Schawk has designs on consumers' products. The company provides digital prepress and other graphic services primarily for consumer product packaging, advertising, and point-of-sale marketing. It offers digital imaging, color separations, electronic retouching, and platemaking services for lithography, gravure, and flexography. Ultimately the company is responsible for manipulating images used to entice consumers to buy a product. Schawk operates from more than 150 facilities and more than 15 countries in North America, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region. The family of founder and chairman Clarence Schawk owns a controlling stake (more than 50%) in the company. It has been in operation since 1953.
Because its work is delivered through multiple mediums, Schawk classifies its business into four categories. "At home" includes catalogs, circulars, and direct mail; "at the store" covers point-of-sale displays, in-store merchandising, and interactive displays; "on the shelf" refers to packaging; and "on the go" includes outdoor and mobile advertising. Graphic services account for most of Schawk's sales. In addition, the company provides brand strategy and creative design services under the Anthem Group brand, as well as digital asset management, workflow management, and online proofing software.
Schawk reported an increase in sales in 2010 due an overall improvement in the global economy. Specifically, the company saw increased revenue from its consumer product packaging clients, which make up more than 70% of sales. In response to the improving economy, the company saw more revenues from consumer packaged goods clients, which increased their branding activities, including packaging redesigns and sales promotion projects. Schawk also reported higher net income that year, thanks to the company's cost reduction plan, which included job cuts and other spending cutbacks.
Over the years Schawk has grown via acquisitions of complementary businesses -- approximately 60 since the company was founded in 1953 -- and it has signaled that it will continue to pursue that strategy. To that end, in September 2011 it acquired Lipson Associates, Inc. and Laga, Inc., which does business as Brandimage. Brandimage is a brand development and design firm that has nine offices across Asia, Europe, and the US. In 2010 Schawk bought digital marketing agency Real Branding, with offices in San Francisco and New York. It made the purchase to enhance its brand point management capabilities and expand in the digital marketing space. Previously that year the company expanded its digital marketing service capabilities in the UK with the purchase of Untitled London Limited.