Union Strong

The printing industry story begins with the founding of our country, playing a crucial role in spreading the ideas that helped establish American democracy. Indeed, the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights guarantees “freedom of the press.” The Union Label, or “bug,” first appeared over one hundred years ago in typographical trade magazines published in New York City. Marking the struggle of working printers, pressman and typographers to establish a fair and safe workplace, the union bug came to signify the professional standards, training programs and up-to-date methods of the men and women who make a free press possible. From design to pre-press and printing, to bindery and finishing, customer satisfaction has always been the goal of union printers. Quality control and trained craftsmanship are key components of our business. While techniques, systems and equipment are always evolving, the union bug is a constant, a guarantee that your print product is of the highest quality and a part of this uniquely American legacy.

The union bug is the mark of our professionalism and dedication, a commitment to excellence required every day at our plant. Our bug becomes your bug, too, signifying to your own customers and the recipients of your printed product that you value true craftsmanship and solidarity. For The Harman Press, a multi-generation family-owned and operated business, our reputation is on the line with every job we print.

The International Allied Printing Trades Council label—the familiar “bug” on all printed material, serves three purposes.

  • Signifies quality standards maintained by optimum working conditions
  • Educates the consumer about the importance of buying union-made products
  • A badge of honor that continues the long traditions of quality craftsmanship
  • The bug also guarantees that the men and women who work on your printed materials receive decent wages and benefits in plants which practice responsible labor-management relations.

    The bug usually appears discreetly at the bottom of a title page or in the corner of a back page. It should be recognized that the union bug is a registered symbol, and is occasionally accompanied by a © symbol. This adds a legal dimension to material duplication; any reproduction of the document, commercial or otherwise, cannot bear the bug unless it is reproduced by union labor. The bug is protected by California state law and printing trade customs, with penalties for misuse. The most common union bug is that of the Allied Printing Trades. The Graphic Communications International Union Bug can be used also since this is the employee union at The Harman Press. It signifies that all aspects of the work, from typesetting to finishing, were performed by union labor.