HomeLogo DesignMost Valuable “Swag” Ever

Sometimes free swag can become you’re more useful assets.

This morning as I was adding a phone number to the door sign I did a couple of months back I was reflecting back on all the use I’ve gotten out of my “handy Dandy” centering ruler from the Polychrome Corporation. I haven’t seen very many of these things and I picked mine up as a piece of swag at the Southwestern Graphics Trade Show in Dallas over 50 years ago. This was back when swag was a light you hung over your dining room table and connected to a wall plugin by a flimsy cord threaded through a chain. The correct term for this ruler in those days was “trade show giveaway”.


The thing that makes this ruler different from most is the top side starts at 12″ and goes to 0″ on one end then starts at 12″ and goes to 0″ on the other end. The bottom side is a normal ruler starting at 0″ and running to 24″ with 12″ lining up with 0″ on the top side. The top side makes it incredibly easy to get manual paste-ups centered on each other which was the way we had to do everything back in the old days.


Even in today’s digital age I still find myself having to do a few things the “old-fashioned way” like going back and centering this added phone number to a door sign. I find myself waxing a little nostalgic thinking about the demise of the Polychrome corporation after being bought out by the Kodak Company and then the Kodak company filing Chapter 11 a couple of years back. I understand Kodak is re-organizing and they’re once again listed on the NYSE but the Polychrome brand appears to be gone forever. I have bought and used a lot of fine Polychrome products through the years and for many years they were considered on of the leaders in printing and graphics arts products.

Speaking of swag- I picked up this awesome rechargeable battery backup at the Austin WordCamp in 2014. It’s now my most used piece of swag but I doubt seriously it’ll last as long as my Polychrome centering ruler. It came with a 6″ Android cord but I latched on to a 6″ for my iPhone and another for Linda’s Kindle and we were all set. This one will actually charge my iPhone when it’s down and has got me out of a jam on more than one occasion.


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