Our Story

Our Time Line

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Our Time Line

Our History at a Glance

1963
Paul Barnaby Sr. and L.A. Vaughn shook hands and signed the papers that resulted in a California Street print shop in Sycamore changing hands. Paul Barnaby Sr. resigned from Duplex Products after fourteen years of service as a business forms printer. During those years he ran a printing press, became foreman, a supervisor and finally a printing job planner. It was those years of experience and his energetic ambition that led him to the confidence of owning his own business.

 1967
Barnabys found it necessary to move to a larger building on 114 State Street across from the Court House in Sycamore. It was at this time that Mrs. Barnaby wanted to add office supplies to the business. As it turned out the customers liked the idea of the one stop shopping and in 1973 the front of the building was remodeled to offer even more office supplies and products.

 1972
Paul Barnaby Jr. joined the family business after he was honorably discharged from the Air Force. Barnaby Jr. has an Associated degree in Applied Science and worked as a communication specialist in the Air Force.

 1976
Dale Barnaby left Ideal Industries to join the family business. It was at this time that the family decided to build a new facility on Sycamore Road. The new 10,000 sq. ft building was completed in May of 1977 and an open house was held in October 1977.   

1977
Completed construction on a new 10,000 sq ft. building at 1620 Dekalb Ave. It was about 5 times more space than our old building. We celebrated with an open house on October 7th.

1981
Steve Barnaby left the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department to join the family business.
Steve is the youngest of the Barnaby brothers and will manage the bindery department.

 1982
Barnabys offer new lines in the office supply division. Barnabys  partnered with Duplex Products to offer a complete line of computer paper and forms. Barnabys partnered with AB Dick Company to offer a complete line of copiers. Barnabys partnered with Zenith to offer a line of computers and software. Barnabys partnered with Xerox to offer more lines of copiers and typewriters.

 1982
Barnaby formed a new computer division called BCS, Business Computer Systems. Paul Barnaby Jr. says the new division was created to emphasize our position in the business computer market. BCS will provide reliable computer systems for both single and multi-users, and a large selection of computer supplies.

 1982
Barnaby, Inc. is offering business computer courses at our location at 1620 DeKalb Ave.,Sycamore, IL.  The course is instructed by Walt Stagner, businessman and consultant. Walt has researched the computer market for 2 years and he uses a microcomputer in his business. This course features hands on training to help you choose the best computer and programs to meet your business and personal needs. Course fee is $60 per person. Class attendance is limited to 12.

 1983
Barnaby, Inc. and Contel enter a joint venture in sales of telephone systems and peripherals. Barnaby Jr says that with the help of Contel Marketing we hope to emphasize our total communications capabilities, filling a niche in the office environment. The new showroom display features only quality telephones and peripheral recommended by Contel. A wide selection of styles, features and colors are now available.

1983
Barnabys celebrate 20 years. They held an Open House featuring participation of many of their vendors who made themselves available for questions and answers. New computers and office supply products were also on display. A huge hot air balloon was seen on the roof of the new facility to draw attention to the public that something special was going on. Several hundred visitors enjoyed the time with us and refreshments were also provided.

1984
Barnabys add a 2500 sq. ft addition to our present facility to allow for the installation of our new Heidelberg four color printing press. The new press makes Barnaby’s very competitive in the full color, high quality printing market.

1985
Barnaby installs its first fully computerized typesetting machine. The Mergenthaler Linotronic enhances our typesetting department with the ability to set type from 4 point to 186 point headliner. It can also store the information on disk to provide easy update capabilities. We can add up to 4 additional terminals and even accept information over the phone line.

1985
Barnaby opens a computer and office supplies store in the Junction shopping center in DeKalb. And they did it an amazing 30 days from start to finish. The new store will cater to the NIU students and faculty and will also include a service center for most major brands of computers and printers.

 1989
Barnaby, Inc. uses Soy Ink. “We think it could be the ink of the future”, said Paul Barnaby Jr. “It’s safer in the pressroom than petroleum based ink, easier to clean up and works great.” The  Barnabys were presented with a plaque from DeKalb County Farm Bureau for being the first printer to use the Soy Ink on a regular basis.

1989
Barnaby upgrades the Linotronic  typesetter with a newer state of the art Linotronic 300 imagesetter. This new system will accept both MAC and PC files and can produce both RC paper and film. This new technology gives us the ability to improve our quality and capabilities giving us a competitive lead in the market place.

1991
Barnaby adds a 12,000 sq. ft addition. The addition features a new graphics arts pre- press department, new sales offices and more production area in the pressroom and bindery areas.

