Quad (company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Quad Graphics)
Company typePublic
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryMarketing & Advertising, Manufacturing
FounderHarry V. Quadracci
HeadquartersSussex, Wisconsin, United States
Key people
Joel Quadracci, President and CEO
ServicesBranding, analytics, content production, signage, packaging, printing
Revenue$2.9 billion USD[1] (2020)
Number of employees
15,800[1] (2020)

Quad is an American marketing company which offers marketing strategy and management services,[2] based in Sussex, Wisconsin.[3] It was founded as a printing company on July 13, 1971, by Harry V. Quadracci. Since 2014, the company has expanded its marketing services.[4] The company has 50 printing facilities in 14 countries,[5] including in Europe, Canada, India, and Latin America, with the majority in the United States. It prints numerous magazines, including Businessweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, People, and Milwaukee Magazine (a title the company owns and self-publishes).


Founding and first national contracts[edit]

Harry V. Quadracci founded Quad, originally named Quad/Graphics, on July 13, 1971, in an abandoned Pewaukee, Wisconsin, factory.[6][7][8] He raised the funds to establish the printing company, in part, by taking out a $35,000 second mortgage on his house, and began with 11 employees.[8][7] Some of the company's first contracts were with Investor magazine and the national Fishing Facts magazine.[8] By 1973, Quad had 25 employees and $2.8 million in sales.[8]

In 1973, Quad founded its first division, Duplainville Transport.[8] It continues to operate as Quad’s trucking division.[9] Over the next few years, Quad continued to grow and had 100 workers and three presses by 1976, and 300 workers and six presses in 1979.[8]

Move to publishing[edit]

In 1983, Quad/Graphics purchased Milwaukee Magazine, and made Betty Quadracci (the wife of Harry V. Quadracci) the president and publisher. By the mid-1990s, the company was printing magazines like People, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, National Geographic, and catalogs for LL Bean and Lands' End; by this time, it had almost 9,000 employees.[10]

Quad began a partnership with Condé Nast in 1993, when it started printing the Architectural Digest. By 2006, Quad was a major print vendor for Condé Nast, and by 2019, Quad was printing all of the publisher's magazines (including Vogue, Brides, and The New Yorker).[11]

In 2002, Tom Quadracci took over as company president after the death of his brother Harry. Harry's son, Joel Quadracci, took over in 2006 as president.[10]

Acquisitions and IPO[edit]

From 2010 to 2013, Quad engaged in a series of acquisitions, and closed several plants. In July 2010, Quad acquired competitor World Color Press,[12] and in August 2010 announced that it would be closing five plants as part of a consolidation plan related to the acquisition.[13] In November it acquired the HGI Company, a commercial and specialty products printer;[14] this was followed by a July 2011 asset swap with Transcontinental Incorporated, in which Quad acquired Transcontinental's Mexican assets, along with its black-and-white book printing business for U.S. export (in exchange for seven of Quad's Canadian facilities).[15][16] The former Quebecor World plant in Aurora, Ontario is now a TC Transcontinental facility. On January 16, 2013, Quad acquired Vertis Holdings, Inc., a printer of retail inserts, direct mail and in-store marketing materials.[17]

In 2010, immediately after closing the deal with World Color Press, Quad held an initial public offering and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.[18][10][19]

Expansion to marketing and business services[edit]

In 2014, Quad began to offer marketing services in addition to printing. In early 2015, BlueSoho was established by Quad as an independent marketing services brand.[20][21][22] In September 2017, Quad won a $450 million contract to print all of Bluestem Brands' catalogs,[11] and in February 2018 Quad acquired Ivie & Associates LLC, a Dallas-based provider of business services for retailers.[23] In March 2018, Quad increased its equity in the Rise Interactive for $8.7 million, resulting in a majority ownership stake (having owned a non-controlling interest in the company since July 2016).[24]

In November 2018, the company acquired LSC Communications in an all-stock deal for $1.4 billion.[25] Shareholders of both companies approved the merger in February 2019. In June 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division sued to block the acquisition. A trial date was set that meant the earliest the company could expect a decision would have been in 2020, a costly delay which caused the company to call off of the deal. Quad paid LSC a reverse termination fee of $45 million, as required by the merger agreement.[26][27] Since 2010 the company has closed 47 printing facilities in response to changing media and advertising trends.[28] As of January 2021, Quad had 50 printing plants around the world, including 41 in the US, with three to be closed during 2021.[29]

In November 2018, Quad agreed to purchase Minneapolis-based advertising firm Periscope, Inc., for $132 million, a deal which closed in January 2019.[30][31] In January 2020, Periscope CEO Elizabeth Ross left, and was replaced by an interim CEO from Quad;[32] in June 2020, Periscope announced Cari Bucci-Hulings would join Periscope as its new president, effective July 6, 2020.[33]

In July 2019, Quad announced it was closing its 220,000-square-foot printing plant in Midland, Michigan, and laying off the plant's 300 employees.[34] In the same year, the company was renamed from Quad/Graphics to Quad.[35]

