Graphic Chemical & Ink Company is a world leader in the fine art field of printmaking. We manufacture our own time-tested inks for etching, litho and relief printing, as well as sell screen print inks, papers, tools, chemistry, plates and supplies for all of a printmaker's needs

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Location: Villa Park, Illinois, United States

I have worked for Graphic Chemical & Ink Company since 1968 - with a brief hiatus(almost 4 years) to travel the World courtesy of my uncle. Sadly it turns out it was my Uncle Sam, and I wasn't too thrilled about the places that he chose to send me. My wife and I have run Graphic Chemical for many years, and have enjoyed the travel that comes with the position. We get to meet our customers (and the occasional vendor) from all over the World

Saturday, November 26, 2005


When you get involved in the supply side of the art materials industry, there are some simple facts of life that you learn about, often the hard way!

There are some stock phrases that you tend to pick up depending upon the circumstances. With my manufacturing friends the buzz is "creating jobs", as in the government doesn't create jobs businesses do. With my politician friends (yes, some of them are friends, even the nice lady who beat me in the primary!), it's all about "meeting payrolls" as in "he's a politician, he's never had to meet a payroll!". There are others, but I'll spare you the hyperbole.

One of the facts of life for a business such as ours are trade shows. I am always surprised by how few some suppliers go to, and how many others do. I met a guy from a well-known catalog supply house years ago who did over 30 trade shows a year! For the record, I once did six and it almost killed me!

There are actually two types of shows, and I'm combining them in this commentary. There are trade shows, which are exclusively for the suppliers in the trade. This would be a show like the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) show which is open to art supply retail stores. The NAMTA show in 2006 is going to be in Boston, MA in late April. There are also consumer shows like Southern Graphics Council, Mid-America Print Council or IMPACT. Sandwiched between these types of shows are shows (technically trade shows, I guess) that have a limited audience like the National Art Education Association show (Chicago in 2006), and the various state art ed shows.

Graphic generally attends most, if not all, of the ones mentioned above. There are very few printmaking suppliers that attend shows beyond the print-specific shows, but we believe that we need to preach to the masses about the beauty and value of prints.

If you are aware of an appropriate show in your area, please let us know. We're always willing to pack up the booth and throw it in the van.


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