Meet Your Maker: A Trip to Stoughton Printing Co.

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Photo courtesy of Stoughton Printing Co.

Light In The Attic products are handmade. Each LITA LP that you hold in your hands has been touched by at least three other sets of hands. At the Stoughton Printing Co. open house last week, we got to shake a few of those hands, from the founders and project managers to the employees who operate the press and glue art to cardboard. Stoughton makes almost all of the tip-on jackets for our LPs, CDs, and cassettes and we think they do a damn fine job.IMG_8957

The Stoughton office feels like a mini Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, only instead of Patti Smith and Buddy Guy, the LP jackets themselves are the main attraction. When you walk in, there’s a wall of  LP covers printed at Stoughton (can you spot the LITA titles?). And all around the office are displays organized by artist– a display of every Led Zeppelin or Neil Young product printed at Stoughton, for example.

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We also got to meet the good people of Spicers Paper, who provide the high-quality paper that Stoughton prints on. Spicers had two whole tables set up with samples of every kind of paper you could imagine, including ‘the Rolls Royce’ of paper– McCoy. Who knew? “This ain’t Dunder Mifflin,” I joked to the affable Spicers rep, who laughed uncomfortbaly and replied, “Well, we don’t usually go there… but yeah. Although we do also sell copy paper, if that’s what you’re looking for. ” Did I just commit a paper faux pas?

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Rob, one of the head project managers at Stoughton, has a collection of records in his office that would make even the most jaded collector green with envy. A true vinyl head, Rob recalled a recent climb he did on Mt. Whitney, during which he listened to Lee Hazlewood for a solid eight hours. Can you imagine hearing ‘Trouble is a Lonesome Town‘ with a view of the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas at 14,000ft?

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One of Stoughton’s room-sized printing presses.

When we’re browsing through the stacks at a record store and we see the gnarly cover of some unholy metal album, we rarely think of the printing press employee who had to see that ghastly image a thousand times in a day. It’s someone’s job to place the album art by hand onto the glued cardboard with perfect precision. And apparently some of these employees at Stoughton have been “bothered” by past album art. “They talk about it…” said our tour guide. Think of that man or woman the next time you purchase some blood-soaked horror soundtrack. *Cough* One Way Static *cough.* These people are the real MVPs!