When In-plant Reproductions decided to change its name to In-Plant Graphics in the winter of 1996 it was not a first for the magazine. Nor a second or third. In-Plant Graphics has, after all, been around for nearly 60 years. (Click here for a complete history.)
In those six decades, the magazine has gone through numerous name changes, from its debut as Offset Duplicator Review to the clunky Reproductions Review and Methods and on to its current moniker, In-Plant Graphics.
Let us take you back the beginning, January 1951, when a man named Richard F. Caruzzi published a little 30-page digest called Offset Duplicator Review out of his office in New York. It featured stories on halftones, inks and the evils of having too much paper to deal with in the office. (Sound familiar?)
The magazine carried that moniker for almost nine years until, in October 1959, it was changed to Reproductions Review to acknowledge "the progressively greater breadth of services now offered by in-plant reproduction departments." Technology was advancing. (Originality was not.)
The next big change came in January 1966 when the book grew to standard magazine size. In September 1971, after a merger with Reproductions Methods, the name was again altered. The rather uninspired result was REPRODUCTIONS Review and Methods. Blah!
Perhaps sensing the wordiness of this title, Editor William B. Leonard Jr. shrunk the size of the last three words in May 1977 so you could barely see them on the cover and simply referred to the book as Reproductions in his editorials.
In January 1979 Editor Robert Rapp tried an experiment and rechristened the magazine Reproductions '79. (He also went for the quick and dirty method of getting readers to pay attention by putting pretty girls on the cover for no apparent reason.)
When December rolled around, though, it apparently dawned on his successor Tom Bluesteen that he couldn't keep using that name in the '80s, so he did a little thinking and came up with IN-PLANT Reproductions.
About a year later, though, some time in the spring of 1981, Bluesteen apparently forgot some of the basic rules of capitalization (e.e. cummings aside) and started spelling the magazine's name IN-PLANT reproductions (with a small "r", for those of you who didn't catch it).
There were variations after that; for several years in the mid-'80s the thing was called In-plant Reproductions & Electronic Publishing, a title almost as long as the magazine itself.
In the years to come, Editor Judy Bockledge didn't mess with the name. Editor Todd Wakai (in his meager five-month reign here) left it alone when he and Art Director Ruth Dudero redesigned the magazine's look. Always the troublesome word "reproductions" clung to life.
Editor Bob Neubauer and former Publisher Jeff OKon helped do away with it in January 1996. In the process they considered a number of ideas, such as Inside Graphics, In-House Imaging, Repro, and Image. But in the end, IPG won out.
Sure, In-Plant Graphics isn't that much of a change, but it's a lot easier to write than the other one. And when you have to say it over and over again on the phone all day long, "In-Plant Graphics" just rolls off the tongue a lot better than the clunky "In-plant Reproductions" used to.
For a much more complete history of IPG, please read the article celebrating our 50th anniversary.
-by Bob Neubauer