Mainline Set to Expand in Topeka, Creating Estimated $104M Economic Impact

By Bob Ross from

90,000sq foot building purchased by Mainline Printing for their expansion.

Topeka, KS – On July 13, 2022 Topeka and Shawnee County’s Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) board approved an incentive agreement that will aid in the expansion of Mainline Printing, an internationally recognized, family-owned printing and packaging business that includes Mainline Holographics and Mainline Signs.

Previously referred to as “Project Tree,” this expansion is expected to result in an estimated economic impact of $104 million over 10 years, with Mainline projected to make a $10 million capital investment over the next five years. The expansion will create up to 20 new full-time jobs with an average salary of $40,000, plus benefits. The performance-based JEDO incentive for this project is up to $250,000, resulting in a 298% return on investment.

“I’ve been impressed with the entire incentive process, as well as current efforts to keep momentum rolling in the Topeka area,” said John Parker, Jr., Mainline’s chief operating officer. “It has been incredible to work with our local and state government partners. We’re thankful to Molly and her team at GO Topeka and the team over at the Kansas Department of Commerce for helping make Mainline’s expansion a reality. As a family business that has called Topeka home for more than 60 years, Mainline is excited to carry on that legacy, as we continue to create new opportunities for employment and advancement.”

“I am pleased Mainline Printing recognized the strength of the Kansas workforce, which allows the company to continue innovating right here in Topeka,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Mainline is a made-in-Kansas success story that keeps getting bigger.”

“Mainline has become a staple in Topeka, and the funds approved today are a testament to their success and plans for growth,” said Aaron Mays, JEDO chair. “I look forward to seeing this expansion unfold, bringing new jobs to our community and generating further economic impact.”

“We’re excited to see Mainline take this next step in the company’s journey,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka. “They are true community partners, and the jobs and additional capacity coming to fruition through their expansion will undoubtedly contribute to local economic prosperity.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Bob Ross at 785.234.1030 or

Two new Komori presses will be delivered in January and April of 2023 as part of the expansion.

About Greater Topeka

The Greater Topeka area in Shawnee County represents a community of 178,909 people and is located in the Greater Kansas City region. As the state capital of Kansas, Topeka is home to a dynamic employer base. Companies headquartered here include Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Advisors Excel, Security Benefit, Capitol Federal and Evergy.

About GO Topeka

GO Topeka creates county-wide economic success for all companies and citizens through implementation of an aggressive economic-development strategy that capitalizes on the unique strengths of the community. GO Topeka operates under the Greater Topeka Partnership and is the leading economic development agency in the area. For more, visit

Mainline Printing Has Been Growing by at Least 20% Annually for the Past Three Years. Learn How.

By Brianna Childers, reproduced with permission from the Topeka Capital-Journal, November 2021

Mainline Printing has been in the Topeka, KS community since 1958, with many successful expansions under its belt. It’s still expanding today. The company has made recent moves that include a new branch and new equipment purchases, establishing the company as a nationwide and international business.

More equipment will be added to the facility in 2022. Once the new equipment is operational, Mainline Printing will have invested nearly $5 million in the company since 2020.

“We’ve seen pretty continuous growth for the last three or four years,” said John Parker Jr., Mainline Printing’s COO. “This has allowed us to increase market share with our existing client base and take on new customers.”

Mainline Printing Adds New Division: Mainline Signs

Mainline Printing in 2020 purchased Go Modern, a printing and marketing services company owned by Advisors Excel. The acquisition kickstarted the company’s expansion into Mainline Signs, which offers the production of banners, signs, posters, decals, and dimensional letters.

Parker said Mainline Signs mainly works with local businesses with the potential to draw in national and international customers, as well.

“[Mainline Signs] helps fulfill the other needs of our existing client base,” said Dean Norton, Mainline Signs’ Director of Operations. “It also allows us to expand out and bring in a different client base that the company hasn’t had before.”

New equipment, personnel, and workspace have resulted in a $250,000 investment into Mainline Signs.

Mainline Signs recently added a Fuji Acuity Prime UV flatbed printer and Esko cutting table, both top-of-the-line equipment. Parker said Mainline Signs is the first company in the United States to have the flatbed printer installed.

The flatbed printer uses an ultraviolet bulb as it moves back and forth over the sheet. The machine first primes the blank sign, allowing for more durability and adhesiveness, before laying down ink. The addition of the machine means a quicker production and completion time along with a higher quality product.

