Sellutions – Holiday Packaging

Journals are perfect accompaniments to any organization during the holidays. They’re perfect for trade shows, gifts to employees, themed events and more. What’s the easiest way to amp up any gift? Packaging! Wrap your favorite perfect-bound journals in a GraphicWrap for an instant custom TriPac, or package any notebook in a glassine, 2-piece gift box or cinch bag for the ultimate holiday gift set. Take a look at the case studies below to see how we’ve incorporated different packaging options.

Chilcott, a Lake Tahoe bed and breakfast, wanted to add a festive holiday keepsake to their gift shop. With the assistance of our inside sales team, the custom sparkly Luster TriPac was created as a great memento for those staying during the holiday season. This custom Luster TriPac includes three 5” x 7” PerfectBooks with flexible, wraparound paper covers in Rose Gold, Gold and Silver. Adding “Happy Holidays” in matching luster foils and a holiday-themed GraphicWrap set the tone for the cheerful season. To make it extra special, the notebooks sat nestled in a silver foil-imprinted gray Cinch Bag completing the holiday gift set. 

Customization Tip
Switch up the filler by adding custom quotes to the filler pages.

Owners of an online outdoor and lifestyle retailer Spruce wanted to have an item that would pair well with its “Connect with Nature for Mind and Body” holiday gift theme. Paired with a few of their most popular apparel and camping items, they chose the beautiful blue and gray plaid StenoPad Imagebook (STIB-770). The journal came in a glassine envelope which kept the journal looking crisp and new during shipment to customers. This gift was the perfect pairing to the brand’s aesthetic of functionality and outdoor style. 

Customization Tip
Maximize your client’s messaging by adding a matching Stretch Pen with an imprint.

The owner of a popular techno bar in Miami wanted a fun and trendy gift for her employees. Her distributor spoke with our inside sales team and came up with a journal that definitely fit the techno vibe: the Holographic Rainbow Journal (NP-7DHR). The iridescent glow of the cover and the foil imprint aligned perfectly with the club’s atmosphere and was exactly what the owner had in mind. She added a 2020 calendar and 100 sheets of ruled paper for bar events and notes. A splash of pink neon color on the elastic privacy closure made the entire journal pop. Wrapped in an accompanying gift box with matching blue foil on the cover and onyx tissue paper gave the employee gift an extra fabulous touch. 

Customization Tip
Upgrade even further by adding a loose thank-you card.

sending you good vibes
-Johane Hirschfield

Creepin’ it real at JB

You don’t have to tell JB employees twice. They are on it – whatever holiday it is. Halloween is one of those holidays where everyone gets in that spooky mindset. And planning starts in August. Costume planning at JB is like a poker game on steroids: people keep their costume ideas to themselves and they’re only revealed an hour before the costume parade. It’s a big deal.

The top three best costumes get a cash prize. Then, the top three from JB go against the top 3 from our other sister PCNA companies (TriMark, Bullet and Leeds) for the possibility of an overall best costume grand cash prize. We were so spooked out by all the ghoulish and bloody costumes on display. Thank you to all who participated!

These are our top three winners:

First Prize – Broken Ragdoll, Antia Andrade

Second Prize – Smiling Killer Clown, Freddie Perdue

Third Prize – Post Apocalyptic Undead Bounty Hunter, Charlie Hollifield

Let’s just say, they put us in the Halloween spirit!

sending you good vibes
-Johane Hirschfield

Industry Insights: Non-Profit, Non-Problem!

We’re back with another Industry Insights! This time, we will be focusing on interesting ways to customize journals for the non-profit industry.

Over 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the world contribute over $900 billion to the US economy alone. The six most common categories of nonprofits are: art and culture, educational, environmental, health services, religious groups, and international non-governmental groups. This community works together to create a better future by improving living conditions, restoring the environment, strengthening society engagement and beyond. This equates to a lot of community outreach, event planning, volunteerism, and more opportunities, and a huge opportunity to market to the industry.

When working as a distributor to this diverse industry, it may be hard to narrow down how each individual sector may be able to utilize different products, especially journals. We have focused on a few different options that could work in any of these arenas so you have some great suggestions for your clients.

