Date-Line Digital Printing, Fairbanks Alaska Fairbanks' Premier Digital Printer :: The Home of Thanks Fairbanks Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:12:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This might not work Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:11:28 +0000 red-shoesTo say my work has changed dramatically over the past few years is a massive understatement.

From nearly losing Date-Line Digital Printing in 2009, to sharing more than 23,000 thank you cards through Thanks Fairbanks, to having dozens of opportunities to share my irreverent ideas about business, to being selected to facilitate the Chamber’s 2015/16 Leadership Fairbanks sessions…almost nothing about my work looks like it did just a handful of years ago.

The twists and turns of recent years have proven that taking chances and trying things that might not work (Thanks, Seth) are integral parts of doing work that matters. With that belief, and countless essays/talks/interviews as a primer, I am excited to announce that we are launching a weekly blog about leadership, service, and being a human at work called Powered By Humanity.

Some of you may be familiar with that title because you’ve had the occasion to read my eBook of the same name. Sharing that collection of ideas, and watching it spread around the world, was instrumental in helping us recognize that the way we do business at Date-Line Digital Printing is not only wonderfully weird, it’s something about which people are curious.

It seems presumptuous to think that we should share our ideas about business, but after being invited to give dozens of talks about these ideas, and hearing incredible stories from readers around the world about how these ideas are changing their work, it seems selfish to keep them to ourselves.

My sincere hope is that Powered By Humanity will be meaningful to our friends and neighbors, but there are simply no guarantees.

I suppose that’s part of the fun of trying to do work that matters.

Intersted in joining us on this journey? Subscribe here and we will start sending you our weekly thoughts on leadership, service, and being a human at work on September 2nd.

]]> 0
Goodbye, Bridget Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:42:53 +0000 Bridget Frazier and her twin daughtersI visited Washington D.C. last week to represent Date-Line at America’s Small Business Summit where we were honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of 100 Blue Ribbon small businesses. Accepting our Blue Ribbon certificate (it’s not actually a ribbon at all) was great, but the coolest part of this trip was that I was able to squeeze in a visit with Bridget Frazier, a former employee who lives nearby.

As many of you know, Bridget had a very complicated (and still incomplete) recovery after giving birth to beautiful twin girls in January and in April she wisely chose to move back to Virginia to be near a support network of family.

Bridget was an employee at Date-Line for more than 3 years and was a favorite of many customers. We loved having her as part of our little family and it’s already strange to think about the 4,000 miles between us.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have spent 3+ years with such a wonderful young woman and we wish her the very best as she continues to recuperate while caring for her children. We are happy that she will have the help and comfort of her biological family during this time and we are equally happy that we got to be her “other” family while she was here.

Bridget had a few remarks she wanted me to share:

When I started at Date-Line Digital Printing in the summer of 2010 I was a young kid just out of my freshman year of college, not knowing where or what I wanted to do in life. Over the course of the past few years the people I have worked with have surrounded me with love and encouragement and helped me become an adult. Unfortunately, growing up means being faced with difficult decisions and one of the hardest I have made was to leave my Date-Line family to start the next chapter of my life with my husband and our two newborn daughters.

The people at Date-Line, not just my co-workers but the customers as well, have made their way into my heart and treated me like family. We have gone through some of the most joyous times, and some of the saddest times together, but we made it through. I know that even though I am moving on in life, my Date-Line family will always be there for me no matter how far away I am.

She’s right about that. Once you’re one of us, you’re always one of us.

If you would like to leave a message for Bridget in the comments below, we will make sure she sees it.

]]> 0
Not Winning Is Different Than Losing Fri, 13 Jun 2014 13:37:48 +0000 Thank you, FairbanksThis morning I had the distinct pleasure of representing Date-Line Digital Printing (and being the least formal attendee) at America’s Small Business Summit where the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized our little company as one of 100 Blue Ribbon small businesses in the country.

Being one of those 100 Blue Ribbon businesses also put us in the running for the Community Excellence Award which was decided by online voting. We were blown away by the support we received from our friends and neighbors in Fairbanks as votes poured in for us back in March.

