Printing plants are amazing buildings. They are massive in size, which creates an impressive structure from both the outside looking in and the inside looking out. The technology used in plants is breathtaking in complexity to say the least with super-sized printing equipment churning out copies of the day’s news which, when seen in action, is mesmerising.

And the architectural design for the exterior of some of these places is even more appealing to the eye, even for people removed from and completely disinterested in the world of printing. From book publishers to newspaper printers, here are some of the world’s coolest printing plants.

1. New York Times, New York

New York Times

New York Times: The new building where the New York Times gets printed is right in the midst of everyday traffic in Queens, New York. This is appropriate for a newspaper printer since news is supposed to be for and about the masses. The bold colours used in the design are intended to liven up a workplace that could otherwise be seen as drab and mechanical. The design of this printing plant was the result of a collaboration between Polshek Partnership Architects and The New York Times administration. This is actually a controversial building due to the fact that some residents didn’t originally want the building and environmental concerns about its presence have been raised.

2. APM Print, Serbia

APM Print

APM Print, Serbia: The APM Printing plant is an organisation that is significant in its contribution to the economy of Serbia. It is a joint venture between the country’s largest independent newspaper and the Association for Private Media. As one of the most successful businesses in the country as well as a place that provides local independent news, this printing plant isn’t just a cool building but is also an important part of an entire country’s economy.

3. R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Virginia

R.R. Donnelley & Sons

R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Virginia: This 300,000 square foot book publishing plant which was erected in a growing tech park area of Roanoke, Virginia. The design of the building reflects the simple, modern style of the tech park.

4. News International, England

News International

News International, England: This new Rupert Murdoch-owned printing plant is the largest printing plant in the world so you can only imagine the huge volumes of ink cartridges they get through. It’s able to easily accommodate the printing for all four of the newspapers that fall under the News International brand and still have plenty more room for additional printing. It’s large enough to fit over twenty football stadiums inside of its walls. What’s really interesting about this is that the large size is made up mostly of machines since this is a highly-automated printing plant that requires very little in the way of human labour.

5. Amity Printing Company, China

Amity Printing Company

Amity Printing Company, China: Did you know that the world’s largest printing plant for Bibles is located in China? Amity Printing Company is the only Christian publishers approved in Nanjing but that hasn’t stopped the company from expanding to putting out more Bibles than any other printing plant in the entire world.

6. FAZ, Germany

FAZ

FAZ, Germany: The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is one of the largest German newspapers and reportedly the one with the biggest circulation outside of Germany. In order to get the paper to the nearly 150 countries that it reportedly goes out to, there has to be a great printing plant behind the publication.

7. McGraw-Hill, New York

McGraw-Hill

McGraw-Hill, New York: Students across America are familiar with McGraw-Hill because this is the business that prints up the bulk of the textbooks used in their classrooms. The company prints everything from elementary school math books to advanced business books. Their company headquarters are located in New York and their printing plant is big enough to accommodate their particularly massive needs.

8. Quad/Graphics Gravure Printing Plant, Wisconsin

Quad/Graphics Gravure Printing Plant

Quad/Graphics Gravure Printing Plant, Wisconsin: This printing plant has the distinction of being the world’s largest gravure printing plant. This is a type of commercial press printing that does full-colour printing for publications including many top magazines. This company does over $2 billion per year in sales so it needed a printing plant capable of processing massive volumes of literature.

9. Montreal Gazette, Canada

Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette, Canada: Montreal is a bilingual city with the bulk of its news printing in French. The Gazette is currently the area’s only English-language newspaper, which makes the printing press here an important one for the cultural diversity of the area. The Gazette’s plant is currently in the process of an upgrade to be more environmentally friendly.

10. Kansas City Star, Kansas

Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star: This daily newspaper is an important daily newspaper in the United States, having won eight Pulitzer prizes over the years for its journalistic work. While the newspaper isn’t the largest in the country, it’s got an impressive printing plant, which moved to a new, larger location in 2006, that people who live in the Kansas City area tend to be proud of.


2 Responses to “10 of the World’s Coolest Printing Plants”

  1. OnEarthTravel - A wonderful directory of Travel Blog » Blog Archive » World’s Best Printing Plants on January 21, 2009 10:59 am

    [...] clipped from http://www.geekabout.com [...]

  2. Sergio on October 26, 2009 2:17 pm

    Its not about the coolest, how green are they??
    what are they doing to help the environment?

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Hi! I am a self-confessed geek with an insatiable appetite for gadgets and travel. Currently I own a MacBook Pro, 30GB iPod video and a big credit card balance.
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