Norton said multiple variables determine how long it takes the machine to finish a project, but some can be completed in 10 minutes. Signs that have finished printing on the flatbed printer are transported across the room to the Esko cutting table. The machine then determines where the edge of the sheet is before it begins cutting each individual sign.

What’s in Mainline Printing’s Future?

The company’s printing division is full of hustle and bustle, with machines whirring and employees working to keep up with production.

Mainline Printing does it all, from pre-press to cutting labels, packaging, and producing trading cards. It has almost 100 employees, Parker said.

Mainline Printing recently added its fifth offset printing machine, a 2020 Komori six-color, 40-foot press which can run up to 14,000 sheets per hour. The machine’s was a $2 million investment.

“This is their top-of-the-line equipment,” Parker said. “We are fortunate to be involved with a lot of customers for whom you must have the best equipment to be not only competitive from a price standpoint but also from a quality perspective.”

When the Parker family acquired Mainline Printing in 1986, they set a goal of creating a diversified company.

“We do not rely only on one thing to set up us for success,” Parker said. “We had our biggest year in company history in terms of gross sales in 2020, during the pandemic.”

Parker said Mainline Printing in 2019 grew 20% and another 25% to 30% in 2020. The company anticipates it will grow another 20% in 2021.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if 2022 is the same way,” Parker said.

Mainline Holographics, the company’s third division, will add a new laminator in 2022, equating to another $2.5 million investment. This new machine will max out the company’s usable manufacturing space in its current building, which begs the question: what will be the company’s next move?

“For us, it would be expanding, which is why we were so supportive of the city’s decision to knock down the mall. In fact, we are excited to see that through,” Parker said. 

How does the White Lakes Mall Demolition Affect Mainline Printing?

Parker said the former mall has been a nuisance to their business for several years. 

Plans to demolish White Lakes Mall have been a long time coming for many in the community who see the rundown building as an eyesore in the capital city. The former mall has sat vacant for many years as Kent Lindemuth, the property’s owner, failed to revitalize the structure. 

An arson fire started in the morning hours of Dec. 29, 2020, reignited the need to tear the building down. Fortunately, the fire didn’t spread far enough to damage Mainline Printing. “But still, to have that kind of hanging out there; nobody wants that,” Parker said.

A demolition order was issued in July following the fire, but Lindemuth failed to comply. So the city of Topeka announced in August it had ordered demolition of the mall. Demolition is estimated to cost the city up to $2.5 million and is expected to take place in December.

Now the city has a plan and timeline for demolishing White Lakes Mall, Mainline Printing can make the decision how and where it might expand.

“We had talked about how if we continued to remain in place, if we would open a facility somewhere else in Topeka,” Parker said. “But now there’s an end in sight to the mall being attached, we can go this way. We can go that way.”

Parker said the company has worked closely with the city and been vocal regarding its support for the structure’s demolition. In fact, Parker was one of six individuals who attended a Sept. 21 council meeting, at which time council members approved city manager Brent Trout’s proposal to raze the former mall.

“We are feeling positive about it,” Parker said. “It will be good for the whole community.”

Brianna Childers is the food and fun reporter for the Capital-Journal.

Holography in Cannabis Packaging: Bling on a Budget

Start-ups are, by necessity, budget conscious. As such, cannabis packaging designers are embracing the use of holographic board as a way to inexpensively achieve dramatic effects.

For instance, when the cannabis company High Season added a signature extract to their product line, they asked the the designers at DiDio and Associates for a carton design that would stand apart from their competitor’s packaging. They also wanted a package that would appear to be more high-end than their other, less expensive extracts.

With limited funds available, the designers kept the design simple, using just two spot colors and no special coatings. They also developed an adhesive-free folding carton design to minimize fulfillment costs.

The printer also identified a cost-savings opportunity by utilizing the same die for both the new signature extract carton and the cartons for their other extracts. To achieve the colorful playfulness that the client desired, the designers printed the carton on Mainline Holographics’ Swirl3 holographic stock pattern.

The arresting pattern matched High Season’s brand identity so well—and sales exceeded their expectations to such a degree—that the company now plans to print their other signature product packaging on holographic board as well.

