Unveiling Our New Cutting System (and other 'boring' but very important investments)!



An air of excitement and anticipation filled Active’s Cicero plant early one morning last month when a series of trucks pulled up to our dock. After months of anticipation, what was once only a dream was becoming a reality – our new Polar N137AT 200 Cutting System had finally arrived.

Ok…ok…we admit it. Installing a new cutter cutting system isn’t the most exciting news. It’s not something that normally leads to press releases. Regardless of how exciting we try to make it sound, most people have trouble even feigning interest. But this actually is a big deal. (Read More)

Environmental Graphics Help the Erikson Institute Build Their Brand.


Erikson Institute is an independent institute of higher learning focused on early childhood education and development. They’re celebrating their 50th Anniversary and using this occasion as a way to educate the community about their mission. For help, they went to our client, Liska + Associates.
Liska decided that one facet of the campaign should take advantage of Erikson’s location. Their Chicago campus is located on a busy corner in the River North neighborhood. (Read More) 

A Big Graphic to Celebrate a Big Anniversary


The Sociology Department at the University of Chicago wanted to commemorate the University’s 125th Anniversary that celebrated the ground-breaking sociology research the department had produced over the years. They asked Active’s Branded Environments group to create and install a series of over-sized ‘timelines’ in the lobby of the Sociology Department.


Active produced three graphics, each 50 inches high ranging from 13-3/4 to 19 feet long. The panels tell the history of the Sociology Department by decades in a colorful, lively way.

They panels were printed on vinyl and mounted on 3/16” thick Gator Board. To account for any unevenness in the brick walls, they were mounted using strips of foam core with outside adhesive strips.

A Year's Worth of Sluggo


David Zinn has been creating whimsical sidewalk drawings using chalk, charcoal and found objects since 2001. Thanks to the sharing of pictures of his artwork on sites such as Huffington Post and Facebook, he’s garnered a legion of fans around the world.
Active produced a 13-month calendar featuring David’s artwork of his character Sluggo the Troll. To see more of David’s work or purchase a calendar, visit www.zinnart.com.

Furniture Swatch Assembly for Baker Furniture


Active’s Handwork Department looked like an interior design showroom last week as we put together sample swatch packages for Baker Furniture. The swatch packages were needed for the biannual High Point furniture tradeshow in North Carolina, and are also being distributed to Baker’s showrooms and selected customers.

We received large fabric samples and cut them down to swatch size. We outfitted our cutter with a special blade to replicate the zig-zag cut of pinking shares. Swatches were either hand-glued into swatch books or collated and inserted into a special screen-printed bag.
The packages also include wood samples, which were placed into a hand-tied belly band. 


Active Wins at Gold Ink Awards


At GraphExpo in September, Printing Impressions magazine announced the winners of the 2014 Gold Ink Awards. Active was awarded two Bronze Awards in the Brochures (Conventional Printing) and Brochures (Digital Printing) catalog.

We received the Conventional Printing award for a project we produced for New York based design firm DBOX. The brochure was a 68-page casebound book with multiple vellum flysheets.

The Digital Printing Bronze was awarded for a project we produced for Chicago based Liska + Associates. The brochure was a PUR perfect bound, 26-page book featuring the food photography of noted photographer Jeff Kauck.

Thanks to DBOX and Liska for giving us the opportunity to work on these great projects!