What's New

Price Changes (Effective June 1) and New Equipment

Update (5/18/21)

Effective June 1st, new price rates will go into effect for our products and services. The average price increase, for the hundreds of services we provide, is 11%. While some are increasing, due to labor, equipment and supply costs, others are decreasing, because of the addition of new technology. If you’d like to know the price of your order before it is placed, you can request an estimate.

In April, we installed a digital envelope printer, which now allows us to print in full-color, at a faster and more efficient rate. During the month of June, we will be installing a new inkjet production press, which will improve our efficiency, quality and consistency in producing traditional print. We look forward to passing on these improvements to you, our customer. Please bear with us during this multi-week installation while we migrate from old equipment to new, there may be delays in some orders. We appreciate your business!

Materials Availability


Materials availability is and will continue to be a potential issue on your orders. Prices have also been going up and will continue to. Please consider this with your orders and be prepared to be flexible and/or allow more time. We will continue to mitigate issues the best we can. Thank you, for your understanding.

Printing Service wins 4 more awards from ACUP+!


We are proud and honored to receive 3 gold and 1 platinum award from the Association of College and University Printers 2022 print contest.

  • Platinum: “ISU ‘Spend Smart, Eat Smart’ Campaign Literature”- Offset Production, Multiple Piece
  • Gold: “Octagon Center for the Arts Booklet”-Digital Production, Large Shop, Multiple Page
  • Gold: “ISU Landscape Architecture- ‘Your Land’- Magazine” Offset Production, Multiple Page
  • Gold: “ISU Cyber Guide” Digital Production – Large Shop, Multiple Piece
Iowa State University Printing Services was one of only a few schools that received 4 or more awards. Director, Nathan Thole, says: “Thank you, to everyone, who has worked so hard on these jobs, I am very proud. It really helps when our hard work gets recognized like this.”

Signage Update

Effective 10/11/21

There have been recent changes to the process for requesting some signs and graphics, specifically those that install/hang on university property. For this type of product, you may need to fill out a project request with FP&M, to ensure university policies are followed. Printing Services will determine if it is necessary based on your print request and notify you.

Printing Services Celebrates 100th Anniversary


The 100 year anniversary is a monumental milestone for our proud department. We are also proud to be part of and support the wonderful Iowa State University for so long. Thank you, to all of university customers, that have helped us stay viable over the years. It’s almost unfathomable how much has changed in the last 100 years in our department and the printing industry, as we strive to stay on top of products, technology and service. We have some revolutionary new equipment anticipated in the next few months that will help launch us into the next 100-years of printing. Stay tuned!  -Nathan Thole, Director of Printing Services.

4 In-Print 2021 Awards Won!


We are proud to share that we’ve won 4 awards from the IPMA (In-Plant Printing & Mailing Association) for 2021! This is an annual print competition that all types of in-plant printers across the U.S. participate in. We’re proud to share these awards with our university customers; Recreation Services, University Book Store and Athletics!


Printing Services Customer Survey- 2021


Thank you to all who took the time to fill out our customer survey. We received 587 responses total. We have taken all comments and responses into consideration, while developing plans to remedy issues and continue improving our services. We found the results interesting and useful, please see the attached report/summary. Printing Services Customer Survey 2021 Entire Results

View the entire results for the 2021 Printing Services Customer Survey

We’ve won another print award!


A Job entry from the College of Design helped us win a bronze award from IPMA, (In-Plant Printing & Mailing Association) https://ipma.org/in-print-awards-2020/! We are proud to share this accomplishment, as it helps us exemplify the level of quality, expertise and pride we have!

We’ve won more print awards from the Association of College and University Printers!


We are honored to receive some prestigious recognition with winning submissions from a few of our customers. Job entries from the College of Design and Navy ROTC helped us win 2 golds and 1 platinum award from the nationwide ACUP+ association (http://www.acup-edu.org/2020-ACUP-Award-Winners) We are proud to share this accomplishment, as it helps us exemplify the level of quality, expertise and pride we have!

