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

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Those of you who follow us on Facebook know that we anticipated being off of work on February 2nd - not in observance of Ground Hog's Day, but rather in anticipation of the Blizzard of 2011 which promised 2+ feet of snow.

Yesterday was one of those rare, stay at home days with very little to do but eat and sleep. This morning, Susan and I came to work not expecting that the Village of Villa Park was also sleeping. Our street was plowed in much the same sense that a drunk is "plowed" - a wavy strip down the middle of the street. Our snow plower's truck broke down half way through the job, and we have no parking space left for the office staff that comes in about a half hour from now.

The scene above is at the south end of our parking lot, and the pile of snow is something greater than 8 feet tall, 15 feet in depth and 30 feet wide - about 400 cubic feet of the white stuff. Please someone tell me again why I live here!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


At Graphic Chemical & Ink Company, we are painfully aware of the impact of the elements on our day-to-day operations. Excessive heat in the summertime means that certain products cannot be shipped with any certainty that they'll be usable when they get there. In the winter, the obvious problem is the cold and/or snow. As I sit here writing this entry, we have accumulated 20+" of snow since yesterday afternoon!

Those of you who know me are well aware of my overused mantra - I will never, ever complain about the heat, because I reserve the right to whine like a baby about the cold! Well, if ever there was a time to whine it is now. Actually, I've been really surprised at the news coverage of today's storm activity - for the most part the media has gone directly to full panic mode. We've had several worse storms in our recent past, and after the shellacking that the East Coast has had since the holidays, we've got very little to complain about.

In a more perfect world, Susan and I would be very much as you see us above, blissfully walking a beach in H
awaii. In this day of increased technology, who'd even know if we were there? Sadly, we can't get there in the near future. The second semester rush has, thankfully, knocked our socks off. We are shipping record numbers of packages and falling behind at the same time. It's a good place to be for a short period of time - a very short period of time.

Many of our vendors are slower to ship than they've been for years. One or two are having a tough go of it, and others are just working leaner than in the past. Rest assured that we are trying to stay on top of inventory, so you'll get what you want when you want it.

We're working six days
a week, with a few of us putting in seven days to keep up. Please keep in mind, however, that we are a manufacturing plant. If you place an order online on Friday afternoon late or over the weekend, we won't even see it until Monday morning. We're not a 24/7 operation...and frankly, we couldn't keep our prices as low as they are if we did maintain those kind of hours.

So back to operating from Hawaii (or any other warm weather climate for that matter), we'll begin taking offers of free places to stay in exchange for our charming personalities for a few months. Free meals and Wi-Fi would be a plus, reasonable temperatures and minimal precipitation are important. I don't want much - I want it all. As my Mother used to say, "who more richly deserves it than me?"

I don't want this to sound one sided. I am perfectly willing - no anxious - to provide a similar experience for anyone who will invite us to share their warm weather experience. In fairness, my charming wife pointed out that my sparkling personality wouldn't be enough to swing this deal. In light of her superior knowledge in the area, I am offering a swap. How great would it be to start your Chicago experience with drinks and dinner on our deck? It just doesn't get better than this! Give it some serious thought.