About Action Litho
Founded in 1995 in San Francisco, California, Action Litho has become a well-known positive force in the printing industry, boasting 5 star reviews on Yelp and Google for book printing, color brochures, postcards, invitations and direct mail marketing.
Initially, in 1994, the company name was “Warren’s 1st Impressions.” In the 1990s, online searches for printing companies in the local yellow pages were alphabetized, so instead of placing several A’s in front of our name to improve visibility, (AA Warren’s First Impressions!?!?!) our name changed to “Action Litho.” We were much younger back then, and there was definitely a lot of action involved with starting a new business!
With only a single color A.B. Dick offset printing press, the company began printing letterhead and envelopes in our San Francisco apartment. We subcontracted larger projects, such as book printing, catalog printing and direct mail services to larger, better equipped companies that were cost effective. However, it was our vision to manufacture all of the products that we sold.
In 2003, we acquired multi-unit printing presses and moved the business into our first commercial facility located in South San Francisco, California. We enhanced our direct mail capabilities by adding high speed envelope addressing units that could process addresses on envelopes and postcards at 20k pieces per hour. We also added new high-speed envelope inserters to our mail fulfillment capabilities. The units collate, fold, insert, seal, and produce several thousand mail pieces per hour. We integrated an intelligent bar code system for personalization of mail pieces, to secure inserting and addressing of documents.
We further enhanced capabilities by adding four color printing presses to print custom brochures, and multi piece marketing collateral, while handling direct mail campaigns for non-profit organizations, corporations, colleges, universities and municipalities. Book printing services, and layout and design were added to our capabilities, enabling our customers to have a one stop shop for books, brochures, magazine printing and direct mail.
Production move to Hayward:
In 2007, Action Litho moved to Hayward, California, and we made the decision to add digital printing presses to our company. This was a monumental step for us, because this technology had to compete with the quality of our offset printing presses. We were very satisfied with the performance of our digital printing presses, but more importantly, so were our customers. This enabled us to be very competitive with other commercial printing companies and print shops, however, more elements were needed to keep print jobs at our location and eliminate outsourcing. Our vision was to reduce the turnaround time of outsourcing binding for softcover books, and print finishing. Many items we print are used for trade shows, and it’s typical to have job requests with deadlines that are less than 48 hours.
Book Printing Service | Softcover Books
In 2016, we added a new Horizon BQ 270-C perfect binder to our production capability. This eliminated the need to outsource on demand book printing services for softcover books. The combination of digital printing and softcover book binding was a great compliment to our business, and it reduced customer costs for outsourced projects. Excited with the feedback we received from our customers, we also added a 12 x 18 Kluge to our equipment inventory in 2016. This allowed us to perform several tasks on projects, from custom packaging and foil stamping, to embossing and die cutting. This machine was initially purchased to compliment the perfect binder, by foil stamping or embossing the covers we were outsourcing on custom print magazines. However, to satisfy customer requests, we also utilize this machine for invitation envelopes, wedding announcements, wine labels, wedding envelopes, custom boxes, stationery, brochures, diplomas, certificates, greeting cards, business cards, and custom packaging.
In 2019, we purchased wide format glue machines and casing equipment, and introduced our first line of custom hardcover books. This is ideal for novels, thesis printing, yearbooks, and more.
Donations | Trade Printing
We’re also a very charitable company. We work with local schools and churches, and donate our services to various non- profit organizations throughout the year. We extend low prices to non -profit organizations and desire to help even more. If your non- profit could use our services, please give us a call. We frequently have surplus stock to donate, or print at a discount.
Finally, we’re open to the trade. For clients in the printing industry needing help with a project, we will honor a non-compete agreement. We partner with many print designers and brokers, printing booklets, direct mail campaigns and more. See our service page for our capabilities.