TO BE A GOOD PRINTER – Our Four Commitments

I recently had a team member buy me a christmas present that I just cannot set down – titled “To be a good Printer” by Gaylord Donnelley.  What a read!  Starting with the early 1900’s, it chronicles the story of RR Donnelley in the early years. How they lasted through two world wars, and a great depression, all while giving both the customers and most importantly, the employees, a great experience.

In searching the internet I really couldn’t find one blurb on this book.  There are many references to the book that Gaylord Donnelley had written, but none had a review or any insight into what the book contained. Trust me when I tell you it is a great read.  A history of our industry, from typesetting and into the new world at the time, offset printing.

Want a copy? Here you go – Amazon – To be a good printer: Our Four Commitments

Fun Fact on Friday – RR Donnelley, post WWI did many things to not lay off emploees.  They started by packaging out chocolates and hand assembling boxes of tinker toys.  In one story they relabeled a boatload of sardine cans that were salvaged from a sunken ship.  They even dove headfirst into the cigar making business!  Not kidding.  RR Donnelley realized how many people were utilized in the cigar making process and thought it a great side business to start rolling their own cigars.  Only when they went to market, under the name La Patina, did they find out cigars at the time were sold on consignment.  Although the cigars were high quality, “La Patina” did not have any reputation in the industry, and most of the cigars went unsold.

If you have some free time this weekend, pick up a copy.  It’s under 125 pages – a very quick read.


Sadly, the author passed away almost 15 years ago.  A full story of Gaylord Donnelley, former president/CEO of RR Donnelley

Printing Magnate Gaylord Donnelley – Chicago Tribune

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