Plum Grove Printers Marks a Third of a Century

in Press Releases

33 and 1/3 years after opening his print shop, Plum Grove founder Peter Lineal talks about the evolution of modern American printing

April 30th, 2013, Hoffman Estates, IL — On December 30th, 1980, with his infant daughter in a sling around his neck, Peter Lineal founded a one-man print shop in a storefront in Schaumburg, Illinois called Plum Grove Printers. A third of a century later, Plum Grove (http:/ is thriving, with a staff of over 20, an array of professional services, national clientele, and 28% sales growth in 2012.

How does this small American manufacturer continue to succeed? Peter Lineal sat down to tell the story of his business– how Plum Grove has stayed competitive through over 30 years of economic and technological change. Lineal explains how the niche of his business has continually changed, from retail-style “quick printing” of the ’80s, to the splashy “marketing printing” of present day.

The story of Plum Grove illuminates the perpetual revolutions that rock the waters of business– from advent of the fax machine, to the globalized marketplace, to digital marketing.

The printing business in the early ’80s: “Back in the 1980s if we designed a form for somebody, we had to drive to their office with a proof. We made more deliveries in the early ’80s than we do today because people didn’t have fax machines or copiers, scanners or email. When we first opened there were perhaps 30 printers in Schaumburg alone, one in every shopping center.”

On the need for business diversification: “In 1989 we launched a division of our company to sell printing to real estate agents which – boom – absolutely took off. At one point we were doing 25% of our business in the real estate market. But by 2008 real estate agents couldn’t sell anything, didn’t want any more listings, and stopped marketing to get more properties listed. That’s a good reflection of how the world changes. You have to have enough diversification in your business– both your customer base and your product base– to survive those kinds of changes.”

Printing industry’s effect on forestry: “Printing makes forests economically viable – realize that if it wasn’t for the economic value of the millions of acres of forests we preserve, we wouldn’t have more land covered with trees and wildlife today than we had one hundred years ago.”

Where the future lies for marketing service businesses: “The core of our business is not a product, not a service, but helping our clients grow their businesses in whatever form that takes. Continuing change requires a focus on the need, not on the product. The need is for advice, ideas, and tactical suggestions on implementation of marketing solutions to help people grow their businesses, and doing it profitably. “

The impact of globalization on American printers: “Chinese printers routinely practice environmentally-unsound manufacturing to deliver at a lower cost — the economic advantage of overseas printing is artificial.”

Read the complete interview transcript at

About Plum Grove

Plum Grove – printing, marketing and promotional products with powerful execution.

Plum Grove ( is a promotional products and business printer providing art and design services, printing services, copying, bindery and mailing services. The firm, with a staff of over 20, has an award-winning design department; presses from a two-color letterhead press to a five-color large-format press and several digital presses; a complete bindery; and an addressing and mailing department.

Plum Grove won the highest environmental award from the state of Illinois for green-friendly manufacturing and the 2010 Business Ledger Annual Award of Business Excellence. Founded in 1980, the firm has been active in the community through their charitable grants program giving discounts to all charities and registered non-profits.

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