Twin City Print Shop

Phone: 952-922-8649


Copyright 2013, 2020. Twin City Print Shop. All Rights Reserved.

How We Began

My father owned The Print Shop back in the 1960's. When I was young, I used to go to work with him and mess around with the equipment, making funny creations, greeting cards, altering photographs of my brother and making copies of my creations. His partner, my uncle Jon, was into photography and design, and created the first signage used in the Minneapolis parkway system. 

Sometimes I used to help out (got drafted) with large printing projects, like spending nearly an entire summer collating a huge print job on our ping-pong table, and finally helping to deliver the finished product to area churches. I have never been so happy to complete and deliver a print job!

In junior high school, I took a graphics arts class, where we actually set type (way before computer typesetting), and created and printed our own notepads and business cards on a mechanical printing press.

My first printing job was in 1978 at Campus Copy Shoppe on the University of Minnesota campus, where I learned how to operate an AB Dick 360 offset printing press. It was a fun atmosphere, working with my mentor Ivar. Eventually when I became the shop manager, I recall asking the owner of the shop for a $1 per hour raise, which made him nearly choke on his cigar. I ended up with a 50 cent per hour raise...

From there I went to work at a Carlson Company print shop, a high volume shop where we printed for all of the Radisson Hotels nationwide, and also for wholesale food distributor May Company. While employed there, I learned to operate all the bindery equipment in the shop, including cutters, folders, collaters, hole punchers, laminators, and perforating equipment. I was becoming quite a proficient print shop operator. 

My next move was to a high production full service print shop in Hopkins, MN. This was where I really learned to print high quality, exacting and difficult multi-color print jobs. A huge sense of pride came over me as I saw the outstanding work that I was creating. I saw the entire print workflow, from concept to art to print to bindery. I became manager of the 2nd shift, and soon after that began to handle the printing needs for friends and family. I was printing more and more of my own jobs which I ran through this company, using the employee discount to be able to earn a little income. 

One day I discovered that Kinko's offered free desktop publishing classes, where they taught programs like PageMaker and Photoshop with their Macintosh computers, which were then available to rent by the hour. I took the classes, and soon was at Kinko's nearly every day, using their Macs to layout, typeset and design artwork for my customers. (I was there so many nights that my wife thought I was cheating on her!)

After a while, I was able to purchase my own Macintosh Performa computer system, which included a color inkjet printer, software, and everything I needed to work on graphic design. I was building up a network of local printers - friends I had worked with - and had them print the jobs that I was creating for my clients.

One of these local printers was Ken Clarins, who operated a full print shop out of his basement, and had been for decades. I'd bring the artwork and jobs to Ken. He would print them, then I'd deliver them to my customers. After working with Ken for a couple of years, he decided to retire from the printing business. I found a partner and we purchased all of Kens equipment, and started printing on our own. 

Since then, we have forged relationships with other partners that keep us growing and expanding our print capabilities. We now utilize the traditional offset printing that we began with, and also offer digital color and large format printing, web and jet press printing, flexographic label printing, and more. I am proud to say that we can now produce nearly anything and everything printed for our clients. 

Michael LaFond, owner

Twin City Print Shop