We are proud of our great partnership with ISU Transportation Services!


click here to read the article

COVID-19 signage and products are available!


The university has developed a central messaging campaign to encourage healthy behaviors and establish social norms for employees, students and visitors who return to campus. Having a consistent look and message is vital and fundamental building signage is a big factor in campaign success. The messaging is simple, clear and consistent, with attention to accessibility requirements. A Social Behavior Messaging committee has developed the fundamental signage that is available here. These signs are being centrally funded for Ames campus facilities and orders should coordinated by Building Supervisors.” Not a building supervisor and need to place an order, but not sure who your building supervisor is?...find them by looking up your building here

Clear Safety Barriers are not centrally-funded, but available through our partners at Central Stores. If you think you need a custom solution, please request an order or estimate.

New Location - Printing Services at the Student Innovation Center!


After months of anticipation, we’re excited to announce the merge our Union Drive Community Center Copy Center and Memorial Union Copy Center into one, at the new Student Innovation Center. The Student Innovation Center doesn’t plan to open to the public until Fall, but we’ll still take care of your printing needs. The recommended way to submit order and estimate requests is via our website (www.print.iastate.edu) and navigate to the applicable selection on the top or right side of the page. Our new contact information is:

Printing Services at the Student Innovation Center
Room 2114
606 Bissell Road
Ames, IA 50011

We anticipate big improvements in cost and efficiency, with no degradation to our great service. This is an exciting move for our department and we look forward to being part of this amazing new building.

As of 3/18/20, Printing Services is still operational…with the exception of our Memorial Union Print Center location.


We have taken precautions to minimize the potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as directed by ISU officials. For instance, the Printing and Publications building is locked down to anyone who does not have key-card access, but arrangements can still be made for pick-ups and deliveries to our building. We are also still delivering as usual, with the assumption we have access to your campus building. Until something changes, we are able to handle your print communication needs!

We have been highlighted in Inside Iowa State!


Take a look at this great article about Printing Services in ISU's Inside Iowa State! "ISU Printing's variety is unbound by paper" Thank you to Inside Iowa State for spreading the word about who we are, our capabilities and how our services benefit our university. Read the article here.

We Have a New Name!


Effective immediately, the “Printing and Copy Services” title of our department has changed to “Printing Services”. While it may take some time to get it updated in all university systems, we’ve received official approval. Here is some of the justification that was provided for this change:

  • The word “Copy” refers to a, now, antiquated and rare method of producing printed products.
  • At one time, our department was named “Printing Services” and most people refer to us as such anyways.
  • We are consolidating our 2 existing “Copy Centers” to one, new, location at the Student Innovation Center in early 2020. If we were consistent with our historic naming convention, it would be referred to us as the “Student Innovation Center Copy Center”, being redundant in terminology. We believe this is a good opportunity to simply call it “Printing Services at the Student Innovation Center”. We also hope this will help our university customers understand that this new satellite quick-print center is the same Printing Services entity.

New Location at the Student Innovation Center Coming Soon!


After careful consideration, Printing Services management would like to announce our plan to merge our Union Drive Community Center Copy Center and Memorial Union Copy Center into one, at a new location in the new Student Innovation Center in early 2020. We anticipate big improvements in cost and efficiency, with no degradation to our great service. With technology available today, the vast majority of our orders come via our Printing Request form on our website, minimizing the need for as many physical satellite locations. At one time, when there was the need, Printing Services employed as many as 9 “Copy Centers” throughout ISU’s campus. This is an encouraging move for our department and we look forward to being part of this amazing new building.

Versatility Brings Viability to Iowa In-plant


Iowa State University Printing Services was recently highlighted in the In-Plant Impressions newsletter. The article showcased the value added to Iowa State with the addition of our Océ Arizona 2280 GT flatbed UV printer and a Colex SharpCUT SX1631 flatbed cutter. Read the article here!

