Cobb’s Printing is still a local favorite

Phillip Ervin, pressman; Hank Cobb, Darlene Cobb, and Rocky Cobb, owner, standing in front of an off-set press.

Cobb’s Printing, LLC has been a family owned business in Yucaipa since 1963. It specializes in quality printing at reasonable prices with customer service at the top of the priority list. It is a full service print shop with real printing presses. It provides in-house graphic design which can help any person or business create full color printing jobs, business cards, post cards, brochures, flyers, envelopes, letterhead, NCR forms, letterpress, numbering in sequence, scoring, perforating, and house plans copied and printed.

The company was started by Henry (Hank) Cobb. He was always involved in printing newspapers as he took printing classes at Poly High School in Riverside and after graduation continued with classes at Riverside City College where he studied the art of printing.

He moved his family from Blythe to Yucaipa and he worked at the News Mirror, as a pressman.

“The presses at that time, were located across the street from Hal’s Liquor where all the printing presses were,” said Rocky Cobb, owner and manager. “Mr. Al Vaughn was a retired printing teacher from the Los Angeles School District and when he retired, he came to Yucaipa and built this one building where he had a little print shop. Dad would come over from the newspaper and visit him. Later Mr. Vaughn talked him into taking over the print shop as long as Mr. Vaughn could come and print his Christmas cards. Back then it was all letterpress.”

Cobb went on to say, “Dad bought the business in 1963. After Mom and Dad had it, they built the next two buildings in the back.”

Cobb grew up in the printing business and after he graduated from high school in 1976, he came to work for his dad in 1977. When Cobb’s dad retired, he took over the business.

“Phillip (Ervin) works here and has been with us for over 40 years. Today there are only a few jobs that use negatives burned in a darkroom and plates in the printing process. One being the high school graduation program because it is so large and will run on the big printing press. The big printing press only takes metal plates,” said Cobb.

Some of the other jobs that come into the shop, Cobb will design on the computer and a polyplate will be made. It is made from polyester and is described as printing it right onto the poly, the polyplate goes onto the printing press and is used for one-color jobs. All the printing presses at this location are one color. Full color printing jobs are sent out as it would save the customer money being done that way, otherwise, it would have to be run through the press four different times.

“When I send out a job, it goes on a big sheet and there might be 50 other jobs (business cards as an example) on a sheet,” said Cobb. “Their press will have all four colors lined up and can print the job. That is how we can keep the cost down because all of the jobs on that one sheet are sharing the cost of the printing.When considering a project, the more you have printed, the less it costs you.”

“When we started this business, we said to the kids, only one of you out of four, can be in the print shop,” said Darlene Cobb, who is the matriarch of the business.

Darlene continued to say, “After Rocky finished high school we brought him into the print shop and he has been here since he was 18. I retired in 1998 but I still come back every morning to have coffee with the boys and do their delivering and give them a bad time.”

Things have changed in the printing field. “One of the great things is that a few years ago, Rocky bought a color copier and that thing stays busy all the time. Everybody wants color copies and that is always a plus,” said Darlene.

“When we started out it was just a small portion of this building and we expanded out with two more rooms plus a garage, over the years,” said Hank, who retired 23 years ago.

In the past, a intertype line casting machine used to be used in the business. A person would type out the individual letters and every time you hit a key, the letter would drop down and line up. When you sent it through the machine, hot lead would go through where the letters were to make a mold. It would take up to an hour to set up a page of type for a newspaper.

“We have been so blessed. When another print shop comes in town, Rocky and his dad are the type of people when another print shop opens and they need paper, they tell them ‘here take this and give it back when you can’ so we are good to our neighbors. We have some of the oldest working machinery around. The letterpress numbers and perforates and there is not another print shop around that does that,” said Darlene.

Cobb’s Printing is at 13324 California St. in Yucaipa. Call 795-2318, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email: CobArt@frontier.com, CobbsPrinting.com.

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