My company was founded by Liam O’Quackenbush as the Longs Corners Commercial Art Co.
as a job printing shop in in Corfu, NY in 1907. He typeset and printed posters, broadsides, billheads and variety of other business ephemera at his Main Street location until his death in 1927. The shop was then purchased by Michael Flaherty and operated for 72 years by three generations of his family, who expanded it over the years, offering advertising artwork and placement services, graphic design and cartography in addition to job printing.
The Flahertys sold the entire operation to me in 1999, and I consolidated the business offerings to the core services of advertising, graphic design, custom cartography and website design. To reflect my new ownership and business direction, I changed its name to The Quackenstein Graphic Design Co. – a combination of the founder’s and my surnames. (I didn’t, however, change its location – I'm still in the wonderful village of Corfu.) I also had one other reason for the change - because new customers will remember me as the “serious graphic designer with the silly business name.”
I have a keen interest (some would call it an obsession) in American history, especially the era from the Gilded Age to the end of World War One. I wanted my logo and tagline to reflect this passion, so I adapted President Woodrow Wilson’s famous statement from his speech to Congress in 1917, urging them to declare war on the Central Powers of Europe. He said that
“the world must be made safe for democracy” and I'm doing my best to keep at least my
little corner of it safe from bad design. And of course, with this sort of name, a duck wearing
a doughboy uniform carrying a giant pencil (the designer’s weapon in the marketing wars)
was the only choice as the logo’s main graphic element. But I’m sure that’s been obvious from the start.