Artistic was founded in 1927. It's birth originated when a die-maker for Gibson Greeting Cards, Charles O'Keefe, left to start his own business. He had perfected a way to make composition dies (steel rule set in plaster) of far superior quality than that of the standard of the industry at that time.
Shortly after our origin, we started die cutting with 2 clam shell hand-fed presses. Artistic made it through the Great Depression by die cutting interlocking jig saw puzzles. When the war broke out, Artistic landed a contract with the U.S. Army Air Corps, supplying small, three-dimensional model cardboard airplanes (ours, our allies and the enemy's) to help our gunners in identifying aircraft. This contract lasted over a two year period and some of the cardboard planes can still be seen today in the Smithsonian Institute.
Artistic later went from composition dies to wood jig dies and now into laser dies; and from clam shell presses to cylinders and automatic platen presses. In 1968, our onset into foil stamping and embossing happened, by the purchase of a foil attachment and heat plate for our Chandler & Price, handling a 14" x 22" sheet. We later purchased two hand-fed foil presses, capable of handling a 28" x 41" sheets. Our specialty was foil stamping vinyl, mylar and other substrates, and during this era, we foil stamped millions of decals for the Huffy Bicyle Company.
Over the years, we have entered our work in various contests, sponsored by the Cincinnati Litho Club, the PIA and the Print Excellence Awards, and have won Awards of Excellence, Best of Category, as well as Company of the Year, and Supplier of the Year awards from our customers. Artistic is a family-owned business, now into our fourth generation, and our quest for quality is more important than ever.
God continues to bless us and over the last 3 1/2 years, despite a slow and declining economy, we have been able to grow with the aid of three new pieces of equipment from Brausse. We considered Heidelberg and Bobst since we had a number of their presses already. After seeing what everybody brought to the table, we decided on our first automatic platen Brausse, a 1050SE. We had already bought a 2 meter Brausse press, a PE 2M, moving us into large-sheet format work. Our most recent addition is a 1050 SEF. This high-speed foil stamping press will allow us to be competitive on the large run jobs.
Since purchasing these presses from Brausse, we have been very impressed with every aspect, from the selling price, to the training, service and warranty. Our number one issue was quality, and our growth has continued because we have never forgotten that our start was founded on quality and Brausse is the perfect partner. Like Artistic, Brausse is very customer and quality-oriented and we look forward to our mutual, continued growth.