Well, the winner was announced this morning…and it wasn’t us. Except, that’s not entirely true.

Here’s the thing: We are a tiny company, from a tiny community, and somehow we were recognized for a national award being presented in Washington D.C. When our community found out about this recognition they rallied like crazy to support us further by voting for us in an online competition against larger companies from much larger communities.

Winning the Community Excellence Award was a stretch at best, so we don’t care that we couldn’t muster enough votes to get an award for our excellence in the community, we care that we are so incredibly fortunate to get to do what we do in such an excellent community.

It’s been fun for Date-Line to be the center of attention for a bit, but we recognize that none of what we do would be remotely possible outside of Fairbanks. Our emphasis on gratitude and our heretical people-before-profits business practices would likely get us crushed in other communities and we are so thankful that we live and work in a place that affords us the great luxury of running a business based on our values and not on the pursuit of profits at all costs.

As I reflect on the events of the past 6 months I can’t help but wonder how we got here. From being named the 2013 Business of the Year by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, to getting to tell the story of Thanks Fairbanks at TEDxAnchorage, to sitting in a hotel in Washington D.C. with a name badge emblazoned with the words “Award Winner”…I wouldn’t have dared to dream of any of it a year ago.

I am coming home tomorrow incredibly proud to have been able to represent my home town here in D.C. and completely sure that, in spite of awards and flattering recognition, the most important work we can do is to take care of people and try to make things a little better today than they were yesterday.

Let’s keep working on that and let the awards sort themselves out.


Also, here is an incredibly awkward selfie taken from the stage at the Blue Ribbon breakfast when I accepted our award.

Geoff Welch & US Chamber CEO Tom Donohue at the Blue Ribbon Award Ceremony

]]> 3
Thanks, Fairbanks Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:14:58 +0000 Thank You with ScribblesIn February we shared our 10,000th FREE thank you card and we want to thank YOU for making Thanks Fairbanks such a compelling story.

You are invited to an open house where we will celebrate your efforts to spread a culture of gratitude in Fairbanks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at how your cards are produced.

Drop by Date-Line Digital Printing anytime between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, April 26th and let us say thank you for turning a simple idea into a movement that is changing our community for the better.

The open house will feature:

  • Printing piles of thank you cards for you to take home
  • Dedicating our lobby as the FORTRESS OF GRATITUDE and inviting you to decorate our walls with your gratitude
  • Amazing Thanks Fairbanks themed cupcakes from Bad Habit Cupcakes
  • One very exciting surprise announcement

We can’t wait to spend some time with you, hear your stories about gratitude, and thank you for making Fairbanks so wonderful. Feel free to bring a friend to introduce them to the project.

WHEN: April 26th, 10AM to 2PM
WHERE: Date-Line Digital Printing, 3677 College Road
WHAT: Thanks Fairbanks open house celebrating the efforts of nearly 700 subscribers

]]> 2
Oval Stickers for Black Spruce Dog Sledding Fri, 07 Mar 2014 02:02:12 +0000 Black Spruce Dog Sledding StickersWe were excited when Iditarod veteran Jeff Deeter & KattiJo Fetting contacted us recently to help them create oval stickers to promote their business, Black Spruce Dog Sledding.

Their logo was on file since we had already worked together designing and printing their rack cards, so repurposing their art for 3×4″ oval stickers was a breeze.

We arrayed their logo with cut markers on a 60″ sheet in Adobe Illustrator and printed the document on our color plotter, before cutting the ovals with our Summa cutter (here’s video of that machine at work).

The final product, which we produced in about 24 hours, turned out really well and the pair loved them. For more about their Un-Tours, go to

]]> 1
Thanks Fairbanks gets a boost from the West Valley cheerleaders Fri, 28 Feb 2014 07:02:54 +0000 West Valley High School Cheerleaders helping stuff envelopes for the February 2014 Thanks Fairbanks mailerWhen Lacy Church, a cheer coach at West Valley High School, volunteered to bring some cheerleaders to Date-Line to help us stuff the February Thanks Fairbanks distribution I thought it was such a cool idea.

