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Customized Promotional Giveaways Since 1979

Promotional Briefcases, Custom Printed Briefcases

Promotional briefcases are one of the advertiser's favourite ways to reach business professionals with their branding and message.  The briefcase has an interesting history that dates back at least hundreds of years and helped to shape the version that is known and used today.

The true origin of the modern-day briefcase isn’t fully clear.  It’s likely that there were more than a few predecessors to the promotional briefcase.  Each one probably contributed in its own way to what we would consider to be the contemporary version that is carried by business professionals.

One such predecessor comes from ancient China.  Here, boxes with handles were used by scribes to carry papers, inks and quills.  Since “scribe” was something of an elite profession, these boxes may have come to be associated both professionals and with the elite.

It is thought that this early Chinese version was adapted later on in England during the 1800’s.  Here they were issued by the King to his counsel who used them to carry important documents.  Again, the early “briefcase” came to be associated with elites and professionals.

Others place the origin with the “budget,” a type of satchel used during the 14th century.  It was made chiefly for holding money and valuables and gave us the English word that is associated with looking after one’s money and allocation of finances today.  

Whatever its true origins, the briefcase as it is known today was first manufactured in the mid 1800's.  Its name comes from the profession of law.  Lawyers would prepare "briefs" on paper which they would carry in a "brief case."  The name stuck, although the briefcase is used by a much wider group of professionals and even students.

The modern day briefcase has a few "cousins."  One is the portfolio, a case that is similar in shape to the briefcase.  Although a briefcase is typically made of rigid material and/or a rigid frame, the portfolio is usually made of more flexible material.  This is because the portfolio has no handle and is designed to be held and carried under the arm.  Art Promos carries an impressive selection of promotional portfolios in addition to its custom printed briefcase inventory.

Another relative of the briefcase is the folio.  This device is a cross between the briefcase and the portfolio in that it is designed to be carried under the arm, but also has a retractable handle.

Yet another distant cousin of the briefcase is the messenger bag.  It is shaped similarly to a briefcase but is always made from flexible materials, like fabric or leather, and has no rigid frame.  Instead of handles, the messenger bag features a carry strap which is designed to be worn over the shoulder.  It is called a "messenger bag" because the earliest versions were created for message delivery personnel as a convenient and lightweight way to carry around their deliveries.  Today the messenger bag has evolved into the contemporary laptop computer bag, a similar bag but designed to hold a laptop instead of envelopes and papers.  Art Promos carries both custom printed messenger bags and promotional laptop bags.

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