A New Year

I would like to start this blog on a sad note. A good friend and colleague, Kim Sommers, died in December of a brain aneurysm. Kim was smart, funny, kind,creative and energetic person who was a joy to know. She was an outstanding athlete ( runner and swimmer ) who regularly was among the leaders in her age group in local races. Her positive enthusiasm and wonderful creativity will be sorely missed. She was a single mom raising 3 great children. Goodbye, Kim.

What will this year bring the Graphic Arts Industry? Some think that the quantitative easing ( printing a whole lot of dollars ) by the Fed will lead to price inflation and a marked decrease in the value of the dollar. This means that everything that we must buy will cost more which results in higher prices for our products. Our customers will scream and we will look for ways to cut costs to ease the pain. The trouble is, there is little fat left to trim off.

I think that this year I will try to add a bit of book binding knowledge to each blog. This may add some interest to an otherwise boring diatribe by me. Here is the first of what I hope will be many.

Around the 5th century b.c.e. the Greeks mostly used papyrus as a writing medium. Virtually all of it came from Egypt and the Greek word for papyrus was ‘byblos’ and Greek for book was ‘biblion’ from which came the English word ‘bible’ which was ‘the book’ for Christians.

OK, that is the end of the lesson for this blog. I hate to give my printer friends a head ache by filling their heads with knowledge.

We just finished some interesting box jobs that I will try to shoot and place on this site. Bear with me as I am very technologically challenged. We also finished a very tiny miniature book job that measured about 1/2″ x 3/4″ in size.

I hope this year brings good fortune to all and I hope that our leaders in Washington are infused with both wisdom and morality.

Till next time

Karl Grummich

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THANKSGIVING

I want to start by thanking all my customers and vendors for helping make the opening of Cincinnati Bindery and Packaging (cincybindery.com) a great success. I have many things to be thankful for; my health, my family, my reasonable golf handicap and the many, many good people who have helped me start this company. Virtually all of my equipment used here was either given or loaned to me by people with whom I did business through the years. Without this extraordinary kindness, my start-up costs would have been prohibitively high. I have tried to be fair with people and the old adage ‘what goes around, comes around.’ seems to be at play here in a good way.This reminds me of a story that my father told me years ago.

My father was born in Sarajevo in what was once Yugoslavia. He was drafted into the German Army during WWII and fought on the Russian front in a Panzer unit. He was captured by the Russians and was taken to a POW camp near Odessa on the Black Sea. While in prison he contracted Cholera and was taken to a nearby hospital to die.  There a nurse took great care of him and nursed him back to health. Bewildered that ‘an enemy’ would save his life, he asked, why? The nurse answered, ‘Before the war, I worked for a German farmer. He was very kind to me so…I am kind to you.’

This resonated with me. A kind act, done for no other reason than to be human, could and perhaps often does result in other acts of kindness years away from the initial act. This could and perhaps often does, save the lives of people we will never know. I know that some of you will say that this is trite;but there is a profundity here that we all recognize. In this season of Thanksgiving, let us not forget those less fortunate than us and let us all give freely from our store of kindness.

Thank You

Karl Grummich

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New Beginnings

Well I did it again; I started my own book binding company. You may well ask, ‘What in the world went haywire in your brain to do something as crazy as that?’. The answer is simple; my customers forced me into it. My old company was acquired by a couple of investors and subsequently resold to an out of town firm, leaving all of my skilled workers without a job here in Cincinnati. The new owners thought that people could be turned into skilled bookbinders in just a few months of training. I tried explaining that, though bookbinding looks easy, it takes years to become a craftsman. The example that I used was that Tiger Woods hits a little golf ball down the fairway, chips it on the green, makes the putt and gets millions of dollars. It looks easy. I asked, ‘Why don’t we all play golf and become millionaires?’. My question fell on deaf ears. Several of my old customers begged me to start anew with my old, experienced staff and finally I acquiesced to their demands. Continue reading “New Beginnings” »

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