The holidays are coming!

A sampling of TT Patton’s bespoke holiday cards – photographed by Julie Linnekin

A chill has arrived in the Barrington area. Cool mornings have seen the temperature drop into the 40s this past week. With the cooler air comes a natural inclination to huddle into your home, nestle up on the couch with a blanket and read a good book, watch football, or make a comforting stew. These happy fall customs are the prelude of what’s to come in the next few months – the holidays.

While the Christmas decorations in stores showing up in September can be an annoyance, it truly is never too early to think about holiday cards. With kids back in school and sports, picking out the holiday card early (and perhaps the holiday photography too) will take away some stress come November. With every year feeling more like a race against time to get presents wrapped, the house decorated, and meals cooked, planning ahead is your best friend.

We have the new holiday card collections for personal and business from Checkerboard, Bell’Invito, Dempsey and Carroll, and The Printery. Our cards can accommodate photos, include letterpress, raised ink, and engraved options, and come in designs which welcome greetings of all cultures and religions. Most importantly, they represent that warm hello which we all want our loved ones or clients to feel around the holidays, while also looking stunning on the fridge, foyer table, or wall.

Take a look at the personal cards here and business cards here on our Facebook page, and make sure to stop in early so we can customize everything to your liking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Employee Gifts: Good for the Employee and Your Business

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Staff turnover is one of the most non-productive business expenses” (White, 2014). But today, more than ever in our recent history, employees are doing more with fewer resources and balancing other life expenses. This creates the perfect storm for stressed out workers who may start to look elsewhere for a new job. The market is starting to pick up in some industries and good employees are one of a company’s greatest assets.

So how do you keep your employees happy even under the above conditions? Expressing appreciation is crucial to employee and team morale, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Cash isn’t always the answer, especially during special team retreats or for project milestones. A special gift valued at $50 or $100 can be the perfect solution. The most important element is ensuring it’s personalized and of good quality.


Graphic Image Leather Passports and Luggage Tags

Have a team that travels a lot? For under $100 you can order a calfskin leather passport and luggage tag set by Graphic Image with an engraved monogram, in a color of your choice, which arrives in a beautiful cloth bag and box. For under $50 you can order an executive assistant a set of personalized, raised ink stationery with their name or initials in script, with different font and color choices. Whatever you order, we’ll even wrap it for you!

Apart from making you and your employee feel great, you get a return on your investment. Appreciation leads to an uptick in productivity. Forbes reports “the recognition further perpetuates their desire to go above and beyond for your clients” (Conner, 2014). Employee gifts are a win-win, and who doesn’t want that for their business?

by Soula Siegfried
Master’s degree candidate in Literature and Professional Writing
Northern Illinois University


Take a moment to sit down and write it down

A local banker stopped in today to purchase a journal for his niece that is starting college. He wanted it to be a keepsake, but he really wants her to write in it versus treating it like a photograph, only offering a quick glance on occasion.  We all have journals and other items that we look at from time to time instead of using them.

So after we picked something appropriate for her, I suggested maybe he write her a note on the first page, be the first entry.  Maybe a nice congratulatory message or something that encourages her to follow her dreams.  At first he thought he’d email her a quote later….then he changed his mind.  He found the quote on is phone, propped it up and sat down and wrote the entire journal entry here.

writer photoHe’s feeling pretty good about this little journal he purchased today.  Well, now it’s not just a journal, it’s a special note of encouragement….that his niece will keep forever.  And maybe she’ll walk by it occasionally, pick it up, add to it, or at least read his words of encouragement.  Now that’s a gift.

Have you written lately?