1993
Barnaby Printing adds a BBS system. The BBS (Bulletin Board System) is a private line connected to a computer modem, which allows our customers to send us files 24 hours a day every day. For example this makes it easy for NIU sports department to send us the latest stats from the football and basketball games for the next program quickly and efficiently. This is just another way Barnabys takes the lead to make it easy for you to do business with us.

1993
Barnaby printing celebrates 30 years. Several building projects and expansions, three logo changes and changing technology are all a part of our 30 years in business. The Barnabys held an Open House featuring a tour of the printing facility and pictures of the old way versus the new way for the customers to view. The one thing that has never changed is our commitment to serving you!

1995
Barnaby opens a business center. After increased competition from Office Max, and mail order houses it became increasingly difficult to compete in the office supplies market. We decided to sell the company to a firm in Ottawa, Illinois. We then remodeled the front-end into office suites. MJ Burton Engravers, Today’s Mortgage Source, DeKalb Sewing Machine Co. and Barnaby Computer Services are the tenants. All units are fully rented.

1995
Barnaby Printing is among the first area business to be on the Internet. They established their web site back in August 1995. “At that time I could only find less than a dozen printers on the Internet worldwide,” Barnaby said. Barnaby Printing is getting more than 100 contacts a week via the Internet and they have printed jobs in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Being first is nothing new for Barnabys. They where featured in Prairie Farmer Magazine as one of the first printers to use Soy Ink in their printing operation. Barnaby says that his WebPages about soy ink is a big attraction to the Internet surfers. Paul Barnaby Jr says the Internet is the greatest, most economical marketing tool he has ever used. How else can you reach millions of potential customers and measure response for so little cost? On the Internet a small company can look as good as any major corporation with the right web page design.

1996
Barnaby Printing announces the delivery of a new member of the production team. “The Panther.” The Panther is a high tech digital-imaging machine that allows Barnaby’s to output printing jobs from customer disks and even from data received from customers on the Internet. The new machine made it possible to print beautiful color postcards for an art gallery in California.

1996
Barnaby Printing expands its services with a new Internet division. Internet sites are doubling every two-months. It is estimated that in the year 2000, there will be more WebPages than people on the planet. “Someone has to design all those websites, it might as well be us,” says Paul Barnaby Jr. Who better to offer this service than Barnaby’s. Creating electronic WebPages is no different than what we’ve been doing on paper for years. We have already been in the business of providing information, now we are going to show our customers how to provide that information worldwide.

1996
Paul Barnaby Jr., President said that the Internet always excites us about every contact we make. Nothing matched the excitement at Barnabys the day we got a call from Yahoo in California. Yahoo is a company created by two college students who found a way to categorize information and offer a search function. Yahoo is one of the most popular web directory companies on the Internet. Paul Barnaby says the first thing he did after creating our website was to register it with Yahoo and it paid off big time. Yahoo found us on the web and discovered we specialize in reprints. They were featured in the Rolling Stone Magazine and they wanted several thousand copies of the article reprinted. We transferred files and proofs over the Internet, printed the job and shipped it to them. They were pleased with our work and promised to use us again. Barnaby pinned a copy of the check on his wall to remind him of the new era at Barnabys.

1998
Barnabys celebrates its 35-year anniversary with a sweatshirt day for the employees. Everyone wore his or her specially designed 35th year sweatshirt for a group picture, afterwards having pizza in the lunchroom. Paul Barnaby Jr., President said “He likes to make it fun to work at Barnaby’s and this seemed like a good reason to have a party for the employees.” A more elaborate celebration is planned for customers and vendors in October, the month the business was founded in 1963. We definitely want to thank all those who made our growth possible. Mr. Barnaby also added that 1997 was our best year in our 35-year history. We credit our ability to change with the times and involving our company with high tech solutions. Barnaby Printing was one of the first printers with an Internet website, actually doing business across the country. A new Internet division was created to help other businesses achieve the success we have had with the Internet.

1999
Barnaby Printing set up a digital printing department. They remodeled an area near the lunchroom to house the new state of art Indigo digital printing press; the room was designed with a very hi-tech look with track lighting and climate control. We also installed a large studio type window so that the Indigo can be seen running from the lobby.

2000
The Graphic Expo 2000 was recently held at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was at a special VIP opening ceremony that Paul Barnaby Jr; President of Barnaby Printing was honored by Indigo for holding one of the most creative and successful open houses in the Chicagoland area. The open house had a baseball theme. Each Barnaby employee had their own baseball card complete with his or her “stats” which was printed on the Indigo. There were many baseball-related games for the guests and hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn. Indigo representatives, Ron Kukla and Russ Williams presented Mr. Barnaby with a framed gift of each player’s card and the open house invitation mounted in a beautiful glass frame. Barnaby Printing is among the first in the area to adopt the Internet and digital printing as the way of the future. Their willingness to change with the times is what has allowed their family-owned business to prosper over 38 years.

