A Brief History of Everything Greeting Card

Brief History of Greeting Cards

October heralds the official start of the holiday season (in my mind, anyway). It is time to start thinking about what kind of candy to buy for Halloween, how big of a Turkey you’ll need this year, and just what the heck are you going to get Aunt Norma for Christmas? It’s also a time to let your loved ones know how much (or how little) they mean to you, and so you’ll turn to the dreaded greeting card aisle in your grocery store; it’s seemingly never-ending walls towering above you as you breakout in a cold sweat.

Do you ever wonder how we got to this point? Hundreds of options for (almost) every occasion lay before you to summarize a myriad of sentiments. It wasn’t always this way, though. In fact, the American greeting card industry really only came about in the last century. Sending well-wishes for significant events pre-dates modern society altogether. We can trace this practice back to the ancient Egyptians (duh, those folks had their hands in everything) and the ancient Chinese (also, some real smarties).

But even more recently, as early as the 1400’s, Europeans were selling handmade Valentine cards to give to loved ones. After that, we didn’t really see much advancement in card technology until the advent of the US Post Office Department (later to become the USPS) in 1775. After that it quickly became easier to pass along a “Happy Birthday” to someone in another state (if you had a few months notice or if they didn’t mind it being a little late).

Esther Howland became the first to publish a regular series of Valentines in the US in 1849. She established a publishing firm that was quite successful, specializing in elaborately decorated cards. After that, a German immigrant named Louis Prang started a small lithographic company near Boston in 1856. Prang is widely known as the Father of the American Christmas Card, as his business perfected the art of lithographic printing on cards. This increased the speed at which the cards could be produced, as well as the volume. This is seen as the birth of the American greeting card industry.

It is an industry that would establish itself as a money-making machine in the 1940’s, when a group of greeting card publishers would form the Greeting Card Industry (a predecessor of the Greeting Card Association). The new group helped organize the first “mail early” campaign with the US Post Office Department which brought more awareness to using the mail to send your “Happy Holidays”.

That’s just a brief summary of centuries of creative endeavors that culminates to one point…send somebody you love something nice every once in a while. You don’t have to stare down that wall of cards, though. We can create something truly as unique as your Aunt Norma. Just send us an email or give us a call and let us “hand craft” something for you today!

Information culled from  Greeting Card Association and other sources

Dream in Color

When deciding on the perfect design for your next marketing project or logo, the color of the final product is as important as the content. Color psychology is the study of the effect of color on the human brain. It affects all of us when we are buying or making decisions, so make sure you consider it before you print your next marketing piece or business card.

Color psychology is a well-studied field, but the effects of color on individuals is far from objective. People can react to color differently based on their past experiences, interactions with different cultures, and the memories that shape who they are.

For example, while the color red can convey strength and friendliness to one person, it can also register as a fearful and aggressive color to someone else. Even the same person can experience both ends of the emotional spectrum when viewing a single color; it can depend on the amount of color that on display and the length of time they observer it.

While it may seem that color psychology in marketing is ultimately subjective, if we use it as a starting point of design it can help to narrow the gap between being seen and being completely ignored.

The colors that we see don’t just affect our perceptions, however. They are also an important factor in our mood and well-being. Blue and indigo can cause a sense of calm or relaxation in the viewer, where yellow can induce a sense of happiness or euphoria. In fact, the science of using color and light to affect physiological symptoms is called Chromotherapy.

Chromotherapy has been used to help treat or lessen the symptoms of Dyslexia, anxiety, depression, and even post-concussion syndrome. This centuries-old science can be used in tandem with color-psychology to paint a picture of how what we see with our eyes affects our mental states, well-being, and our overall impression of the world around us. It is important to consider all of these areas of study when developing branding on a new product line, or even just choosing a color for the background of your Instagram story.

Banners for Spring

The spring equinox is here, bringing warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a sale on our over-size marketing solution: vinyl banners! Get the word out with a large, yet portable, signage solution that won’t get rid of all your green.

Outdoor vinyl banners

Until the end of March, you can get our 15 oz indoor/outdoor banners for 20% off! Also, you can choose from our most popular sizes. If you don’t see the perfect dimensions for your needs, just let us know!

Our banners are printed with high-quality equipment and come with or without grommets. You’re going to love them!

If you’re not sure if a banner is right for you or your business, here are some common uses of vinyl banners:

  • Trade show signage
  • Farmers’ market booth
  • Art/Craft show booth
  • Temporary marketing event
  • Promotion of sales or specials
  • …and much more!

There are a ton of reasons why you might need a portable banner for your business, and they aren’t limited to the list above. Therefore, anywhere you need to convey a message that can be seen from a distance is the perfect place for a vinyl banner this spring.

Holiday Cards for the Fam

Happy Holidays from P&B Print
We are nearing the home stretch of the holiday season, but it’s not too late to send out your family holiday cards to everyone on the “nice” list. We can help you create the perfect snapshot of to share with all of the long distance relatives and friends who may not know that you got your hair cut differently or that the kids have grown at least 15″. Whether it’s on a traditional card, postcard, or good old-fashion family newsletter, we can help.

Come by and talk to one of our design elves and let us help you spread that holiday cheer before the season is over.

