Graphic Communications



The Sonoco Institute

Housed in the state-of-the-art Harris A. Smith building, The Sonoco Institute was created to exploit the synergies that exist between the graphic communications and packaging science departments. It is the only university program in the country with this one-of-a-kind multidisciplinary approach to packaging as a core competency.

We intend to invest in the most rigorous research and development opportunities in this vast marketplace.

We intend to provide students the best education in packaging science and graphic communications possible, preparing them as leaders of tomorrow.

Specifically, the Sonoco Institute will:

  • Provide the resources students need to become the skilled and creative work force of the 21st century.
  • House the only research and development center of its kind in the nation.
  • Recruit, hire and maintain the top researchers in the world related to packaging design and graphics.
  • Attract economic development not only to South Carolina, but to the nation as a whole.
  • Promote and stimulate technologies that can make the highest impact on the future of global environmental responsibility.

Please go to: for more detailed information regarding services and opportunities offered by the Sonoco Institute.

Product Development Testing

Clemson University offers both technology and expertise to facilitate the printing and converting industry’s product development needs. Product testing can be conducted for both printers and suppliers. Full service capabilities are offered including prepress and platemaking services as well as actual on-press testing. Test design and analysis of test results can also be provided. Clemson has corrugated printing and narrow web flexo printing capabilities along with single station rotogravure capabilities to conduct trials.

Suppliers will often evaluate a developing product in Clemson’s facilities prior to releasing it to market in order to quantify its performance characteristics. By utilizing Clemson’s facilities to evaluate various products and select the best for their application, printers and converters avoid robbing valuable press time from their production schedules. Testing at Clemson also ensures that the evaluation is conducted under controlled conditions which are confidential, repeatable, and unbiased.

Equipment manufacturers also employ Clemson’s facilities for product development. To this end, manufacturers have installed prototypes in order to run tests to predict actual field experience. Because of the nature of the work done in Clemson’s facilities (many, many short runs), Clemson is particularly attractive to equipment manufacturers interested in evaluating the performance of their product over time, as related to set-up and clean-up functions. Of course, tests can be designed to evaluate the performance of a product over a long run as well.

For questions, please contact Kern Cox.

Industry Training

Clemson University offers workshops and seminars for industry professionals to stay on top of current trends and technologies in the printing and converting industry. You can always find events taking place that will meet your needs whether they are foundational principles and practices or advanced techniques. Either case Clemson strives to cover important theories and best practices in an interactive hands-on environment. Local workshops maximize the hands-on experience for smaller groups of 4 to 8 people where seminars are geared for larger audiences and typically include industry guest speakers. Clemson strives to meet your printing and converting needs. Customized training is also available upon request and can be tailored to your specific needs. 

For questions, please contact Kern Cox.

Bill Treadaway Print Leadership Endowment–The Story

Bill Treadaway served as president of The Printing Industry of the Carolinas, Inc. (PICA) for almost 30 years. During that time, he served as a catalyst for many creative ideas and industry support in transitioning the Graphic Communications program at Clemson University from an infant program into the printing education leader it is today.

The Bill Treadaway Endowment for Print Leadership has been established to recognize and honor his lifetime contributions to the Clemson Graphic Communications program and his personal desire to foster industry/education partnerships and develop future printing industry leaders. The endowment will facilitate ongoing cooperation and engagement between printing industry leaders and the Clemson faculty. The centerpiece of the endowment is the Bill Treadaway Print Leadership Forum which presents timely topics to Clemson students, alumni, and the industry at large. Contributions will ensure the memory of Bill Treadaway, who touched the lives and helped the efforts of so many.

For questions, please contact Dr. Eric Weisenmiller, Bill Treadaway Print Leadership Forum Chair.

Industry Support for Graphic Communications

We couldn't offer the programs and opportunities to our students without the generous help from both corporations and individuals. Please support our sponsors!

For questions, please contact Linda Kanaley.