2000
Barnaby Printing was featured in two major trade magazines, the July issue of Printing Views and the August issue of Quick Printing. It all started with a great open house we held to introduce our new Indigo digital printing press and an Indigo corporate press release. “I guess when a small family owned business embraces technology it’s big news” says Paul Barnaby Jr. Everyone seems to expect the larger companies to purchase the latest and best equipment, but when a small business risks it all for high priced technology it surprises a lot of people. But taking advantage of new technology is nothing new for Barnaby Printing. Barnaby Printing was among the first to make film for plates using a digital imagesetter, they were among the first to purchase a full color printing press more than 15 years ago, they were the first to use Soy Ink and were featured in the Prairie Farmer magazine, and they were one of the earliest adapters of e-commerce on the Internet, Yahoo being their first customer in 1995. And now they have purchased one of only 40 Indigos in Illinois. Barnaby also recognizes that it hasn’t been just technology that has made us successful for over 38 years. Paul Barnaby says, “I have a great family who has partnered with me and has been open minded enough for me to be free to try new things. I have a great group of employees, many who have been with us from the beginning. Together as a team I’m confident we will continue to be honored in our field of endeavor.

2002
 Paul Barnaby Jr., President, was a featured speaker at the Vue Point 2002 conference in Washington DC. Vue Point is an annual three-day conference, which brings printers, publishers and other media companies together to discuss the changing technology and trends in the market place. Paul Barnaby was asked to speak on the topic “Where does the Internet fit?” Barnaby was chosen as an expert in this area because he was among the first in the printing business to have a website presence. He has developed new customers using the Internet since 1995. Yahoo was among the first to use Barnaby Printing Services. Barnaby now receives orders regularly from franchises and corporations all across the country. Barnaby says they have also set up easy to use online ordering systems for some of their major clients and he intends to continue this trend.  

2002
Installed the new Hp Indigo 3000 digital press. We are the first in the state of Illinois to get the Hewlett Packard branded Indigo after HP purchased the Indigo company. The HP 3000 is twice the speed and prints better than the Indigo Turbostream we purchased in 1999.

2003
We held a very successful 40th Anniversary celebration. Several hundred turned out for food, drinks and entertainment. Joe Weigand was our comedian featuring a 60's quiz show. The open house was a combined open house with TBCnet a tenant in our building.

2004
We remodeled the prepress area creating more rental space which we rented to OC Photo, a Digital photographer and a large format sign and banner printer. We sold our older Heidelberg press and purchased the Heidelberg DI, another digital press complimenting the HP Indigo 3000.  We also purchased an automated shrink wrap machine to handle our new Digital Deck postcard mailer.

2007
We upgraded our computers and software in prepress. We also have a new tenant in the Barnaby Business Center, Drivers Edge, a drivers training school.  We upgraded and improved landscaping around the building with new shrubs.

2008
Celebrated 45 Years in Business! We added two more new tenants to the Barnaby Business Center; Personal Finance Company and RFGI, a collection agency.  All units are filled.  We updated our UPS manifest system with a new computer. Barnaby Printing Service enjoyed a very successful year during the worst recession on record. We are very thankful to our customers and hard working employees.

2011
We updated many of our bindery machines and added storage shelving.

2012
We started our Every Door Direct Mailer postcard. It allows many smaller businesses to market their products more economically.

2013
We purchased a new BizHub 8000 digital press. We also Celebrated 50 Years in Business!

2015
We upgraded the BizHub 8000 digital press to the BizHub 1070 digital press with the ability to also print envelopes in full color with variable data capabilities.

2016
We added to our equipment list with the installation of wide format printers. Now we can print yard signs, large posters and vinyl banners.  We also installed a UV Coater which has the ability to finish our print jobs with a high gloss, scratch resistant coating.  We introduced the "Your Neighborhood Coupon" mailer to the area. It provides our customers an economic marketing tool which can reach the households for as low as 2 cents a contact. We purchased a new sales/deliver vehicle with graphic lettering which we also produced on our wide format printer.

2016
Having had a great working relationship with another printer while producing the Neighborhood Coupon Mailer, it was decided to combine our operations and move our equipment and employees to Aurora, IL. All employees were offered  a job at the same pay to make the move. Some did, some didn't. It was a time of change including several name changes but it ended up being Alphgraphics.

2017
On August 9, 2018 Barnaby Printing closed it's doors in Sycamore IL permanently. Changing technology, color copiers and home printers can now produce printing almost as good as our expensive digital presses for less. Increased competition from larger online printers like Vista Print was taking much of our business. And the fact that owner Paul Barnaby Jr. was approaching retirement was a contributing factor in the decision. It was a great run!

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