Combine PRINT + PROMO!

Everyone loves a custom book, but a lot of end users simply don’t have the budget to create something with all the bells and whistles, just in the name of aesthetics. Journals are one of the only mediums in the promotional products industry that offer the ability to merge budgets to create something that not only looks good but is also useful. We like to present this concept as PRINT + PROMO, which combines Print and Promo budgets to create one-of-a-kind products that also act as effective advertising and marketing tools for companies in a variety of industries. It’s one-stop shopping at its finest, so thank goodness we have our resident shopaholic and JB Business Development Expert, Ella Childe, to tell you all about it!

What is the idea behind Print and Promo?

Most companies have separate budgets for promotional items (t-shirts, magnets, journals, mugs, etc.) and print (brochures, flyers, postcards). PRINT + PROMO utilizes different customizations to show how impactful adding some of the print budget to the promotional budget can be. Unlike a notepad and a couple flyers or brochures (which are often tossed away), a journal with the same information as the brochure will be kept and used – reminding the customer of your message over and over.

An inspirational speaker was looking for a companion journal to go with his newly published book. He chose a full-color PerfectBook (PNP-7FC) with custom filler and full-color inserts utilizing influential quotes to create a useful journal for growth and memoirs.

What tools can distributors use to push this idea?

Many of our samples show easy examples of this type of customization. We can also put together free virtuals to show how this could work. The Print & Promo case study brochure has some useful ideas and examples and is available as a pdf.

How can an end-user utilize this concept?

Event schedules, convention maps, speaker bios and company or product information (anything you would offer as a flyer, brochure or handout) can be added to a journal.

An eclectic brewery wanted to provide their hand-drawn artwork to customers in the form of a small jotter with a few coloring pages in the front. These BrightNotes (PBN-650) had such a positive reception that they decided to do a second order with full-color illustrations of their brews with their recommended food pairings.

Describe 3 products that would incorporate this idea.

1. Corporate Training (any industry): SP-800CV – A ClearView with additional inserts, including schedules, maps & calendar

2. Tourism: PS-NP7FC – A PenSlip NotePad with a tear-out registration card for free hotel stay and inserts with hotel/area information

3. Medical Industry – NB-58FC – A Nova with Tri-Fold insert and ColorDirect

Be sure to keep the PRINT + PROMO concept in mind when considering how to best stretch your clients’ budgets. Journals are the perfect vehicle to include all of your print needs while spreading your message far and wide.

Contact us at for virtuals, pricing and creative ideas.

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

Industry Insights: All Abroad!

Distributors sometimes have trouble visualizing potential products and communicating the ideas to their clients. With the endless options that JournalBooks offers, it can be overwhelming for customers to fully grasp what we are capable of in terms of their specific industries and needs. As usual, we are here to help!

In our new series, we will be focusing on out-of-the-box ways for your customers to best utilize our products. For each post, we will discuss a couple variations for you to reference when meeting with your clients, just to get the creative energy flowing. This month our focus is on education, specifically study abroad programs.

Every semester, thousands of students take advantage of their university’s study abroad program in the pursuit of gaining worldly perspectives. However, most students probably do not expect the experience to be as overwhelming as it is. A journal can help! Not only is journaling very therapeutic, but it can also be a great way to keep track of all their experiences throughout the months.

Forget useless trinkets and over-priced souvenirs, a student’s journal can be a record of the all the wonderful adventures they experience while abroad.

The Pocket ImageFlex features a full-color, wraparound cover.

Our journals can be completely customized to include things your clients may never have even thought of! While students may go into their travels romanticizing Tolkein’s notion that “not all who wander are lost,” it’s probably a different story when they get turned around in the middle of a foreign city with no WiFi. In this Pocket ImageFlex, we’ve included a tip-in with a fold-out map of the students’ visiting university and a run-down of the local bus routes, so schools (and parents) can rest assured the students won’t, in fact, get lost. Add a full-color pocket folder for students to add small mementos, such as museum tickets and postcards, but also list emergency contact numbers right on the folder: it’s fun, but also functional.

Journaling can be very intimidating for people who don’t consider themselves creative. Instead of excluding these students, include our rotating filler or uncommon filler. Customize the filler with writing prompts, notes of encouragement or titles to help guide an ongoing conversation. For example, in my study abroad journal, I had a few pages completely dedicated to Scottish slang. I would have completely forgotten the words had I not written them down. Wouldn’t want to sound like I have “a heid full o’ mince,” ya know?