Volunteerism is a cornerstone of the non-profit industry. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, over 30% of adults in the US volunteered through an organization in 2018 alone! This number has been on a steady rise in recent years, showing that more and more people are getting out to make a difference. While this number is amazing, managing that many people from a logistical level could be a nightmare. That’s a lot of people to train! One way organizations help manage this is with Volunteer Orientation Handbooks. Rather than waste a budget on a million handouts that can be lost or damaged, why not put them all in one nice binder?

While the needs of each non-profit will vary, we’ve got you off to a great start with this Medium Resource Binder. This binder features tip-ins with information including a Welcome Letter from the organization, the mission statement, a list of staff with contact information, a list of programs and campaigns, and volunteer guidelines. The informational pages help volunteers get more acquainted with the company and adding a fold-out map helps them get acquainted with the facilities! By including filler with workbook training pages, this binder becomes the ultimate educational tool. Thanks to an elastic closure, volunteers will be able to keep everything in one place, allowing them to refresh and build on their knowledge as they go.

With the population of adults volunteering expanding, we can’t forget about the kids! The CreativeSpark Journal is perfect for getting kids interested in volunteer work. Alternating uncommon filler and coloring pages featuring aspects of the organization’s mission will help kids become engaged and excited about the opportunity to help.

Another huge aspect to keeping a non-profit in business and contributing to their mission is fundraising efforts, which often means hosting galas and events. To us here at JournalBooks, this means another opportunity to ditch the brochures and put that budget towards a higher quality product! A WindowPad SeminarPad is a perfect way to feature the organizations logo in a handheld book, also making it a great thank you to donors. Similar to the volunteer binder, this product can include tip-ins with organization information, but also include the event schedule, and speaker biographies. We’ve also added a business card sleeve and paper pocket folder for any networking materials they collect.

These products only scratch the surface on the possibilities for this thriving industry. We hope we gave you some good ideas to get your clients thinking. Be sure to contact your sales rep to get the jobs moving!

Now get out there and book ’em!
-Meghan Yani

Conversations with Tim O’Boyle: Reflecting on 30 Years

This year we’re celebrating Tim O’Boyle’s 30th anniversary at JournalBooks! Since Tim started in July of 1989, he’s had various roles in the company including: General Manager, Vice President of Sales and, most recently, became President in 2012. We asked him a few questions about how he got started at JournalBooks and where we are today.

What is your proudest JB moment?
I have had so many proud moments over the years while working at JournalBooks and PCNA.  What I am the proudest of is how many lives are touched and enriched by the organization. We now have created over 170 jobs here in Charlotte and PCNA employs over 2,000 across North America. I am proud of all of our employees for their dedication, care for the customer, and care for one another.

What is your favorite JB memory?
One of my fondest childhood memories was attending the PPAI show in Dallas, TX with my father. I was fascinated by all of the hoopla and showmanship! For a 12-year-old boy, it almost seemed like show business. It’s hard to put into words, but it was a different era. I had the opportunity to meet and have my picture taken with Randy White, the legendary Dallas Cowboy. I couldn’t wait to get home to show all of my friends my bag full of buttons, whistles and wooden nickels!      

What is your favorite thing about the promotional products industry?
What I truly love about the industry is the entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration, and camaraderie among both suppliers and distributors. I have so many wonderful friends and mentors in the industry that have enriched my life and helped me grow and succeed. I am always amazed by what a mystery this business can be to outsiders. There are so many incredible people behind the scenes that help make these products and brands come to life.

How did you get your start in the Industry? 
After graduating from college, I planned to pursue a career in sales, but thought I would temporarily get a job bartending. My dad wasn’t too keen on that idea and convinced me to come work for him in sales. My brothers had other plans and introduced me to the shipping department. Four years later, I earned my stripes and began my career in sales. I still know our UPS number by heart!    

I love the fact that JournalBooks continues to thrive and grow, and in 2021 we will celebrate 50 years in business. I never forget the sacrifices my family and many of our employees made while the business was in its early years. The fact that I can help continue the legacy my father and brothers built means the world to me.

Employee Spotlight: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15 to October 15. Throughout the month, we celebrate the history and culture of citizens who have immigrated or have ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

As always, here’s a little bit of history for you:

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson began this celebration with Hispanic Heritage Week; 20 years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded it into a month-long observation. You may be wondering why a month-long celebration isn’t simply the beginning to end of one month. The dates chosen are significant in that September 15th is the anniversary of independence for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile’s independence days are celebrated on September 16th and 18th, respectively. (Note that Mexico’s Independence Day is NOT Cinco de Mayo.)

