“Automatic Printing Company, may I help you?”
That's the way my dear aunts taught me to answer the phones back in 1977 when I started in the family business.
“Do you print books?” the caller asked.
“We print anything on paper,” I replied.
She came down to the shop a bit later that morning and showed us what she was working on, a children's book in Arabic.
“How did you happen to call on us?” Mike and I asked.
“Well, I was looking for a printer and the first one I called with my question put me on hold and didn't get back to me. You were next on the list. You listened to what I had to say and responded. That's why I am here.”
If that is not a lesson in customer service, I don't know what is! At Automatic Printing the only thing we really have to sell is service and that is a point of pride. We will offer it up with craftsman-like printing. We've been offering it since 1935.
That is the simple story of how our relationship with Dr. Arwa Nasir and her new business Palestine Publishing began, by answering the phone.
We are so proud to be the printers of not one, but four beautiful children's books that Arwa has written and illustrated with the artwork of several gifted artists.
Arwa is a pediatrician and recognizes that physical health, mental health and emotional and intellectual health all work together to help children grow up strong and healthy. She is taking her books with her as she spends the next year as a Fulbright scholar in her native Jordan working on research to back up her belief. Her books will be used with parents to encourage them to sit down with their children and read and learn together.
Having spent time in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq over the past nine years and experiencing the trauma of children in refugee camps, I know Arwa's work is very important and impactful. Refugee children who are offered the opportunity to go to school are taking what they have learned home to impact their families in profound ways.
Books. Printed books shared between children and adults are helping to heal the scars of war. We are proud to be a part of Dr. Arwa's healing work.
You can find her books at www.palestinepublishing.com.
(The photo is of her fourth book, Our New Baby. I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy.)
The gift of the printed word
Christmas. Hannukah. Whatever holiday you celebrate, it is the time of gift giving.
We had one of those really fun jobs come into the print shop last week that will be a Christmas gift for the folks in a family of a friend of mine. I have known him and his wife for many years, and yet as I worked on this project I discovered that there was so much more to know!
Reading fifty-five years of annual Christmas letters - many people scoff at these when they receive them - was like looking into the very life of a family lived a year at a time. Precious memories of joy and sorrow, life and death, building up and moving on, and encouragement. This was a biography worth reading! And this family will be grateful that this printed archive has been saved and reproduced. It tells their story.
Think about that as you prepare for this holiday season. You have a story to share, too, and your family will be glad that you share it with them. My friend's family can hold that story in their hands, saving each page as they are turned.
The printed word. Always a good gift.
Wow! It has only happened once in our family history, but for a second time in 86 years we are closing the office. Friday, May 4, Mike's son Ben is receiving his master's degree in architectural engineering/mechanical from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and we are all going to celebrate him and this great achievement.
You can still reach out to us through email, so just head to the "contact" page and send your orders in. Printing resumes Monday, May 7.
Join us in congratulating Benjamin Osias Prescott, master of mechanical engineering!
Our family prints. On paper. Since Grandpa bought the business and took it into the family in 1935, we have printed millions and millions of sheets of paper.
I love the feel of paper. It can be smooth like the glossy sheets that make your photos pop, or textured like the feltweave finish we use for artist prints. Paper is tactile. It's perceivable by touch as the dictionary would say. You can hold it in your hands. You can save it like a wedding invitation printed in 1935. Paper tells a story.
Recently our world of printing on paper intersected with Kelsey Scofield's. She is a local artist who paints, working out of Kaneko here in Omaha, and she was looking for someone to take her beautiful work and reproduce it on paper. We took five of her original paintings and printed them as covers for small notebooks, the perfect size to tuck away in your pocket or purse to journal as you walk or travel. We did some paper bands for her as well, which would wrap the notebooks for a nice presentation. Along with the notebook bands, we also printed some bands for some tea towels. Kelsey, you see, also prints on fabric.
Fabrics are like paper in three ways: They are tactile, they are also a great medium to print on and they can tell a story. As a fabric lover (I quilted in another life), I knew I would need those tea towels, if nothing else, just to hold. Fortunately for me, Kelsey's website is now live, filled with her original works as prints, as notebooks and as tea towels, so I could order. And I did!
My package arrived in Saturday's mail and there they were: Two beautiful 100% cotton tea towels in an orange blossom print that will pop some color into our new kitchen at 1709 Cuming, next door to the print shop. Along with the towels, I also now have in my possession a set of the five notebooks which will accompany me on my next travel to Lebanon and Syria in April. The tea towels will prompt questions for their beauty and I can tell Kelsey's story. The notebooks will allow me to record stories to bring home and tell others.
Kelsey's artistry. Automatic Printing's craftsmanship. Check them out at kelseyscofield.com and feel it. Autoprintomaha.com: let us help you tell your story.
$1.2 million project will make home out of printing warehouse in first step of piecemeal redevelopment
"As change swirls in and around it, the family-owned printing company that lines a block of north downtown Omaha is trying to hold on. Hold on to the business that created careers for founder Anton Piskac, all five of his children and several of the Czech immigrant’s grandchildren.
Hold on to real estate that for eight decades has been a base not only for a growing tree of relatives but for political figures, friends and customers who gather there on occasions such as the annual holiday “wienie bust.”
Not to fret, though — at least not yet. Current owners of Automatic Printing (who are grand kids of the founder) plan to keep the presses rolling — albeit in downsized digs."....continued at link below
Read the full article by Cynthia Gonzalez in the Omaha World Herald Newspaper here. Photo by Kent Sievers
Christmas & holiday card special!
Check this out! We've got a special on printing your custom Christmas or holiday cards. With an overstock of some nice 100# cover stock and awesome A6 size envelopes, we can get you 100 cards and envelopes for $60! Price includes color print on two sides of the card, and black address imprint on the envelopes. Card size can be 4.5x6.25, 9x6.25 (folds in half), or 13.5x6.25 (folds in thirds). Price includes scoring on the card stock for a beautiful finish once you fold. Check out Julie's in the photo!
FROM THE ARCHIVES
From the archives...a 1935 promotional ink blotter. This is the year that Grandpa bought the shop and made it into our family business. The words on the blotter are still true: Printing is the companion of success. Let us help you be successful by taking care of your printing needs! The only thing on the card that is not true today is the address. You can find us at 1713 Cuming St., and yes, we still proudly print with the union label!
Musings, Offerings and Updates from Automatic Printing Co.