When Barefoot Press opened in early 1987, few paper companies sold recycled paper and few clients wanted to use it. At that time, no one knew what the term “green printing” meant.
But owner Richard Kilby was intent on using and promoting green printing practices – one of a few in the country to do so at that time. So he talked to representatives from paper mills about the possibilities and got some doors slammed in his face. More than one told him recycled paper was a fad, and the industry had no intention of expanding its supply beyond California, the only market actively selling it. So Kilby had recycled paper shipped across the country, and he worked hard to convert his clients, with modest initial success.
Barefoot Press opened in the back room of a bookstore that also produced hand-made paper — with Kilby as the only employee. He began with a 1960’s model AB Dick 360 single-color offset press and a WWII vintage hand-operated paper cutter. Initially, we served the needs of the Raleigh area’s lively independent magazine and music scene. The company ultimately developed a national reputation for its 7-inch record covers and innovative cardboard CD packages, called the “Rhinopack” after the mascot Durer illustration “rhinoceron”.
Several expansions later, Barefoot Press now has top-flight modern multi-color presses, as well as a robust large-format digital printing operation. Building on a core belief in serving small businesses and helping them be competitive, we now serve as a single point of contact for all marketing needs, from logo and web design to print and point of sale signage, media placement and direct mail.
Over the years, we have won over a hundred awards for print quality and graphic design. One year, Barefoot Press took “Best in Show” at the PICA awards for small press printing in North and South Carolina, in a competition sponsored by Mac Papers. Up against hundreds of entries on virgin fiber paper, our entry was a CD package printed with soy inks on unbleached paper made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled waste. The cover image was of a clear-cut forest.
Our commitment to green printing is evident throughout the operation — from our use of soy-based inks and low-VOC, water-miscible chemicals to process plates and wash the presses, to responsible disposal of waste, both chemical and paper. When we moved into our own building last year, we “recycled” a 1950s-era industrial building, using sustainable materials such as bamboo floors, energy efficient appliances, lighting and windows.
Now that worries about global warming and the environment have heated up the market for green printing, many printers are scrambling to get in on the action. Barefoot Press is proud of its established record and 20+ years of experience with eco-friendly products and processes. We’re ready to put that knowledge to work for you to help develop projects that minimize environmental impact while maximizing marketing impact.