A Lorain company has provided screen printing services to the community for over four decades.
1924 Lake Screen Printing on Broadway can print an endless number of designs on virtually any surface.
“I founded this company in 1975 and we are now 45 years old,” said Ben Zientarski, owner of the company. “We make banners, decals, flags, garden signs, t-shirts, and anything else you can think of.”
Zientarski said the business also does a lot of political things.
“We make a lot of yard signs, banners and posters,” he said. “We also made all the police badges for the police cruisers in Lorain so that we can make them for customers too.
“We also have sweatshirts. We make full size aluminum panels. We also have hats in the embroidery section for Lorain City Schools.
“Back when Brian Sipe was quarterback (1974-1983) and in Bernie Kosar’s time, I did 100 percent of all clothing for the Cleveland Browns, and that included putting names on the jerseys. It took about 14 years . but those were the old days. “
Zientarski said he started the business because he loves works of art.
“Growing up I was scribbling all the time, but it took me a year or a year and a half to work at the (US steel) plant,” he said. “It was nice enough, but I just always wanted my own business and I think I got it.”
Zientarski said the company has added more items over the years.
“The first thing I did was t-shirts and we expanded from there,” he said. “Bumper stickers; everyone always had a bumper sticker on their car … but they really don’t like what they used to be. We’ll make these occasionally and on customer request, but that’s not one of the most important things.”
Zientarski said the novel coronavirus pandemic had reduced its workforce.
“Nobody wants a job at this point,” he said. “I left people because of the pandemic. At the beginning of this year we had around 12 to 13 employees here. We’re up to five now.
“I don’t really have an answer. It just seems like a lot of people didn’t want to go to work when the virus thing came up. I’m definitely looking for people if they’re interested. I also want Sean Schubert, who’s been 17 years with me, and recognize Chris Perez, who has been with me for 25 years.
“Both of them help run every part of the business. People here do a lot of different jobs and I appreciate that.”
Zientarski said he is still executing orders during the pandemic.
“It didn’t affect the number of customers who needed printing, but it did affect our ability to get the job done,” he said. “We can no longer do the work as quickly as we used to and currently we cannot do as many jobs at the same time. That’s why we need the help.
“Hopefully things will turn around and we can get more workers.”
Zientarski said the business is much bigger than people think.
“I’m the largest screen printer in the region,” he said. “We do very good business and have a lot more equipment and space here than people think.
“For example, we have a 235 t-shirt order that we’re working on right now. We also have our big screens that we use for the big designs. I’m the only one who can make really big screens in the area.
“We also have the embroidery machines up the stairs and the shirt printing stations. We have all the equipment needed to do the imaginable print.”
For more information and to place an order, call 440-244-5707 or visit http://www.lakescreenprinting.com/store/pc/home.asp.