We’re often asked how we came up with the idea for an Envelope Book. The answer is that we’re really good listeners, and after hearing enough people tell us what they didn’t like about traditional boxed envelope sets, we knew we could come up with something they liked better.
It wasn’t the first time we’d improved upon the status quo. In fact, our whole company was built on coming up with innovative solutions to existing problems.
We started listening carefully back in the late 1950s when Mac McClelland, a salesman for McBee Systems in Athens, Ohio, heard from the churches he worked with that they needed a product that made record-keeping easier than the carbon copy forms they were using. Mac joined forces with Tom Boyd, the owner of a small print shop in Wheeling, West Virginia, and they worked together to give the churches exactly what they wanted. Using NCR paper to supplant traditional carbon copies, they created the One Write System, state-of-the-art record and contribution report forms that freed churches from the onerous task of using carbon paper.
At the same time, Mac and Tom used a then-revolutionary process called flexography to print an entire year’s Sunday dates on individual envelopes, and then “perfect bind” them. No more lost or disordered envelopes meant no more missed or forgotten offerings—the solution to a definite pain point for churches nationwide.
The Envelope Books were an immediate hit, but that didn’t stop us from coming up with innovative new ways to make them even better. Today, we use digital technology to create customized covers and improved designs, and we’re committed to continuing our long-held tradition of “thinking outside of the box.”