ADA-Compliant Wayfinding Signage

We have collaborated with key units within Iowa State University to find a solution for ADA-compliant way-finding signage on campus.

Our printing in-plant has had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Facilities Planning & Management and the Department of Residence this past year to find a solution for ADA-compliant way-finding signage on campus. Thanks to advancements in printing technology, we now have the ability to print to the required specifications of ADA signage. This includes replicating Braille and/or raised characters, which typically measures to about 1/32” from the surface of the substrate.

The previous process for creating these signs required making signs one at a time with pre-purchased lenses. These lenses then had to have an adhesive material applied to them, cut-out one-at-a-time with a CNC-machine and manually weeded to create the text/characters of the sign. Lastly, the operator would manually insert Braille “BB’s” by hand, one-at-a-time into CNC-machine pre-drilled holes.

The acquisition of the right flatbed printer, cutter, software, and ISU Printing Services’ expertise, has allowed us to produce the ADA signage in a much more efficient way. Our department worked closely with Office of EO and FP&M to ensure ADA-specifications and any other requirements were being met. There was a lot of testing that needed to be done, specifically with developing the correct ink mixture to ensure specification-adherence, desirable appearance and substrate adhesion. By starting with a 48”x96” substrate, printing and cutting at least 55 at-a-time, we’re able to produce these signs at a much lower cost.

These new capabilities will help us reduce costs for all new signage projects on campus and should make it more financially feasible to upgrade existing signage to be fully ADA-compliant. Ultimately, this new endeavor has been a fantastic, collaborative opportunity for our department to showcase our strengths, capabilities and commitment to this great university.

Outsourced-Print Administration Fee Notice

Effective July 1st, 2019, we will begin assessing a 5% fee on all external print orders we facilitate.

Currently, any work that Printing Services cannot efficiently handle internally gets bid-out and procured with external vendors. The agent(s) in the printing department, that handles this administration, does not currently collect any revenue for this service. These “Contract Administration” duties account for the vast majority of the print-buyer’s time. The total cost of outsourced print, that went through our office, in the past year totaled about $933,803.

Our department is a 100% cost-recovery, Fee-For-Service unit which must charge for all products and services we provide. To align with fee-for-service rules, we will be charging for print-outsourcing administration, as a percentage of the total outsourced print-service cost. Effective July 1st, 2019, we will begin assessing a 5% fee on all external print orders we facilitate.

By having an experienced print-buyer on staff to facilitate these orders for our campus customers, we save the university as much as $230,000 when comparing the highest bids to the winning bids, based on this past year. This position also provides the peace-of-mind that print orders will be handled with someone who has knowledge and experience in the printing industry, all while supporting the brand and best interests of the university. This greatly outweighs the cost of administration expenses.

We understand that this can be a strain on budgets, but we will always be looking for more cost-effective ways to provide our customers the highest quality products and services as we can. We are also constantly working to keep as much print work on campus as we can, which will give us more leverage for keeping costs down, quality higher and turn-arounds faster.

IPMA Organizational Impact Award!

Iowa State University Printing Services is thrilled to win the IPMA Organizational Impact Award for 2019.

The IPMA (Inplant Printing & Mailing Association) Organizational Impact Award recognizes an in-house publishing operation that excels in efficient management practices in furthering the objectives of the parent company. While contributions of individual managers are important, this award judges and recognizes the efforts of the entire in-house staff.

“Iowa State University Printing Services is thrilled to win the Organizational Impact Award for 2019. Providing an efficient, economic and quality solution for our university’s ADA-compliant signage needs is a great opportunity for our proud group. I’d like to thank my staff and vendors who have helped us make this lofty endeavor a reality. Branching out from traditional print products and being diverse in our product offerings will help us preserve and improve our value to our parent organization. We are proud to be recognized with this prestigious award and look forward to building on this accomplishment. Thank you IPMA,” said Nathan Thole, Director-Iowa State University Printing Services.