To make your packaging memorable AND save on the cost of creating a custom design, utilize Mainline’s brilliant cannabis stock pattern! No minimum order requirements. For a quote, email

Holography: What Every Packaging Expert Needs in their Design Toolbox

Holography: What Every Packaging Expert Needs in their Design Toolbox

By Kim Guarnaccia

In 1984, National Geographic made news when it became the first national magazine to feature holography on its cover (a label of an eagle). The following year, they applied a holographic label of a skull to a printed cover. Then in 1988, they published the first-ever ink-free, entirely holographic cover.

Holography cover National Geo
The 1988 National Geographic cover was the first entirely ink-free magazine cover design.

Each of these issues have since gone on to become collector’s items. But holography, which was once desirable for its cutting-edge appeal has, in the following decades, lost its glamour. Consumers have become used to seeing the tiny holographic stickers on their credit cards and checks. And the public’s fondness for innovative technology has shifted to QR codes and augmented reality (AR).

Even so, holography remains a useful tool for package designers, helping to solve tricky design challenges as they arise.

Keep it Fresh

Growing up on TikTok, YouTube, and other bits of digital wizardry, Millennials and Gen Z’ers have a shorter attention span than their less tech-savvy forebearers. In fact, according to one report, Millennials have a 12-second attention span but Zoomers just 8. As such, marketers must now identify new ways to attract their attention while being innovative, relevant, and fun.

When Lit Co. challenged Jamison Perkins of Jamison’s Design to design the packaging for ceramic shot glasses for 20-somethings, he was up for the task.

To complement the glass’ pastel colors, he chose to laminate rainbow holographic paper to corrugate. The corrugate protected the breakable glass from damage during transit while the eye-catching holographic litho-lam appealed to younger buyers.

holography litho-lam packaging

Designs for Upscale Elegance

Although younger audiences respond well to bright colors and bold patterns, holography can also be the ideal surface for luxury brand packaging.

In 2016-18, social norms and fashions shifted to a more casual, athletic vibe. As such, Victoria’s Secret, which had remained steadfast in its branding since the 1990s, began losing market share. In an effort to stay relevant, VS shifted their strategy from the glitz, glitter, and glamour they had previously embraced to a more elevated, upscale aesthetic.

Although holography is often considered to be most relevant to a younger demographic, when given the right design treatment, it can also be the ideal surface for luxury branding.

In the case of Dream Angel’s perfume packaging, the original carton design featured pastel clouds on holographic foil. Unfortunately, this no longer fit VS’ rebranding initiative. Moreover, the team needed to reflect the refractive fragrance bottle and the “rainbow glow” scent in the packaging.

holography fragrance box
rainbow holography fragrance box

The solution? Packaging team Design Director Stephen Moss made the actual rainbow holographic board the hero of the redesigned fragrance box.

This was a wise choice. The pop of color appealed to younger generations while mature consumers appreciated its more formal composition and understated elegance.

Reflect the Product Within

Sometimes the best designs are developed when designers seek to mirror the actual product. In such cases, holography may be the perfect solution.

Holography cosmetic carton

Don Romine of Impress Communications found this to be the case when Jeffree Star Cosmetics asked him to collaborate on a design for their Liquid Frost Highlighter.

Romine wanted to represent the highlighters’ oil-on-water appearance on the actual packaging. After much experimentation, he achieved the effect by printing the carton onto holographic board that featured a swirl pattern. Since the pattern is random, each carton became a unique, one-of-a-kind statement piece, the perfect reflection of the product within.

Revitalize Tired Packaging

Since holographic effects are unlimited, the technique can also revitalize a tired packaging design. Holography also adds dimensionality to cartons that are restricted to a certain size, such as with DVD case jackets or game boxes.

Holography DVD carton

Tasked by a film studio to design a DVD case that stood out from the hundreds of others with the same dimensions, Debbie Bishop of DB Design went out on a limb. She decided to overprint holographic board with designs that allowed the holographic pattern to show through. The holography enhanced the DVD’s shelf presence AND ultimately transformed the DVD into a collector’s item!

Today, holography is no longer just used to make a statement about cutting-edge technology; rather, it can solve tricky design challenges, elevate a brand, reach younger audiences, and even to gain an advantage over their competitors.

With Mainline Holographics new white holographic technique—and recyclable holographic board on the horizon—the art of holography has become an indispensable tool for designers the world over.