Callowhill design firm Tonic Design got acquired by Printfly - Philly


Apr. 23, 2018 12:59 pm

Callowhill design firm Tonic Design got acquired by Printfly

No financial details were disclosed from the deal. Here's what we do know, per Printfly COO Robert Levin.
Tonic Design’s offices, pictured here in 2014.

Tonic Design's offices, pictured here in 2014.

(Courtesy photo)

Northeast Philly’s Printfly, owner of brands in the printed products space like announced Friday it had acquired Callowhill design firm Tonic Design.

No financial details were immediately disclosed, but Printfly COO Robert Levin said the acquisition brought over 24 staffers to the Printfly team, currently at 276 employees between its brands, which also includes College.Ink, and The move also doubled the company’s tech team.

“We had been working with Tonic for a while, and we’re comfortable with their talent, their approach and their culture,” Levin said.

The two companies had another previous tie: Tonic cofounder Mac Morgan, who left the company last year, became head of technology at Printfly in January.

“For years, we have prided ourselves on creating a lasting and measurable impact for our clients,” said Leon Degtar, SVP of Operations. “We embrace using technology and design to be disruptive and challenge the status quo. Now, as part of Printfly, we have the opportunity to do the same on a much larger scale.”

“We were looking for someone to lead the software delivery side of the business,” said Printfly’s Levin. “It was a tremendous addition to our team, growing it and giving it some new perspective. In any organization things can get stale so it was good to get some fresh eyes from someone who had done a lot of different work. There was also a lot of synergy there so it was an easy decision to make.”

At the end of 2016, there was a round of layoffs at Tonic Design which reduced the team from 62 staffers to 50. Attrition in the top ranks continued with the departure of former Managing Director Justin Matthews to O3 World, where he became the company’s first COO.

Over at Printfly, the current game plan is for Tonic to serve as a sort of in-house agency, in a mechanism that, Levin said, will speed up the pace of work for the tech and design teams. The Tonic name will remain for the time being and, though it will still do outside work, Printfly will remain Tonic’s biggest customer.

Printfly’s growth spurt, Levin said, has been driven by its tech-heavy focus.


“We have an obsessive focus on customer experience,” the COO said. “We do custom printing for apparel and consumers and our entire objective is to make it fast and easy to deliver high quality products on deadline.”


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