Joseph (Joe) P. Clarke, Jr.

joe-clarkeJoseph P. Clarke, Jr – (1951-2019) – Joe Clarke was born in Youngstown, Ohio on Sept. 18, 1951. Entering the screenprinting technologies after graduating from high school in 1967, Clarke first learned his craft at McHenry Plastics. Two years later he opened his own Clarke’s Screen Printing.

What followed was an illustrious career as an award winning author and inventor. Clarke shared his knowledge readily in seminars and technical articles, winning a total of eight Swormstedt Awards for Excellence in Technical Writing by the Academy of Screen & Digital Printing Technologies. Over his career, Clark made many contributions to the screenprinting technologies.

After having been in the screen print industry for 52 years, Clarke’s contributions were many and it would be impossible to list all of his achievements in a single article. He befriended everyone he came into contact with and changed the lives of so many. Clarke presented hundreds of seminars, wrote articles regularly for the trade magazines, which were honored with a total of seven Swormstedt Awards. His work in screenprinting and litho covered the gamut of the myrid industries and presented the opportunity to gain expertise in many areas, such as ink formulation, press and equipment design, screen mesh, and emulsion development, to name only a few. His in-depth background and scientific approach allowed Clarke to achieve a great number of patents within the screenprinting technologies.

At Advance Process Supply Company (197778) he co-developed the Texair Dryer for the company’s American Equipment Division.

With Flexible Products (198489) he conceived and launched screenprinting’s first color matching system — PC System, designed & engineered mixing equipment, formulated the HST Inks, designed the Autoflex automatic adhesive applicator, and designed Aeroflex, screenprinting’s first ergonomic squeegee.

control-without-confusionIn 1986, Clarke authored Troubleshooting the Process Color Print with technical advisors (who he gave co-author credits), Jack Kissane, Fred Clarke, Richard Greaves, Al Petsy, Don Newman, Geoff Baxter, and Mark Coudray. The book was devleloped from a series that originally appeared in Screen Printing Magazine from November 1985 to July 1986. The book was hailed as a bible for four-color process and the concepts were credited with changing the quality of images throughout the screenprinting technologies. The original series of articles had won a Swormstedt Award in 1985, and in 1987 the book was awarded the 1986 Swormstedt Award for Excellence in Technical Writing. While out of print today, the book is treasured as a collectors item and sits on the shelf of thousands of screenprinters worldwide.

While employed by M&R Manufacturing (198991), Clarke designed the Predator Belt Printer and Formula Press, the Equalizer stretching system, the Eliminator dryer, and the first composite squeegee blade, a 60/90 shore blade.

Beginning in 1991 until 1997, Clarke would work with Quantitative Systems for Operations Management (QSOM). While there he designed mesh for Swiss mills, developed an ink line for T.W. Graphics, developed and produced heat seal, multi color, retro-reflective decal for Air Waves Inc. Developed pricing software package for Molecule Inc. of Chicago.

In 1994, Clarke began what started as a consulting project for Ed Blazer at Blazer Screen Print where he developed a propriety printing process he coined as Photo Realism, winning several Golden Squeegee Awards for his work with the process.

In 1996, Clark was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Screen & Digital Printing Technologies as a Fellow Member. The Academy is a select group of international members, elected by their peers, for demonstrating technical expertise and a long term history of technical contributions to the industry.

At Chicago Decal Co. (1996-97) Clarke formulated a line of UV inks that would produce high-resolution, 150 lines-per-inch, four-color images for decals that allowed the cylinder presses to operate at maximum speed, which was unheard of at the time. Clarke also designed a registration system for cylinder, web, and flatbed presses. It was at Chicago Decal that Clarke designed and patented a process for printing temperature sensitive images, which would appear and disappear at diffeent temperatures.

In 1997, Clarke became the Technical Director for First Aid Ltd. of Chicago, which gave him his most important personal position where was given free lead to produce many of his most acclaimed inventions and processes. Working with separation technology, equipment design, custom ink formulations, print processes, production work flow, print analysis and implementation for the screenprinting technologies. It was at First Aid, that he developed HiRes AccuColor Imaging for a JV partner that lead to printing award-winning images for various industry awards. He co-developed Map Software, a production software package that calculates specifications for printing a process job, based on variable data. Engineered parameters for a Computerized Masking Program. Developed a patentable Heat Transfer Ink System. Designed a Variable Durometer Squeegee for a co-development project with M&R Print Company. Co-developed Balanced Screen Mesh Tensioning algorithms. Developed Multi-Grid Angling Concept and algorithms to eliminate moiré in the process color print. Co-developed Split Wavelength Separation Process as an alternative to Hi-Fi and Hexachromatic color gamuts. Co-developed White-Plate Underbase Separation Ttechnique for accurate interpretation and representation of luminosity and saturation fields of process color.

Eventually, Clarke would become the founder of Clarke Product Renovation and later founded Synergy Inks. Joe Clarke Jr. passed away on Sept. 22. 2019 at the age of 68 after battling cancer.

Business Accomplishments

1967—69 – McHenry Plastics – Learned plastic sign manufacturing: vacuum forming, mold assembly, color matching, masking techniques and spray-painting.

