The history of Offset Press Inc. (OPI) and hoe it became the largest company in Iran, perhaps in Middle East, is an interesting story that would require one to think that OPI did not come to existence over night, that fifty years of careful planning and use of modern technology together with experience workforce has made OPI one of the leading companies in Iran.
Offset Press Inc. is a bright name in Iran’s printing industry not for its huge size and large volume of production, but for its new and exciting ideas that has changed Iran’s printing industry forever. Printing some of the most sensitive materials in large quantities with a quality that is second to none together with training some of the most skilful workforce, we have not gone out of our way to claim OPI is one of the backbones of country’s economy and culture.
In July 1957 Offset Press Inc. was founded with one thousand shares, in which most of the share holders were publishers of that time. At the time OPI began its operation, the printing industry in Iran was suffering from both quality and not sufficient quantity of print. Offset Press Inc. revolutionised the country’s printing industry by importing the latest printing technology of the time and started printing school books in large quantities for the first time in Iran. Four single colour offset printing machines and a klimsh camera were the equipments that OPI started operation with. Soon after four double 4.5 page, two double page Roland type Favourite, one manual folder, one monophoto typesetting machine and one letter press machine were added to the production line. At this stage the main operation of the company was school books and some work were also done for the National Geographic Centre.
In 1962 one of the share holders of the company sold 600 of his shares to Department of Social Services and this organization became the main share holder of OPI. In 1967 with changes to business laws in Iran, OPI became Private Corporation and again in 1976 became Public Corporation Company. During 1960’s and 1970’s OPI was operating in two separate sites, one at Gothe Street in the heart of Tehran and one in Sorkheh-Hesar which was in the eastern suburb of the city. By 1975 the company’s value was over fifty times its original value and its production was about 85 million copies of school books. At the beginning of 1970’s, Industries Management Organisation of Iran carried out a research in ways to expand OPI and the outcome of the research was to expand the site in Sorkheh-Hesar. In accordance with this proposal the expansion of OPI began in 1973 importing the first series of the roll printing equipments and the last set of these machines were imported and installed in 1977.
After Islamic Revolution in 1979, the growth of population and expansion of education system that became a priority in Iran meant that OPI had to cater for 180 million copies of school books which required an investment and expansion of machinery and equipments to meet this demand. Hence in the last two decades renew and equipping the lithography, plate setters, buying three offset rotation machines and three post press machines have been some of the works carried out by OPI to meet its goal in accordance to the growth in population and education system.
The primary and most important operation of the company since it was founded was printing school books, and if the capacity would allow other materials that school books to be printed, those works were also taken on board. In 1992 Hamshahri Group decided to print a full colour newspaper for the first time in Iran. By considering the printing capacity of the companies at the time, a very careful and perhaps right decision was taken and printing Iran’s first full colour newspaper was handed to Offset Press Inc. Although OPI did not have any experience in printing newspapers, it was important for the company to be the first printing company that prints Iran’s first full colour newspaper and again bringing exciting new experience to printing industry in Iran. This was a milestone in the newspaper printing industry and four years later IRAN newspaper was added to the newspaper printing line at OPI. With careful management and full co-operation of its skilful workforce, this step was taken and now the school books are being printed during the day and newspapers are being printed over night. Since then 140 thousands copies of full colour newspaper have been printed at OPI.
At present, by printing 75 million copies of school books with an average of 160 pages, 165 million copies of 16 pages full colour newspapers, 35 million copies of magazines with an average of 36 pages each, 2 million copies of books, having the most recent technology, enormous volume of production and by having pre-press, press and post-press all under one roof we can proudly state that Offset Press Inc. is the largest printing company in Middle East.