About Our Company

Our HistoryOur ProductsOur StaffOur Location

Our History

North Market Street Graphics had its origins in a small typesetting business that publishing industry veterans Dick Stipe and Liz Andes started in their Lancaster, Pennsylvania, row home in 1983. The company, called Archetype, employed a small staff of keyboarders to type manuscripts, which in those days were stored on floppy disks. Archetype’s customers used the documents produced to compose pages for publications that ran the gamut from complex chemistry journals to bodice-ripping romance novels.

As the keystroke business found its market, a larger staff became necessary, and eventually so did larger quarters. Archetype and its growing staff moved to their permanent home in an old tobacco warehouse at 317 North Market Street, in the heart of the historic downtown Lancaster business district. The business expanded to incorporate the next logical steps in the book production process: page composition and art production. By 1988, the composition and art work had become the primary focus and was spun off into a separate company named for its location: North Market Street Graphics (NMSG). The two companies—Archetype providing the keystrokes and document preparation and NMSG offering full prepress services—continue to operate in tandem to the present day, keeping pace with the enormous changes the publishing industry has experienced since their advent.

Our Products

NMSG has done production work for nearly 20,000 titles during the course of its history. We are proud of the depth of our bibliography, as well as its breadth. Books produced by us have won numerous awards and include hundreds of titles that have appeared on various best-seller lists over the years.

Some of the high-profile projects we have had a hand in include our two-day start-to-finish turnaround of the now-infamous Clinton health plan book back in the mid-1990s, on which our staff worked round the clock to meet the seemingly impossible deadline. (We met it.) We also produced Bill Clinton’s autobiography, My Life, in 2004, and, to balance the political scales, we produced George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, in 2010. Maintaining a global outlook, we composed Tony Blair’s A Journey: My Political Life, in 2010, and for a historical perspective, we handled Edmund Morris’s well-regarded biography of Teddy Roosevelt, Theodore Rex. In 2013, we produced former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's widely publicized memoir, Duty.

We have worked on all the various editions and formats of Stieg Larsson’s Girl series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, as well as Jo Nesbo's popular crime novels featuring Inspector Harry Hole. We have also produced many of Janet Evanovich’s popular Stephanie Plum books, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code series, and George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, from his series A Song of Ice and Fire, which has a fanatical following. In a more scholarly vein, we’ve produced several of the companion books for Ken Burns’s acclaimed PBS series, including Baseball and The National Parks.

We experience constant brushes with fame, producing biographies of numerous artists, celebrities, and other prominent people. In the ’90s, we composed Katharine Hepburn’s best-selling autobiography, Me, shortly before her death. More recently, we produced James Curtis’s thousand-page biography of Spencer Tracy. We’ve done popular biographies of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Edward Hopper and Henri Matisse, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters, and Hunter S. Thompson and Pope John Paul II. Recently, we produced hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s memoir, Decoded; both volumes of Stephen Sondheim’s highly personalized collections of lyrics, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat; and Diane Keaton’s heralded best-selling memoir, Then Again, all of which were major publishing successes.

Our reputation for excellence in cookbook production is widely acknowledged. Our “batterie de cuisine” includes many of Martha Stewart’s cooking and entertaining books, as well as books by well-known chefs and food celebrities such as Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Giada de Laurentiis, The Neelys, David Venable, Nancy Silverton, Rachael Ray, and the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten). Having composed Mark Bittman’s recent popular cookbook How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, we then stepped boldly into the future by converting it to eBook format.

And, appropriately for a record-breaking, trend-setting company such as NMSG, we have produced the annual Guinness Book of World Records for the past several years.

Clearly, we can handle anything from professional and technical books full of complicated tables, detailed charts and illustrations, and multilevel equations to fine-art books with high-quality color reproductions. And we will do it in a cost-effective and deadline-conscious fashion, with always-available customer service access so you can monitor the progress of your project.back to top

Our Staff

NMSG is a true American small family business success story. Although enjoying a well-earned semi-retirement, founders Dick and Liz continue to lead the company into the ever-changing future of book production.