A combo of lined and dot-grid filler would be a great option, as it is not restricting. Students can switch back and forth between writing and doodling.

Another great option is for the university to give students the books at study abroad orientation. The students can use the journal throughout their planning process. While you can include all of the elements from the journal described above, the Full-Color FlipBook SeminarPad (pictured below) flips filler halfway through, so the students could use half to plan their trip, with lists of things they want to see and do, then flip over to write about their actual experience while abroad. It can also include a vinyl zipper pocket for a more secure place to keep plane/bus tickets, money and important documents.

Full-Color FlipBook NotePad

In the center, where the book flips, an insert can be added to include a list of useful phrases and customs for that region. On the planning side, your client could also throw in a page where friends and family can write notes of encouragement and advice before the trip. When homesickness inevitably kicks in and the distance is weighing extra heavy, students can refer back to the pages and feel a little closer to home.

A 2-sided insert is placed in the middle of 100 sheets of lined filler – 50 sheets before insert, 50 sheets after (flipped).

Students participating in a study abroad program receive (and lose or throw away) a million brochures, flyers, and pamphlets. Putting valuable, pertinent information into a keepsake travel item is a great way to ensure it is effectively communicated and received, while also being appreciated and enjoyed.

Added Vinyl Zipper Pocket to secure loose items and keepsakes.

Take these virtuals to your next business meeting and get creative. Stay tuned for next month’s industry-specific blog post!

Write on.
-Devon Wilkinson

Trade Shows: We see you there, you see us there. We talk. We laugh. It’s a great time!

These shows are the best way to interact with us face-to-face and see all of our amazing customization options in action. It can be hard to visualize a lot of the potential things we can do for your clients’ products, so meeting us at a trade show is a great education tool. You can see and feel the items you’ve perused online or in our catalog and ask questions to your heart’s content!

It can take anywhere from 2 hours to a month to prepare a trade show display, depending on the size and audience of the show. We’ve got actual THOUSANDS of books in our warehouse and manage to turn them into curated displays of show-stopping items, which (never) begs the question: how do they do it?

Welcome to BEHIND SCENES AT JB! Today you’ll be learning what it takes to make a trade show go from drab to fab!

This is how we start – a blank canvas.


Everyone at JournalBooks is surrounded by books all day, every day, but no one more so than our Sample Department. As part of the Marketing team, we also take on all things Trade Show. Seeing so many finished orders on a daily basis means we are able to distinguish between what’s amazing and what’s, you know, nice.

A Keen Eye

From a Marketing standpoint, we want our displays to be fresh and diverse, showcasing the best of the best. With all of our customizations, it takes a lot of consideration to determine what that means. Trade shows are our opportunity to show our wonderful distributors and end users our full potential. We like to choose books with at least 3 custom features to maximize our display. That way, in a sea of different industries with different journal needs, we can always point you in the right direction.

Some books can be simply decorated on the outside but can pack a punch on the inside. So, be hands-on with our journals! You never know what you’ll find once you open them up.

A Tendency to Hoard

When our Samples staff sees something that wows them, you better believe we pull it. That being said, we make so many fantastic books and as much as we try to narrow down our collection, they have still managed to take over several areas of the warehouse. We’re working on it, but hear me out. While we have let our collection of trade show books grow a little bit wild, we do about 40+ shows a year and don’t want each show to be the same display over and over. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone. We want to show you variety and things you’ve never seen before. When it comes down to it, depending on show size, we need anywhere from 40-200 books per show.

A Knack for Merchandising

The aesthetic is everything. It’s easy to take a bunch of books and throw them on shelves, but doing so can end up looking like a mess. If the display is too crowded, it’s hard to tell what you’re even looking at other than…books. Our products deserve better than that! To keep the look of the display flowing, we sort our books into small groups based on color, size, feature types, etc. Then, we set it like a puzzle of which groups look good together as far as color and size transitions go. This can take a while and be frustrating because you’ll work on it for hours, step back and say ‘I hate it,’ then go back to playing with it. We always get it right in the end, though, so it’s worth the time and energy. From there, we pack it up and ship it out for our lovely Sales staff to bring it to the masses.

The next time you’re visiting JB at a trade show we hope you enjoy our labor of journal love.

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