Need a little inspiration to get you started? Go watch “Elf” again for some peak holiday cheer…

Bulk Mail & EDDM Postcards

Maybe you’ve heard of EDDM, but didn’t know what it was. You’ve probably heard that it can help your business grow and that it is pretty good at spreading the word, but still don’t understand exactly what it is. EDDM stands for Every Door Direct Mail and it lets you pick the USPS route that will best apply to your business marketing. That’s right, you can send out postcards or mailers without the need for a specific address list! No need to pay for an expensive list? Mind blown. The mail carrier delivers your advertisement to EVERY house on their route, thereby getting your message out to as many potential customers as possible! “What’s the catch?” you may ask yourself. Well, the truth is that there are very specific rules for card sizes and layout guidelines that you must follow when setting up your mailer. The good news is that our experienced designers can help you make that eye-catching mailer that conforms to the post office requirements. Also, EDDM is casting a wide net; you may only catch a small percentage of fish, but the ones you catch could become customers for life. We know the rules and best practices so you don’t have to! Call us today! Here’s some more information on EDDM from the USPS. EDDM Mail

Memorial Day Memories

Remembering loved military service members who are no longer with us is what Memorial Day is all about. What better way to share your memories than creating a photo album of their lives and the times you shared with them? I remember when my grandfather died a few years ago, there were a ton of wonderful photos of his time in the Air Force and from the rest of his life after retirement. He spent time in Japan for several years with the rest of my mom’s family when she was a kid, and there are great pictures of their time in a unique and beautiful country.

After seeing all those memories, that I myself never got to experience, I wanted to put together a nice photo book for my grandmother and mother to help them remember that time abroad. It was a great way to honor my grandpa’s service and to honor my families memories of him.

You can easily put together a similar gift! Just pull together any important photos you have of your loved one, and bring them to us to print and bind for you. It’s a unique way to create a keepsake that will last a lifetime.

Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother's Day gifts
Mother’s Day is coming soon! There isn’t much time, but you can still come up with something more than flowers and candy
(though don’t forget the flowers!). We have some ideas to help you make this coming Mother’s Day even more special.

Here are a few ideas:

Create a custom card
Don’t get a store bought card that other mothers could be getting, too. Make sure your sentiment is as unique as your mom with a custom Mother’s Day card. We can design and print it for you (you’ll still have to sign it).

Create a family tree
We can take your family tree and design it to be frame worthy.

 Custom family calendar
While we are closer to mid-year, this will give you an instant gift idea for next year, too. The calendar can have family birthdays and anniversaries pre-printed, and feature family photos for every month.

Enlarge a wedding, anniversary, or a family photo to be framed
We can do color corrections, and even clean up some of those old torn photos.

Create a family yearbook
Gather photos of everyone from the past year and show the family’s important milestones. We can help with design and layout and bind it up nicely.

We hope this list helps spark some ideas to give your mom something unique this year. Let us know how we can help you create something special.

Binding Your Documents

Do you have a manuscript or report that is just a stack of loose pages? Let us pull those sheets together with one of the many binding options at P&B Print. Not all options are right for all types of bound materials, so here are just some of the possibilities we can use for your project:

Coil Binding / Spiral Binding

Probably the most common binding choice you’ll find at your local printer is coil binding, also known as spiral binding. It consists of a coiled strip of plastic that loops through holes punched into your paper. It is available in a variety of colors and sizes and is a sturdy and secure option for both thick and thin books.

Coil Spiral Binding Options

Comb Binding

Comb binding (or GBC) is composed of a set of plastic “teeth” that are hooked into a set of square notches punched into the paper. You don’t see comb bound books as often, but they can still be found in the wild. The main advantage to this type of binding, is the ease of page removal and you can add new pages to the bound set without destroying the binding. The downside is that it isn’t the most secure of the options available to you. Books bound in this fashion lay flat when opened and it is best for thick books.

Comb Binding Options

Tape Binding

The least secure of these three types of quick binding is the tape bind. It is a thin strip of book-binding tape that is coated in glue. The tape and the stack of pages are put into a machine that heats the glue on the strip and adheres it to the spine of the soon-to-be-book. Once it’s cool and dry, the glue holds the pages in a similar fashion to a book you might find in a store. The downside? You can’t really lay a tape bound book open flat. If you force it, the spine can crack and the glue could release some of the pages. Tape binding is good for manuscripts or something where a plastic spine would normally get in the way.

Tape Binding Options


You’ve probably seen this type of binding in instruction manuals or small magazines. A large stack of printed paper is folded in half and then stapled at least twice along the spine to hold it together. This binding option is usually the cheapest and fastest, though it typically only holds around 20 sheets of larger paper (which translates to a 40-60 page document). Saddle-stitching is relatively strong and can lay flat when opened completely, though it will take a little smoothing out at first.

There are a few variations of these binding types that we haven’t covered, such as Perfect Binding and Wire Binding. They are basically more durable versions of tape binding and comb binding, respectively. These types are better, but harder to come by and are usually more expensive.

We hope this little primer helps you to choose the best option for your bookbinding project!

Spring for Promotional Products

Unique Promotional Products

Promotional products are a great way to spread the word about your business!  We have helped local companies with trade show items that really stand out from the crowd.  Stop by our office to see samples of some of the great and unique items we have access to.  Whether it’s mousepads, booklets, shirts, koozies, pens, or collapsible banners, we can get you set up with those items and much more!  Have an upcoming trade show or just want to have some hand out items for the office?  P&B Print offers a huge selection of promotional products that incorporate YOUR logo.  Visit our Online Promotions Center to do an easy search for what you had in mind, or just have fun browsing our huge inventory!  Get the most out of your marketing with unique promotional items today!

Custom Branded Shamrock Hat
Custom Branded Shamrock Hat


Be My Valentine

This year is just getting started, but before you know it, it will be Valentine’s Day. Let someone special know just how much you care about them with a custom printed Valentine card! We can help you come up with just the right sentiment and design to make their heart sing. Don’t wait too much longer to put your feelings to paper, though. Call us today to get your special project started!

Be My Valentine