On July 1, 2020, at least five employees at Periscope walked out in protest against Quad, alleging "interference by its parent company in Periscope’s social media communications about the Black Lives Matter movement and staffer concerns that Quad was releasing deceptive data about its employee diversity."[36] The walk-out was led by a group strategy director at Periscope who, weeks earlier, had started a movement to address the "systemic racism that is afflicting our industry." On July 2, 2020, approximately 150 employees walked out, consisting of nearly the entire agency.[37][38]

In February 2021, Quad and the Quadracci family's Windhover Foundation committed $1 million to a three-year partnership with The BrandLab, a non-profit organization that supports young people from diverse backgrounds to advance in the marketing industry.[39][40]


  1. ^ a b "2020 Annual Report" (PDF). Quad.
  2. ^ "Quad/Graphics Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Sussex, Wisconsin (Headquarters)". Quad. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Quad/Graphics to Buy Ad Agency Periscope for $132 Million". No. November 27, 2018. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Magazine printer Quad/Graphics wants to invest $45 million, add 74 jobs in Saratoga Springs". Albany Business Review. April 9, 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  6. ^ "__symbol__ Stock Quote Price and Forecast". CNN. Retrieved 2024-02-19.
  7. ^ a b Archives, L. A. Times (2002-08-01). "Harry Quadracci, 66; Printing Firm Made Him Among Richest in U.S." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2024-02-19.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Quad/Graphics, Inc. | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2024-02-19.
  9. ^ Staff, Freeman (2021-07-01). "Quad/Graphics sells its third-party logistics company". Greater Milwaukee Today. Retrieved 2024-02-19.
  10. ^ a b c "Quad/Graphics". Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  11. ^ a b "Quad/Graphics to Print All of Condé Nast Magazines". Printing Impressions. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  12. ^ "Quad/Graphics closes World Color acquisition". www.bizjournals.com. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  13. ^ "Quad/Graphics Buys HGI Company". Print + Promo. November 8, 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  14. ^ Burke, Michael. "Quad/Graphics acquires HGI Co. of Burlington". Journal Times. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  15. ^ "UPDATE 1-Quad/Graphics, Transcontinental to swap certain printing assets". Reuters. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  16. ^ "Quad/Graphics to Acquire Mexican Printing Assets From and Sell Canadian Assets to Transcontinental". www.businesswire.com. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  17. ^ Engel, Jeff (17 January 2013). "Quad/Graphics closes acquisition of Vertis at adjusted price". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  18. ^ McCracken, Jeffrey (2010-01-26). "Two Big Printers Expected to Merge". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  19. ^ "Quad/Graphics closes World Color acquisition". www.bizjournals.com. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  20. ^ Thomas, Arthur (2016-08-22). "How Quad became more than just a printer". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  21. ^ MarketScreener. "Quad/Graphics : Introducing BlueSoho – an integrated marketing and technology firm | MarketScreener". www.marketscreener.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  22. ^ Midland Paper Clips (2016-08-25). "Quad/Graphics: A Focus on Defining the Future of Customer Communications". Midland Paper. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  23. ^ Taschler, Joe. "Quad acquires Dallas marketing firm". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  24. ^ Dill, Molly (2018-05-03). "Quad/Graphics paid $8.7 million for Rise Interactive majority stake". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  25. ^ "Quad/Graphics to Buy LSC Communications". Publishers Weekly. November 1, 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  26. ^ Michelson, Mark. "Quad, LSC Communications Call Off Plans to Merge". Printing Impressions. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  27. ^ "LSC, Quad/Graphics abandon $1.4 billion merger after U.S. antitrust suit". Reuters. 2019-07-23. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  28. ^ Thomas, Arthur (2020-11-06). "Quad has cut 1,100 jobs, closed 4 plants this year". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  29. ^ Michelson, Mark. "Quad to Close Three Plants; 650 Workers Impacted". Printing Impressions. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  30. ^ "Quad/Graphics to Buy Ad Agency Periscope for $132 Million". Wall Street Journal. November 27, 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  31. ^ Bruell, Alexandra (2018-11-27). "Quad/Graphics to Buy Ad Agency Periscope for $132 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  32. ^ Rehkamp, Patrick (27 January 2020). "Liz Ross out as CEO of Periscope advertising agency". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  33. ^ Jones, Carter (30 June 2020). "Periscope names Cari Bucci-Hulings as president". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  34. ^ "Midland Quad/Graphics location to close by Sept. 10". Midland Daily News. July 12, 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  35. ^ Wickman, Natalie. "Sussex-based Quad/Graphics will now go by Quad". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  36. ^ "5 Walk Out After Periscope Parent Company Bars Posting About Black Lives Matter". AdWeek. July 1, 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  37. ^ "Periscope employees walk out in protest, claiming ownership muted Black Lives Matter stance". Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. July 2, 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  38. ^ "Social media policy forbidding term 'Black Lives Matter' prompts Minneapolis ad agency walkout". Star Tribune. July 2, 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  39. ^ Schuyler, David (2021-02-18). "Quad, family foundation commit $1M to bring The BrandLab diversity programs to Milwaukee". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  40. ^ Anderegg, Brandon (2021-02-18). "Quad attracts The BrandLab diversity organization with $1 million commitment". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2021-11-10.

External links[edit]