And then I panicked: how is this going to work with that many people?!

My parents have been stuffing the Thanks Fairbanks mailing for the past year and it’s a fairly simple process for two people to keep organized. A herd of cheerleaders seemed like a daunting prospect since the mailer has to be arranged in a specific sequence and more hands increases the opportunity of human error.

With a little planning and coordination Lacy and 13 cheerleaders we were able to accurately fold and stuff more than 1,900 thank you cards into nearly 650 sequenced envelopes in just under an hour.

Thank you, Lacy and the West Valley cheerleading squad for being such a tremendous help and for looking for opportunities to serve your community. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a 1994 graduate of West Valley.

If you have any interest in helping us prepare this mailer that serves hundreds of your friends and neighbors, just call me at 479-3831.

]]> 0
Willow Heath Honors Her Fairbanks Roots With Thanks Fairbanks Art Mon, 24 Feb 2014 20:17:24 +0000 Willow HeathWhen I came across Willow Heath on Instagram I instantly fell in love with her work. Willow is an artist and art instructor living in the Seattle area, but I remember her from our days at West Valley High School here in Fairbanks.

In December of 2013 she posted a photo of a funny little robot drawing she had done “for the kids!” and I reached out to her immediately to find out if she would be willing to share it with Thanks Fairbanks. She was incredibly generous and took the time to scan and e-mail me the art for use on one of the cards in our February Thanks Fairbanks distribution.

Willow infuses the work she does with her students at the Gage Academy of Art with tales of her childhood adventures in Alaska, and brings them to life in her classroom illustrations. She is currently working on illustrating and writing her childhood tales.

You can take the girl out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the girl.

We are so excited and grateful to be able to feature this fun drawing from such a talented and impressive artist whose roots are here. Thank you, Willow!

You can find more about Willow Heath on her web site:

An Army of Robots by Willow Heath

]]> 0
Custom thank you cards for the Fairbanks Children’s Museum Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:03:38 +0000 Fairbanks Children's Museum Thank You CardsWe like to think that one of the big reasons Fairbanks Children’s Museum Executive Director Brenda Riley was named as one of the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Top 40 under 40 is that she cares about gratitude. It’s certainly not the only reason, but you know how we feel about gratitude…

Brenda is a long-time customer, friend, and Thanks Fairbanks subscriber, so we were happy to be of service when she asked us to print custom thank you cards for the Children’s Museum.

She submitted some really cute artwork and we quickly began the process of arranging it for printing in Adobe InDesign. Once that was complete we printed the cards, cut them, scored them, and folded them in half to create incredibly unique and interesting 5×7″ thank you cards she could share with museum supporters.

The whole process took about 24 hours and we are happy to report that Brenda loved the finished product. For more about the amazing resource the Children’s Museum offers our community, go to

]]> 0
The US Chamber of Commerce likes us! Fri, 21 Feb 2014 01:58:07 +0000 The Staff at Date-Line Digital Printing

We found out yesterday that the US Chamber of Commerce named us one of their 100 Blue Ribbon Businesses in America!

The next goal is to garner enough votes to become their Community Excellence Award winner and bring that national distinction to Fairbanks…but we need your help!

The whole story, complete with a 1 minute video, is over at…or you can just vote right now.

US Chamber 2014 Blue Ribbon Business

]]> 0
Custom Stickers for Fairbanks Realtor Heather Lambert Fri, 14 Feb 2014 06:32:51 +0000 Stickers for Heather Lambert
When Fairbanks Realtor and Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce 2013 Volunteer of the Year Heather Lambert needed some stickers to customize a batch of pre-printed yard signs, she called us for help.

In less than 24-hours we were able to take her idea and turn it into a finished product she could put into action. Heather sent us a photo of the signs she had on hand along with specifications for the stickers and had us typeset her name in bright red letters. We then printed them in an array on our 60″ plotter and trimmed them to size.

Heather was such a pleasure to work with and you can find out more about Heather’s volunteer work with the Fairbanks Children’s Museum in her Golden Heart Heroes profile on

]]> 0