Northern Illinois University graduate Mark Michelson was among 11 inductees into the Ben Franklin Honor Society of Printing Industries of America during a Nov. 15 black-tie induction and awards ceremony in Chicago. Michelson is editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions Magazine, the most influential and widely read publication for commercial printers.
The Ben Franklin Honor Society of Printing Industries of America recognizes and honors industry leaders who have made lasting contributions to advancing the printing and graphic communications industries. This includes, but is not limited to, Printing Industries of America and its affiliates and the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). Industry visionaries that have rendered outstanding or meritorious service to those associations or the industry are eligible for membership. Any person who was eligible when living may be eligible for posthumous membership.
After graduating with a degree in advertising and journalism from NIU in 1979, Michelson took the position as editor of a daily newspaper in Illinois. Within two years, a move to Philadelphia brought him to North American Publishing Company and the printing and packaging industries, where he took on assignments as editor of Package Printing, and subsequently of World-Wide Printer and El ArteTipografico.
In 1985, Michelson was named editor of Printing Impressions – a post he has held ever since. During his tenure, Printing Impressions paralleled industry growth in stature and scope in the late 1980s and throughout the printing industry’s heydays of the 1990s, reaching more than 85,000 readers each month with its trademark tabloid format.
In addition to planning, editing and overseeing every issue, Michelson’s contributions include creating the Printing Industry Hall of Fame and reporting or overseeing coverage of all 80 professionals inducted into it since 1985. He also is credited with defining and supervising the editorial composition of the publication’s annual Master Specifier, a richly cross referenced buyers’ guide that quickly became an industry “bible” by providing extensive specifications on industry products. In addition, he oversees the annual Printing Impressions 400 ranking of the 400 largest printing companies based on annual sales, and one of the most comprehensive rankings of its kind.
He received the coveted Tom McMillan Award for graphic arts industry journalistic excellence in 2004 among other honors. Printing Impressions has also received numerous APEX Awards for Publication Excellence over the years.
Michelson is responsible for establishing the annual Printing Impressions 400 ranking of the top printers and the Gold Ink Awards printing contest. He has been instrumental in nominating Printing Industries of America officers and members for its Hall of Fame and various other recognitions supported or sponsored by Printing Impressions.
Representing Printing Impressions, he has supported numerous programs as Printing Industries of America’s media sponsor and has participated in nearly every major conference launched by the association.