Printer to Chicago
From the time of its founding, RR Donnelley was engaged in its community, printing for many of Chicago's museums, clubs, banks, department stores, hotels, academic institutions, companies, and publishers (both commercial and private). The work, which included books, magazines, marketing brochures, retail catalogs, directories, and annual reports, was the outgrowth of the Donnelley family's active participation in the civic, cultural, and economic life of the city, backed by the company's reputation for quality work.
For half a century, starting in the 1920s, the company's list of local clients reads like a roster of prominent Chicago businesses and institutions. It includes Abbott Laboratories, Carson Pirie Scott & Company, Commonwealth Edison, Container Corporation of America, Marshall Field & Company, Harris Trust and Savings Bank, Morton Salt Company, Northern Trust Company, the Palmer House, C. D. Peacock, the Pullman Company, Row, Peterson & Company, Stone & Kimball, Quaker Oats, Schwinn and Company, United States Gypsum Company, Way & Williams, and William Wrigley Company, as well as the American College of Surgeons, the Adler Planetarium, American Library Association, Armour Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Museum of Science and Industry, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, to name only a few.
The RR Donnelley Archive contains hundreds of rarely saved printed pieces, all in remarkable condition. As a collection they provide evidence of trends in printing technology, but equally important they reveal much about Chicago's unique approach to marketing.