By Jude Carter
The Marlin Company is celebrating 100 years of visual communication. In 1913 Marlin began publishing news pictorials called the Illustrated Current News™. They were sold by subscription to businesses as a marketing technique for attracting shoppers to store windows.
To commemorate its centennial, Marlin has a released a book of Illustrated Current News through the decades.
When it began, commercial photography had just come into being and the images of sports, war news, industrial innovation and politics attracted a lot of attention. Marlin later introduced the concept into a manufacturing setting at Marlin Firearms to improve communication with employees. Illustrated Current News was displayed in The Marlin News Centers, which were wall fixtures that also contained workplace messages on safety, morale and teamwork.
In the early years, the program was sold primarily to manufacturers, but was later offered to healthcare, transportation, utility, warehouse, retail, hospitality and business service markets. Marlin’s Editorial team produced workplace content specific to each industry. Colorful graphics and compelling messages worked to engage employees. The Custom Feature Center was launched to produce custom posters for subscribers. They were very popular for employee recognition, anniversaries and milestones and in-house campaigns for safety and health and wellness, and customer service.
Marlin has been a pioneer in the use of digital signage for employee communication. The common thread is still visual communication as a means to engage employees. But today it’s happening on large flat screens, laptops and tablets that showcase dynamic workplace content. Marlin’s patented content management software enables users to create and post in-house messages. The Illustrated Current News now appears in digital format and can be found on thousands of Marlin Electronic Communication stations across the North America.