As Gannett Imaging and Ad Design Center approaches its 8th anniversary, it is taking the world of consolidated and outsourced ad production by storm. But the journey to today’s success has not been a clear, straight path.

With a team of more than 400 creative people located in Des Moines, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Phoenix, Arizona, the division of Gannett Publishing Services was, in its infancy, a consolidation of photo toning services across Gannett. Economic pressures and outdated technology across the company were the driving force at that time. 

It didn’t take long to see the potential to become a profit center. And by 2008, GIADC was offering imaging services to non-Gannett properties. 

After the acquisition of a partnership with a major media chain, hopes were high. Savings was the buzzword of the year. Everyone needed relief, and they were there to provide it. 

The reality, however, is that only a handful of the 30-some sites owned by the new partner actually went live due to the increased use of automation for imaging work. A few more independent sites came on board, particularly when GIADC became a preferred supplier for PAGE Cooperative, but the real dollars were still elusive.

If they were going to become a true profit center and build revenue, it was back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2010, GIADC took on the additional project of consolidating ad production for Gannett due to the challenges experienced outsourcing overseas. 

Continuing to have limited successes with its imaging offerings, but knowing the opportunities were out there somewhere, the company continued to develop relationships with its existing partners and looked for new resources. The realisation of revenue was an arduous process.


The breakthrough occurred in the fall of 2011 where it was least expected. 

An existing non-Gannett imaging customer, the Lawrence Journal-World, approached the company with the opportunity to take over its ad production. With the experience of consolidating print and digital work for Gannett-owned sites, this was the next logical step. 

Over the next year, the company worked through the new process of launching a non-Gannett site with ad production. Today, employees are cranking through onboarding new sites in 90 days or less. 

The experience with Lawrence opened the door for GIADC to provide a level of service and quality that was desperately needed in the industry — and to do it all as a fellow media partner, not a cookie cutter outsourcer. 

Success is about many things, not the least of which is relationships. The partnership between GIADC and Lawrence set the stage for future successes. The two companies were willing to work through the kinks with together and refine processes.

Since that time, GIADC has repeatedly had the opportunity to prove itself as a partner for non-Gannett sites. Customers today number around 140. Gannett customers include U.S. Community Publishing, USA Today, Gannett Broadcast, Belo, and Digital.

Its non-Gannett partners are from media companies across the United States and are taking advantage of all of the services GIADC provides. 

GIADC is currently looking at even more opportunities for growth and revenue building as its offerings expand. It is an ever-changing industry and the world of outsourcing is fiercely competitive. GIADC has proven it is up for the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and have the stamina to continue blazing trails.