In the decades since the company was started, the family has grown to encompass a group of longtime employees who are passionate about their vocation of making books. In fact, the very first person employed by Archetype back in 1983—proofreader Ginny Landis—still works here. And another staff member, the late Ed Holm, who was a copyeditor, loved working with books so much that he wrote and published one of his own (which NMSG, of course, produced)—a definitive naval history entitled Yachting’s Golden Age: 1880–1905 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Other longtime employees include Vice President Vicky Dawes [ , a 28-year veteran, whose daughter Erica Rhodes now works in the pagination department. Vicky has overseen nearly every aspect of NMSG’s operation, from keyboarding to art production, during her tenure.

The public face of NMSG is presented in person by our sales department: Vicky Dawes and Lainey Wolfe [ . Lainey also handles billing. Tracy Pitz [ and Mike Dunnick [ serve as customer service reps, fielding questions about the status of particular book projects and resolving the inevitable problems that arise. Ensuring that shipments go out on schedule is April Gresham.

The composition department is in the capable hands of two women with a combined total of more than forty years of experience in the business: Director of Composition Cindy Szili [ and Director of eBook Development Nancy McGaha [ . Seasoned professionals at book composition, the two are responsible for research, development, and streamlined implementation of all aspects relating to print and electronic book production. Senior Composition Manager Mark Righter guides the most competent and experienced paginators you'll find anywhere: Chris Crocamo, Rhonda Stough, Jim Fogel, Madeline Brubaker, and Erica Rhodes.

For years NMSG has been a leader in digital prepress work for the Macintosh platform. Our reputation for quality was established on the basis of the always reliable work of our prepress, art, and imagesetting departments. Dennis Bicksler [ , director of prepress operations, works as an art director, preparing image files in various formats, performing color correction and retouching, and making sure all art complies with printer specifications. He also captures images in NMSG’s state-of-the-art digital camera studio, photographing any art that cannot be scanned on the traditional flatbed or drum scanners, and will go on location to digitize images that need to be reproduced for a book project. Dennis has spent nearly forty years in the printing industry, and makes sure to stay current on the latest techniques and software for image preparation.

Another versatile staff member is Tim Weiler, who functions as both an art director and paginator. NMSG is able to handle quick turnarounds in large part thanks to its cross-trained staff, who can be reassigned depending on workload.

NMSG is proud to have been on the cutting edge of technological advances from the beginning. Our ability to remain there depends on our resident technical support professional, Dean Brian [ , who brings his experience from more than 30 years in the printing and publishing business to the job.

We are not just a comp house; we also offer editorial services. We can shepherd your book from author’s raw manscript to final printer-ready files. We provide this full-service option with in-house project management handled by copyeditors Ginny Carroll [ and Stewart Smith, both of whom have decades of experience in the publishing industry. Ginny can also create an index for your book.

NMSG is known for its high-tech expertise, but before any product is sent out it is checked by our proofreaders—Stewart Smith, Ginny Carroll, Ginny Landis, and Chris Crocamo—who still ply their trade largely the old-fashioned way, with red pens in hand, but are also able to provide first-rate electronic quality control. Every project entrusted to NMSG receives careful, individual attention.

Rounding out our NMSG family is Cheryl Brooks, human resources manager, who keeps us all functioning as we should.back to top

Our Location

Historic downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has proved to be an ideal location for a small family business like NMSG. At the other end of North Market Street is Central Market, the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the country and a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. A couple of blocks away is Gallery Row, consisting of several blocks of row homes converted into showcases for the work of local artists. The repurposed tobacco warehouse that houses NMSG is situated directly behind the 300 Block of North Queen Street, home of the funkiest and most creative shops in the city, including contemporary, retro, and antique clothing and furniture shops, a glassworks, and a skateboard shop. Our location has been a good fit for the creative types who are employed at NMSG and is one of the perks of working here.

The many restaurants in downtown Lancaster have something for everybody, from casual bar food to fine dining and a wide variety of ethnic choices. We NMSG staffers appreciate the many options we have for lunch! Lancaster is a matrix for a diversity of cultures, including the Amish, a vibrant Hispanic population, several nearby colleges and an art school that contribute a youthful perspective, and the descendants of the salt-of-the-earth original German and English settlers, whose rock-solid work ethic is reflected in NMSG’s own philosophy. back to top