About Cushing

A River North printer with worldwide connections, proudly serving Chicagoland and Illinois since 1929.

An annual tradition, Customer Service Week encourages teamwork, collaboration and brings the team together. See us celebrate!

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Consider us your merry band of creative problem solvers, print consultants and customer service experts.

Meet Us!

Since 1929, Cushing has supported the associations in the Chicagoland area.

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Meet and Hear from Members of the Cushing Team

The Cushing Experience

Find out about services, capabilities and the history of this creative printing services company from some members of the team.

We're Excited to Help You

For over ninety years, businesses in Illinois and beyond have trusted us to exceed expectations. The River North area has been home for over fifteen years. About a half mile from the Loop, its convenient for customers throughout the city and state.

  • Easy access to the brown line and public transportation
  • Vibrant Neighborhood with shops, restaurants and close to the Chicago loop
  • Convenient to interstate 90

Read Our Core Values

Jon, Josette, and Matt at Chicago Global Commercial Real Estate Forecast.

Learn About The In-House Division

Did you know we can assist you with graphic design? Our creative studio provides consultation and creative services.

Learn more about Sepia Studio and how we can help.

Visit Sepia Studio

Sepia Studio Logo for new creative division in Chicago.
Machinery on Cushing Shop Floor, Circa 1930's
Printing to Perserverance

Cushing has persevered by choosing outstanding people and focusing on innovation. The goal is always to improve your customer experience.  We have utilized three and a half generations of input to guide your print projects.

Like history or stories about great American small businesses? Read on…

Company History

In 1929 (yes, the year of the Great Depression) Cushing opened as a blue print shop to serve growing architecture and engineering firms. An ex-driver of a delivery truck, our founder, F. John Cushing Sr. made every sales call himself, to rebuild the company (National Blueprint Co.) he purchased from his employer.   Changing the name shortly after, Cushing and Company was branded with the colors orange and blue.  This mimicked the University of Illinois, and later the Chicago Bears, who housed their offices above Cushing for two decades.

Cushing Team Sings Songs in Chicago in this Classic Photo
Cushing: Illinois Family Business Award Winner 2018

2018 Illinois Family Business Award Winner: Cushing

Cushing Co. won the Small Business Award at the Family Business Center at Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business's 25th Annual Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards.

About Cushing's Chicago History
Diazo to Display

Coating diazo paper in the 1950’s for our own use, Cushing began converting photographic and drafting films in the 1960’s. Converting various Diazo media in blue, black and sepia tones, Cushing became a key player in the world of manufacturing and distribution. Jack Cushing Jr. uncovered a niche to expand:

Selling the paper and films to printing shops in the Midwest.

“Cushing did an incredible job with our conference event signage. Their team went the extra mile to make sure we had everything before our deadlines, the communication was superb and their team is friendly and knowledgeable! They are professionals who understand the client end goals and I would not hesitate recommending them to anyone planning an event.”
Charlene Kate Ditch Shares Her Cushing Experience
Large Format Runs in the Family

A lot has changed since 1929. Click the image to meet the Nurture Life team (and a recent project – wide format display graphics are a fast growing part of our service offerings!)

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In the late 70’s, we expanded service offerings and placed the industry’s first manned, on-site printing center in Chicago.   Shortly thereafter, Cushing was the first reprographic firm to add color copying services in downtown Chicago.  This blazed a new trail in the commercial real estate and corporate printing communities.  The next fifteen years included the addition of electronic (CAD plotting) services to meet industry demand.  We moved from the Loop to River North and expanded color services to include wide format color display graphics.  Vertical markets expanded to include retail point-of-purchase displays, trade show and event printing and commercial printing outside the AEC community.


Cushing Production Team in the 1970's Decade
Significant Men of Cushing's Past Shaped Foundation for Future Success
Carl Hansen and Joe Cushing at a Networking Event
Cushing Team Photo Features Mike Duff, Carl Hansen, and Joe Cushing
In this image, Mike Duff speaks about new equipment in Cushing print shop.
Joe Cushing in Cushing's River North Office.

Owners Cathie Cushing Duff and Joe Cushing represent Cushing in the larger community, volunteering, sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices. Both are active in a number of industry and community associations with an emphasis on Family Business Development, including: City of Hope, Canstruction, SMPS, ACE Mentor Program, DePaul’s Chicago Family Business Council, SOS Villages, March of Dimes, ReproMAX and the Chicago Printer’s Guild.

Additionally, we are certified nationally and with the City of Chicago as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), led by our company president of twenty-five years, Cathleen Cushing Duff.   Ownership diversity is an added benefit to using Cushing for projects or public entities. Through our certification, we’ll help you fulfill your vendor diversity goals.

Cathie Cushing Duff at her desk in Cushing's River North office.
Steve Gianoutsos, Founder of Mojo Coffee in Chicago.
“I should also mention the menu boards and the signage looks absolutely fantastic!”
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Thanks for browsing Cushing’s history.

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