We believe in a strong community. We believe in helping others and we believe in utilizing our expertise where we can to help individuals and organizations.
We believe that giving to those in need helps build a strong community that contributes to everyone’s success. At Gage, we have given to many local organizations over the years providing promotional products for fundraising efforts and partnering with sponsorship opportunities.
GAGE is active in the community and is proud to support the following organizations:
by Stephen Gage
I remember when my father started this business in 1977. He started at home and he had the garage packed with many wooden cabinets loaded with drawers and drawers of lead type. Back then Dad took up printing as a hobby and it developed into a business. Dad really liked the equipment and the artistic process of printing. Each of those drawers had a complete alpha numeric set of one type face in maybe two or three sizes. Dad would meticulously arrange words letter by letter and insert them in a chase that would be installed on a platen press shown here on the right. Of course after the print job was complete, Dad would need to clean all the type and organize them back in the wooden drawers. Looking back it seemed to be quite the cumbersome process.
Starting as Gage of Guthrie – because that’s where we lived – the name has changed a few times. My father moved several times since Guthrie and so did the name. Bill’s Rubber Stamps followed and then he changed it to Gage Marking Products Inc. That’s when I joined the business.
My father had recently acquired a storefront location on Dunlop Street in downtown Barrie and business soon began to thrive. Dad needed help, so I started to come in at nights and help out. As I did more in the business I became interested in learning more. After a couple years the business got busy enough to hire me full time, so I took a leap of faith and jumped in with both feet. In 1988 we incorporated the company.
The business has seen quite a few changes in technology over the years. When I started there were no desktop computers so we were still using the photographic process to create type and images. My father was intrigued by computers and soon had a hobby of learning how they worked and trying different ones. He had a Commodore 64, an IBM Pet and some of the first Apple desktops. Soon the business had a sparkling new 286 personal computer. What a change the computer made. Now designs took minutes instead of hours. The immediate change enhanced all our products and services.
As the business grew and more equipment was needed we ran out of space. A larger storefront became available not too far down Dunlop Street and we made it our new home. After five years at that location my father retired and I took over sole ownership. I also found that we could not continue at a downtown location. The larger the business grew the bigger the equipment needed to be and the building became inadequate for that expansion.
So we relocated to Hart drive into an industrial building with a concrete floor and large doors. It was at that location we created a division within the company, Gage Print & Design. This name was created to effectively market our printing and graphic design products and services. With the evolution of the internet, we also expanded into website design and online marketing offering a complete business communication service to our clients and helping them move their business online.
In 2009 we were on the move again. This time the move was to the south end of Barrie where many of the business we serviced were moving to. It was an easy decision as there were many changes at our old location that we did not see as improvements.
Our next location was 551 Bryne Drive in Barrie’s south end. It was new, clean, highly visible and well appointed. A large parking area made it convenient for our clients. During this move in 2009 we changed the name once more – hopefully for the last time – to Gage Business Communication Inc. I wanted a name that reflected all our products and services, and as we help a wide range of businesses communicate their business effectively, this name says it all. Gage consists of three divisions, Gage Print & Design, Gage Stamp & Badge and Gage Web Design.
In 2011, I was happy to have my son Jamie join the family business and marks the 3rd generation Gage. Jamie brought a new energy to the business and new ideas on how we could grow and compete. With the growth of the technical revolution we found that many of the printing we were used to producing was being eliminated from businesses and how they communicated. We knew we needed to adapt our printing operations to remain viable.
After much research, we decided that custom printed labels and packaging would always be in high demand for the consumer. So we began to focus our business on it. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this was the right decision for the future of our business. Many of the clients that we were using us for other printing were using some form of packaging products and labels so it was an easy transition. The labels and packaging products took off and also complemented the promotional printing, business forms and rubber stamps that we were producing as well.
In 2017, as our packaging products increased we decided to eliminate web design service from our product line. It was a tough decision but we needed to focus on our core packaging, labels and promotional printing products. Custom printing has always been our expertise.
With custom packaging there are many products; labels, boxes, inserts and operation manuals to name a few, so we partnered with industry leading professionals that specialized in providing the highest quality products and offered the best solutions for our clients. With that partnership we started outsourcing much of the specialty packaging we were offering so that we can produce any type of product. It also meant that we could reduce the amount of equipment that we had in-house as it was aging and could not perform the high quality work we needed to grow our business.
In 2019 we moved again to another location in Barrie, 683 Bayview Drive. This new location was better suited to manage how our business was evolving and enable us to service our clients better. It is easier to access and is in the area of businesses we cater to. Although our main office is in Barrie, we deal with clients and ship our products anywhere.
Since 1977 we have grown, evolved and learned a lot about the printing industry. We are happy to share our extensive knowledge of our industry. It is with the continued patronage of our clients that we have achieved our success.
We have a great team and we all believe in our slogan:
We Gage our success by your success!