196977 – Clarke’s Screen Printing – Owner /Operator of a company that printed athletic and promotional garments, Litho transfers, small format decals, posters etc. Designed and built first equipment – manual numbering press and infrared dryer.

197778 – American Equipment  – This is the equipment division of Advance Process Supply Company. Began as a Sales Representative. Sold capital equipment, set up service department and functioned as first Equipment Service Manager for the firm’s headquarters. Co-developed Texair Dryer.

197879 – Graphic Service Co.  – Litho printer, acted as GM / Production Manager . Left after one year to return to screenprinting industry.

197983 – Advance Process – At the time, the largest screen print supplier/manufacturer in the world. Started as a Field Sales Representative in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area. Left after five years for a more active role in a company and a more lucrative territory. Field-tested ESP ink series for the technical director of Excello inks.

198384 – Jay Products Co. – Sales Representative for an independent distributor of screen-printing supplies and equipment. Sold supplies and equipment in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania areas.

198489 – Flexible Products Co.  – Conceived and launched the industry’s first color matching system —PC System. Designed & engineered mixing equipment. Improved quality of formulations & compounding processes. Formulated HST series of inks. Developed three new product lines. Doubled productivity. Conceived and launched Aeroflex division of Wilflex inks. Designed the Autoflex automatic adhesive applicator. Designed and built Aeroflex, ergonomic squeegee. Drove profits from $3.2m at 12% pretax to $27m at 28% pretax in six years.

198991 – M&R Manufacturing – Design presses: Predator Belt Printer and Formula Press . Design the Equalizer stretching system. Designed the Eliminator dryer. Designed and marketed a composite squeegee blade, the 60/90 .

199197 – QSOM – Quantitative Systems for Operations Management. Designed mesh for Swiss mills. Developed ink line for T.W. Graphics. Developed and produced heat seal, multi color, retro-reflective decal for Air Waves Inc. Developed pricing software package for Molecule Inc., Chicago, Illinois.

1994 —96 – Blazer Screen Print  – Began as a consulting project for a garment printer that eventually required full time commitment. Developed a proprietary garment printing process which he coined Photo Realism. Won several Golden Squeegee Awards with Photo Realism.

199697 – Demco Inc. Began as a consulting project that turned into full time commitment for almost a year, functioning as GM for a garment printer. Established pre-print label called Redtail that took them to the next level in print quality. Won several industry awards using my processes.

199697 – Chicago Decal Co. Custom formulated all UV inks to produce high-resolution four-color process decals at the maximum printing speed of the cylinder press. Created transforms and algorithms used to insure color balance on press. Designed registration system for cylinder, web and flatbed presses. Established & implemented square mesh, balanced tensioning methods. Designed patentable process for printing temperature sensitive appearing/disappearing images. Brought production to capability of printing 150 Lpi four-color process.

1997 —Present – First Aid Ltd. – Technical Director for a Chicago based consulting firm that specializes in separation technology, equipment design, custom ink formulations, print processes, production work flow, print analysis and implementation for the screen print industry. Developed HiRes AccuColor imaging for JV partner that lead to printing award winning images and various industry awards. Co-developed Map software, a production software package that calculates specifications for printing a process job, based on variable data. Engineered parameters for computer masking program. Developed patentable heat transfer ink system. Design variable durometer squeegee for co-development project with M&R. Co-authored “Troubleshooting the Process Color Print ” Co-developed balanced screen mesh tensioning algorithms. Developed multi-grid angling concept and algorithms to eliminate moiré in the process color print. Co-developed split wavelength separation process as an alternative to Hi-Fi and Hexachromatic color gamuts. Co-developed white-plate underbase separation technique for accurate interpretation and representation of Luminosity and Saturation fields of process color.

PATENTS & INVENTIONS

1972 – Awarded patent for manual numbering press.

1983 – Designed an Exposure Computer and sold distribution rights to Autotype America.

1985 – Awarded patent for ergonomic squeegee design, Patent: US4989511A.

1986 – Awarded patent for automatic adhesive applicator.

1988 – Awarded patent for automatic screen stretcher.

1989 – Awarded patent for automatic press sequencing mode.

1992 – Awarded patent for retro reflective ink.

INDUSTRY AWARDS & HONORS

1985 Swormstedt Award, a seven-part series on four-color process printing.

1986 – Swormstedt Award, “Control Without Confusion

1989 – Swormstedt Award, “Woven Nylon Imprinting

1996 – Academy of Screen & Digital Printing Technologies—Elected as a Fellow of the Academy (Select group of international members, elected by their peers, for demonstrating technical expertise and a long term history of technical contributions to the industry.)

1996 – Screen Printing Technical Foundation—Appointed to Research Council (Elite group of technicians chosen by peers to develop goals, plan & initiate projects to explain the mysteries of screen printing.)

2000 – Swormstedt Award – “Lenticular Imaging

2002 – Swormstedt Award, “Balancing Act

2012 – Swormstedt Award, “Squeegee Design Innovation (Part One, Two and Three)”

2015 – Swormstedt Award – “High-Shear Conductive for Micro-Traces

Comments are closed.