In celebrating the contributions of the Hispanic community to American society, we are excited to introduce you to a few of our JB employees and find out what this month means to them!

If you don’t mind me asking, what is your Hispanic background? ¿Si no es una inconveniencia, me gustaria saber de que pais hispano hablante son su raices? 

Lizet Andrade: Mexican

Yanet Garcia: Mexican

Luis Rivera: My Hispanic background is half Mexican and half Salvadoran; Mexican from my mother and Salvadoran from my father.

Edith Giron: Guatemala

Did the place where you grew up have any influence on what it means to you to be Hispanic in America? ¿El lugar en donde usted crecio tuvo alguna influencia en lo que para usted sicnifica ser hispano en America?

Liz B: Growing up in Jersey City where there is a huge Latino community definitely helped to keep the traditions and the language an active part of my everyday life when I wasn’t at home with my family. That was especially evident after we moved to the suburbs where there wasn’t any sort of Latino community.  

Yanet: Yes, because that’s where I learned the language, culture, and traditions.

Edith: Yes, because I taught myself to love my country and miss it. Sí, porque me enseño a amar a mi país y lo extraño.

Lorena: Yes, because we follow the traditions that our parents and grandparents taught us. Si porque segoimos las tradiciones que nos ensenaron nuestros padres y abuelos.

What Hispanic traditions do you incorporate in your daily life? ¿Que tradiciones hispanas incorpora en su vida diaria?

Lizet: The food and my Spanish language. La comida y mi idioma español.

Yanet: The food.

Edith: The food, the words, the games. La comida, las palabras, los juegos.

Lorena: Culture and tradition. Cultura y tradicion.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? Why is it important to have this type of month? ¿Que significa el mes de la herencia hispana para usted? ¿Por qué es importante tener este mes?

Lizet: A month in which Hispanics are recognized and the issue of inclusion is discussed as there are still cases of racism. It is important to value the Hispanic community and recognize its importance in the labor and cultural field of this country. Un mes en el cual se reconoce a los hispanos y se trata el tema de la inclusion ya que aun actualmente existen casos de racismo. Es importante valorar a la comunidad hispana y reconocer su importancia en el campo laboral y cultural de este país.

Liz B: I don’t have much of a connection to Hispanic Heritage month because I’ve never lived in an area that recognized it very much, but I do think it is important to have months of recognition to show support for your Latino community.

Luis: Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it means a lot to learn and share the culture and history with others who are not Hispanic.

Lorena: Because we are from the country where we are all equal to God. Porque seamos del país de todos somos iguales para Dios.

What is your favorite Hispanic dish? ¿Qué comida hispana es tu favorita?

Lizet: Pazole y tamales

Luis:  My favorite Hispanic dish has to be pupusas! If you don’t know what pupusas are, then you are missing out. It’s a dish that has meat, cheese, and beans that are inside a tortilla. Also, you can ask what you want on it.

Liz B: Ropa vieja, with a side of Congris!

Yanet: Tacos

Lorena: Sopes y Enchiladas

Edith: Chiles rellenos, mole de plantano, o mango filoyes, rellenitos de frijol.

Do you have any favorite Hispanic music? Que musica hispana escuchas?

Lizet: Norteña

Liz B: Selenas!

Yanet: I like to listen to a little of everything.

Luis: My favorite Hispanic song is “Oye Mi Amor” by Maná.

Lorena: Rancheras y mariachi

Edith: Marimba, Merengue

What is something you wish people knew more about from your culture? Hay algo mas sobre su cultura que quisiera que la jente supiera?

Lizet: That my country is a very diverse, conservative country full of culture and traditions and people are united. Que mi pais es un pais muy diverso, conservador lleno de cultura y tradiciones y la gente somos unidos.

Liz: That not all aspects of Hispanic culture are the same from one country to another. 

Yanet: Christmas for us is the 24th of December, not the 25th. When you’re talking about “Hispanics” you’re referring to people from Central America, but when you say “Mexicans” you’re ONLY referring to Mexican people.

Caught In A Plaid Romance

Fashion is a fickle industry, often profiting on change. What is in one day is the out the next. If you bought your shoes last week, you can pretty much bet they’re already out of style. With that being said, there is the rare occasion where a trend will gain enough recognition to qualify it as a classic.

