Our History

Smart Set was founded in in 1986 as a traditional typesetting firm by two freelance typesetters, Howard Liebhaber and Jana Branch.

In a Compugraphic town, they purchased 2 Linotronic front end systems, and a Linotronic L300 Imagesetter. As it was emerging technology with no established market, Linotype threw in a PostScript RIP 1 for free. As a result, Smart Set was the first shop in Minneapolis to be able to output a MacIntosh computer file to a film imagesetter. As the desktop publishing revolution took off, we transitioned to a prepress service bureau, outputting film negatives for a wide range of commercial printing clients. To this day we remain rooting in the principles of traditional typesetting and state of the art technology.

As the need for accurate color proofs of film negatives and computer to offset plates increased, we adopted some of the first technologies for digital color printing, including the 3M Rainbow proofer, the Tectronix 300i, and the Xerox Docucolor 12 with a 3M Imation RIP. We were one of the first shops in Minneapolis to run on-demand digital color proofing. 

After almost 4 decades, we remain committed to digital only print production, both for the excellent quality but also for the significant environmental advantages over traditional offset processes. Digital printing uses no chemicals, has almost zero makeready waste, and all our consumable parts are returned to the manufacturer for refurbishment. 

While we continue to provide services to the commercial print trade, our clientele has expanded to other businesses large and small, non-profit organizations, and end users such as artists and authors, brides and grooms, political candidates and many others.