Supplier Spotlight: A Q&A With Tranter Graphics

tranter graphics header

So we know it’s hard to find a niche in ANY industry, whether it’s the pet food industry and you’re launching a new dog treat line, or you’re here in the promotional products industry looking to find the latest thing to sell to your customers! It’s very much a dog-eat-dog world we live in – especially when it seems like new products and new trends are popping up every day.

But Tranter Graphics is one supplier company that found their niche and they are thriving! Especially when it comes to customizable food and beverage ware. But how did they get there?

I sat down with Mark Baumgartner, Director of Sales & Marketing at Tranter Graphics, to get the inside scoop on how they got started and how they’re looking forward to the future. While new at Tranter Graphics, Mark isn’t new to promotional products. He has a background in the printing industry, including sales and marketing, plant management, and print manufacturing. The way he puts it, “the last 30+ years pretty much qualifies me to have ink in my veins!”

He also loves the company culture at Tranter Graphics. They’re a family-owned company that’s forged a community and industry-wide respect, with a clear vision for quality products and a healthy work-life balance for their employees. And that family atmosphere is in large part, an ode to how they got their start and why they have become so successful.

The Tranter family has been in the printing business for a while – and Jim Tranter, the founder of Tranter Graphics, saw a niche needing to be filled: custom-printed napkins and placemats in lower quantities. Nobody wants to order 2,500 25th-anniversary napkins to be used for the next ten years! Jim purchased a single machine, and through contacts that his father had established, Jim and his wife Karen quickly outgrew their small 1-car garage operation and purchased their first building in Syracuse, IN!

Digital 3-Ply White Beverage Napkin Item# DIG5BN
Digital 3-Ply White Beverage Napkin
Item# DIG5BN

Through the 80s, Tranter Graphics continued to grow at an exponential rate! They were able to obtain a large plot of land and built the 70,000-square-foot facility that’s still home to Tranter Graphics today.

tranter graphics building

Fast forward to 2005, to mark the 25th anniversary of Tranter Graphics, Jim and Karen decided it was time to pass the torch on to their children: Tammy, Patrick, and Jennelle. With the next generation at the helm and a fresh outlook on the future, it was time for a fresh new look, and Tranter Graphics went through a complete re-brand. They changed everything from their color scheme to their logo!

Following their rebrand, in a time of economic uncertainty, they managed to navigate through one of the worst financial crises in decades (2008, for my Gen Zers out there) and introduced a whole new way for their customers to brand items with TGI Digital by printing via inkjet. This new method allowed their customers to get a full-color, picturesque logo in the low quantities that TGI came to be known by.

As for today, Mark says they feel honored to have the fantastic client base they do with many repeat orders. They’re also proud to continue producing the same high-quality product with the same “customer always comes first” mindset that put their company on the map so many years ago. They have highly skilled and dedicated craft personnel who drive their manufacturing quality to the highest levels. In fact, they had a record-setting year in 2023, and are upping their game for 2024 already!

12 oz. Paper Cup Item# TG706
12 oz. Paper Cup
Item# TG706

So, what should we expect to see from Tranter in the future?

Mark said that “being a leader in the customizable food & beverage service ware industry, Tranter Graphics is always improving on a new and exciting product lineup. Our focus is not just trending items; the procurement of new products has to line up with our core standards like USA-made products and eco-friendly, biodegradables, and renewable resources.”

They’re also focusing on innovation. They have a massive, high-tech lineup of digital equipment, including large format printing and a digital cutting table. Those technological advancements have allowed them to print in full color, which would have been a dream just a handful of years ago! “Let’s not forget about our high-speed web presses that provide our ‘high line’ napkin clients with the products they need and our high-volume cup presses!” Mark said.

And finally, without spilling any secrets, they have a few new products on the way, with some in R&D as we speak, so you’ll have to keep an eye out to see what TGI has in store!

Tranter Graphics has spent the last 40+ years building a reputation that can’t be bought. They provide quality, on-time delivery with world-class customer service.

For more information on Tranter Graphics, click here. To check out other Supplier Spotlights, click here!

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(Marketing Content Writer)

Betty is the Marketing Content Writer at SAGE. She is a self-proclaimed, bonafide nerd, and when she's not writing, you can find her playing video games, watching documentaries, hunting for heavy metal records, and going down rabbit-holes on Wikipedia.

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