With over 100 variations, plaid is one of the few textiles that has been able to stand the test of time. Though it started in the Scottish Highlands around the 1600s as a tartan to establish family ties, plaid patterns quickly caught the eye of other audiences. Over time, everyone from lumberjacks to punks to models on the runways of Paris Fashion Week embraced the trend. It has transcended time and textiles, going from the catwalk onto everything from housewares to electronic design and even to (you guessed it) JOURNALS!

One of the key elements that has helped plaid preserve its stronghold as a classic is its versatility. Depending on your mood, you can make plaid edgy, cozy or chic. The key to incorporating classic trends into your daily lifestyle is proper execution. Pair intense patterns with subtle and understated details. With the temperature dropping, there’s no better time to embrace this iconic pattern. Among our favorite types of plaid are: Buffalo, Tartan, and Glen Plaid.


Who says you can’t get creative with the classics? Though Buffalo Plaid has a history rooted in the Industrial Revolution and is known for its utilitarian nature, it has transformed into one of the chicest plaid styles of all time. The black-and-red check pattern proved not only appealing to lumberjacks and outdoorsmen, but also to designers from Chanel to Dior.

At JournalBooks, we have chosen to highlight this timeless print by featuring it on our SPIB-84 ImageBook. We complimented the pattern with a dime-sized shiny gold foil. The imprint adds a bit of sparkle to the soft-touch UV coated cover, without creating chaos for the eye.

Tartan Plaid

You might remember Cher’s iconic yellow tartan plaid skirt in the hit 1995 movie, “Clueless.” Over 20 years later, the brightly colored plaid patterns are still trending. It’s professional with a pinch of excitement, and it’s ideal for accenting our line of efficient, yet fashionable case bounds like the Large Vienna.

Glen Plaid

Glen’s tooth plaid is a bit more subtle. Typically found in black and white and made up of small and large woven checks, this chic and simple design can add a bit of warmth and taste to accent any cinch bag or journal to make any order surely feel special.

When the plaid comes out, the caramel apples and pumpkin spice lattes are not far behind. September is here, fall is close and our plaid products are back in production at JournalBooks!

Write on!
-Devon Wilkinson

Sellutions – The FlexPlanner

The FlexPlanner is a practical and convenient journal hybrid! Its standard features include covers that come in full-color, Prestige or Leatherette materials, a 12-month tabbed planner and 50 sheets of ruled filler. Check out our case studies below to find out how you can boost any FlexPlanner order to make it extra special.

A Lake Norman real estate group was looking for a unique gift for their homebuyers and main vendors. With the help of JournalBooks, the distributor came up with a great give-away: a Medium Full-Color FlexPlanner with our digitally printed, upgraded Designer Natural wraparound cover. The 12-month calendar had tabs for easy reference and the custom common filler featured the company’s logo on each page as a daily brand reminder. The screen-printed, natural Cinch Bag completed the heartfelt thank-you gift and allowed realtors to add their business cards, an imprinted pen, and a few sweet treats.  

Customization Tip
Maximize your client’s messaging by adding their logo to each calendar page. This reinforces brand recognition with day-after-day viewing.

A high end, home-specialty boutique wanted a gift-with-purchase item for their most faithful shoppers. In collaboration with our inside sales team and their distributor, they decided on a perfect thank-you gift: the Medium Prestige FlexPlanner. The book features a rich royal blue wraparound cover with a clear screen print pattern and Luster gold foil on the cover. A coupon was cleverly added to a gorgeous front insert page, resulting in a perfectly useful gift.

Customization Tip
Switch up the filler – chose from stock ruled, blank, graph or dot grid styles. Or design your own!

As a gift to their most loyal fans, a popular college basketball team was looking for a unique give-away item for opening night. The give-away would also be given to players and staff to use during practice. The manager and team decided on a perfect item that would satisfy all needs: the Medium Prestige FlexPlanner Wrap with upgraded basketball-textured cover material, 12-month planner, dot-grid filler (for sketching important plays and notes) and perforated bookmark with the 2020 schedule. This journal is going to be a slam-dunk item. Go team!

Customization Tip
Upgrade even further with a PenTab and Preston Pen.

sending you good vibes
-Johane Hirschfield