March 20, 2024 •
Getting to Know TOG.ink, the Custom Print Side of The Occasions Group

(Sponsored) TOG.ink brings the specialty print services of The Occasions Group to businesses of all sizes including independent designers. By leveraging The Occasions Group’s large-scale print services and processes, TOG.ink is able to offer low minimums, competitive wholesale pricing and top-selling product types perfect for stationery designers. We’ve got brand manager, Shanna Blomquist, to tell us more!

Can you share some insights into The Occasions Group and how it has evolved over the years in the realm of stationery?

The Occasions Group has a great origin story! In 1948, a man named Bill Carlson started a fine stationery printing company called Carlson Letter Service. He positioned himself in the wholesale wedding market and the business was very successful. A few years later, Carlson hired a college student named Glen Taylor whose innovative ideas eventually earned him the role of Vice President. Taylor purchased the company in 1972 and changed the name to Carlson Craft, a brand some readers may recognize!

Taylor went on to purchase many companies and established Taylor Corporation as the parent company. In 1998, five Taylor facilities joined together as The Occasions Group with a shared mission to be the preferred print partner for life’s events. The Occasions Group works with some of the largest names in the stationery industry. However, their large-scale print services were not available to small-scale businesses and freelance designers until 2018 when TOG.ink was formed.

How does The Occasions Group stay ahead of trends, and how does that affect TOG.ink?

The Occasions Group has an experienced Product Development Team and a very talented Product Design Team. They are constantly on the lookout for stationery trends, but the two main product categories they’re following are wedding invitations and holiday cards since those have always been hot sellers in the industry. TOG.ink is able to leverage that research. The Product Development Team will suggest new product offerings based on design and product trends in the market. When you shop TOG.ink, you are shopping a carefully curated offering of custom print products that cater to stationery designers specifically. We don’t have it all! We stay within our wheelhouse of custom print invitations and stationery for the most part but we did recently add some fun giftable products to jazz things up!

Designed by Vanderhorst Calligraphy, Photograph by Aubrey Jimenez of The Three Photography

With the rise of digital communication, how does The Occasions Group see physical stationery evolving in today’s business environment, and what advantages does it offer compared to digital alternatives?

What an amazing question because so much has happened in the last twenty years! In the business world, stationery remains a go-to touchpoint that customers appreciate and respect. Printed greeting cards like holiday cards, birthday cards and anniversary cards are a tradition we don’t see businesses pulling away from anytime soon.

The same could be said for wedding invitations, but how people purchase wedding invitations has changed quite a bit. As you can imagine, the industry has gone from storefronts to websites and the number of professional wedding invitation dealers has dropped dramatically. The vast majority of wedding invitations are purchased online these days and are often digitally printed, which easily produces a variety of beautiful yet affordable options. However, we have seen a huge rise in custom printed wedding invitations. Couples hire a designer to create their wedding invitations or they create their own and need a printer with specialty print capabilities. Processes like letterpress, foil stamping and thermography are very popular on custom wedding invitations. And so TOG.ink was created! We provide specialty print services on a variety of cards and products all from one website with a simple ordering process.

What has surprised me the most over the years is the surge in boutique greeting cards and personal stationery. Although technology never ceases to amaze us, stationery continues to hold a special place in our lives. I’m not sure if that will ever change. There may always be a piece of us that desires the heartfelt sentiment that comes with a beautifully printed piece.

Designed by Blue Leaf Design Co., Photography by TOG.ink Photo Studio

Can you share examples of successful partnerships or projects where TOG.ink has worked closely with designers to create standout stationery?

We are so lucky to work with such an amazing group of people. Stationery designers are incredibly creative and they’re tapped into all the feels, which is where my heart lives. Seeing how designers interpret a client’s wedding invitation request or how they pick up on cultural undertones to create hilarious lines of greeting cards is amazing. I highly encourage readers to check out the Product Spotlights we’ve published on the TOG.ink Blog to see some personal accounts of people who have partnered with TOG.ink. Check out the Gallery, too. You’ll find custom print pieces from both partners and in-house designers. It’s a great way to see the variety of products and print processes we offer at a glance.

Designed by Prfenstein, Photography by TOG.ink Photo Studio

 How does the company ensure that every aspect of the process meets the high standards expected by clients?

Our print press operators and production floor crews are highly trained and skilled. Our product development team ensures items are quality tested before going live to customers. It’s worth noting here that some of the specialty print processes we offer, like foil stamping and letterpress, are handprinted and subject to slight differences from card to card. This is due to the historical print process used to achieve a distinct look and feel. We have knowledgeable customer service representatives ready to help with any questions and requests our customers may have. Want a deeper impression on your letterpress pieces? We’ll work with you! Questioning color consistency? We’ll work with you! Our goal is to create quality custom print pieces at wholesale prices that impress your clients and help you make a little cha-ching at the same time!


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