At the age of just 21, Paul LeFebvre received a phone call from his father that he would be taking over the family business. With this much experience under his belt dating back to 1971, Paul has seen it all. To mark his 70th birthday, we asked him a few questions about his amazing journey as a leader in the print industry.
SPC: What is your favorite memory working for your father, Arthur LeFebvre, in the print shop?
PL: In the old days, when it was all letterpress, I would come in and separate the type from the leads and the slugs. I was around the age of 10 when I first started doing that kind of thing. That was a thing of the past, but it’s the memory I remember best because that sort of process is all gone now.
What are you most proud of after a lifetime in the printing business?
I would say that two of my three children have been able to come in, maintain, and actually stay in this business. That’s been my greatest accomplishment.
Adam always seemed like he wanted to be connected. From the day he was born, as much as he really enjoyed architecture, I think he knew he was doomed to be a printer. Ryan is a sales guy, that just came naturally to him in this industry.
Which print invention are you most amazed by in your lifetime?
The illumination of film and direct to plate. It was incredible because in the past, film was really expensive. There was a time that you could pay $1,000 for one four-color separation. Then if you were stepping multiple images across the plate, it could take someone 45-minutes to an hour to make each plate. You used to have to have a board where you burned it, you opened it up, moved it to the next set of pins and burned it again if you were stepping multiple images. Now it’s all automatic and the plate just comes spitting out. That was a huge invention.
What do you think was the worst clothing style through your career?
Well I only had one pair of bell-bottoms. I never really thought of that trend as the most-manly fashion.
As you celebrate your 70th birthday, where do want to travel to next?
My favorite place to travel has always been France. That’s definitely a taste I inherited from my dad. I want to get to Tahiti and Bora Bora sometime.