Inside New York Times’ Massive Printing Plant in Queens

 
I’ve been a New York Times subscriber for as long as I remember — like magic, every Saturday morning a hefty stack of freshly printed newsprint sheets arrive at my doorstep. I settle in the most comfortable chair in the house (my Muji bean bag) and flip through the sections of the paper — accompanied by a double espresso. Magic aside, I have often wondered how each and every section of the paper comes about in such coordination, when are the last edits sent to print, and how does the paper arrive to each subscriber’s doorstep, rain or shine.

On a Thursday evening, instead of popping into a gallery afterparty, I found myself in in front of a large lit warehouse in Flushing, Queens — it was 10 p.m. and the presses at The New York Times’ printing facility had just begun printing tomorrow’s paper.
 


 

Rolls of newsprint paper stacked and stored in a large warehouse. Each roll is 10 miles long and makes 30,000 newspapers
 
 
Production happens on two levels. Here, on the lower level, machines pull the newsprint roll up to the presses

 

 

Newsprint rolls are transported by the robotized vehicles
 
 

Upstairs, the press towers print almost 250,000 newspapers a day
 
 

 

 
Operator’s favorite section

 

To print that many newspapers a day massive amounts of ink are stored in large containers and transported to each printing press in metal pipes
 
 

 
 

At press check, a proofing table with a special ruler marks the position of columns on each page

 

 
 

 
 

The plates that the presses use need to be custom made in a special room. The yellow lighting protects them from getting struck

 
Plates that are ready to go to press are stored on the wall

 

 

 
 

The daily papers are then packed to be delivered the same night, just before sunrise

 
High tech control room that tracks and manages the entire operation from plating to printing, to collating, and packing

 

 
 

 
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy learning about design process and manufacturing, see more of my tours like the one from Steinway Factory in Queens, and a bagel factory in the Bronx.

For live updates on my field explorations, follow me on Instagram, read my design tidbits on Twitter and subscribe to my weekly culture newsletter.
 

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