchup bottle.
This job took a good bit of project coordination between multiple companies and contractors but we successfully restored it to its original condition.
The bottle is made of fiberglass and sustained 22 years of Pittsburgh weather as it sat atop the scoreboard of the former Heinz Field. When the stadium naming sponsorship changed to Acrisure Stadium in July of 2022, the two bottles had to come down. The bottles had sat through the elements outside on the back of a trailer, hidden away from public view. Even though it had a tarp covering a portion of it, the bottles still filled with hundreds of gallons of water. It was clear that all of the electronic and hydraulic equipment inside will never be used again.
Restoring the bottle to its former glory
After having already converted two concession stands inside Acrisure Stadium to the Heinz brand, Kraft-Heinz called on Laurel Print & Graphics once again to make this bottle restoration happen.
The first step was sanding. The entire bottle had to be completely sanded and a few spots of damage to the fiberglass repaired before a fresh coat of primer and automotive paint was applied. The paint was baked twice to be sure it was well cured and the paint was properly outgassed.
After the painting was complete, we applied the new bottle labels using 3M 180c vinyl decal with 3M 8519 laminate.
The 35′ tall condiment bottle was then transported to Acrisure Stadium on a flatbed tractor trailer where it was hoisted by a large crane over the gates and dropped into position within the new Heinz Gate (formerly Gate C). Brackets were installed on the side of the stadium and the bottle was put in place.
Making It an Instagram-Worthy Moment
After the bottle installation was complete and the heavy equipment was taken away, it was time to finish the display. With a crew of 3 installers, we went to work applying a wall graphic below the bottle to make it an Instagram-worthy moment. Using 3M 480svt, we wrapped the exterior brick using all of the tools we had available to sink it into the 1.5″ – 2″ grooves of the very rough surface. With a scissor lift, heat gun and rollers in hand, we got the entire wall installed in less than a day.
Our client, Kraft-Heinz, and Steeler fans are happy after seeing the bottle return to the stadium.