October 10, 2023 By PrintAction Staff
Romy Hahn is the president of Acorn Print Production in Toronto. A print industry veteran, Hahn was fortunate to learn from some the best in the industry. She started her career in 1987 with Duncan McGregor and the Arthurs Jones team, first in production and then in sales. In 2001, Hahn joined Annan and Sons as senior print production manager. She helped the company re-brand itself from a trade plant to a trade/commercial plant. When the company was sold in 2017, Hahn was the sales and marketing director at Annan and Sons.
Hahn’s clients wanted to stay with her and have her manage their print needs. So, the 56-year-old started Acorn Print Production.
Hahn managed to adjust and pivot quickly as well as to offer work that certain print plants excelled at. It was important for Hahn to spread the work around to both commercial and trade plants. Over the last six years, Hahn found that each plant and company excelled more in certain areas than others and that allowed her to diversify her print offerings.
Acorn has customers in the Greater Toronto Area as well as in southern Ontario. It specializes in short run UV digital, large format UV digital and signage, roll up banners, floor graphics, vinyl, window cling, sheetfed printing, web printing, custom die-line packaging, and direct mail.
“We have had our best year ever this past year and have been very busy with all things print. It has been a wonderful experience and I am very grateful for the type of work we have been producing,” says Hahn.
As someone who is living through the tectonic change underway in the printing world, Hahn’s perspective on the industry in invaluable.
What is the state of the print industry today?
RH: The state of the print industry is ever-changing. The production timelines are shorter than they have been in the past, and as a print provider, we have evolved and adjusted to this ever-changing landscape. I do believe there is a return to print, as people are constantly bombarded with digital online messaging and people welcome a printed product in their hand to interact and engage with. There is a perceived higher value and effective messaging with a beautifully printed piece.
What attracted you to the print industry?
RH: In 1991, I graduated from the Toronto Metropolitan University’s Graphic Communications Management program. I have always loved the manufacturing component of all things print, from magazines, small digital runs, large web runs, packaging, and direct mail to large format. It has been interesting and exciting to see the industry evolve.
How can the industry attract more young people?
RH: To attract more young people, the industry could form partnerships with high schools and post-secondary school programs as well as help students entering the print industry find a satisfying career path.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
RH: Winning sales is about building and maintaining relationships and solving problems. As a print provider, it is all about assessing where the need is, then creating a solution that effectively meets that need. It is about providing a service and meeting a need with integrity.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
RH: The biggest opportunities in the print industry today are in packaging and short-run digital work. The AI component is also new and interesting, but overall, the human factor and people are vital to our industry. Experience, technical knowledge, a willingness to help, grow and learn, are to me equally as important as any technology.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
RH: I genuinely love what I do, and l love this industry. I’m grateful to my loyal, longstanding clients and suppliers who I have built strong partnerships with. Integrity goes a long way in our industry. The most exciting thing about print today is that it is ever-changing and not boring. The changes in technology and the strong technical aspects of the industry always keep it interesting.
Romy Hahn’s response was edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of PrintAction.
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