Tuesday, December 6, 2011

:: kick-ass short-run fine-art printing heading your way ::

richard branson, i learned today, started his airline because when he was in the music biz he hated flying on other people's airlines and he thought to himself, "i can do it better." and then he did it.

yes, i'm comparing myself to richard branson, because we're totally analogous. in this one case.


so, here's the basic deal...

as you probably very well know by now if you're a reader of thishereblog, i've been running a design studio / print shop / online retail establishment for more than three years now, and every six months or so I go through the old "should I or shouldn't I outsource" debate

to date, other than my wrapping paper which i had offset printed here in rochester, i've kept all printing in-house, but not for lack of trying (at times) to outsource.

at one point quite recently, after the 33 weddings that came of the september experiment, i decided something needed to give. so i went out into the "street" and asked every short-run-type graphic designer i could think of (and read every related post on every related forum) and i came up with a list of seven or eight printers to try.

cut to mad spree of account setting up and sample ordering.

then cut to me getting the samples and being un.happy.

then cut to me being frustrated and wondering why there isn't someone out there who will print my orders on MY printers with MY inks and cut them on manual cutters in small batches, paying close attention to things like making sure things are centered and even and that, you know, crop marks aren't showing (one of the top-recommended print shops actually sent me my order with crop marks visible on almost 20% of the order they were cut that irregularly) and generally doing things the way i insist on doing them. (as i've said before, like it or not, i care deeply about quality and paper and the art of printing.)

cut to me waking up on a sunday morning with an epiphany: i am in a perfect position to be the printer i am always looking for. i've made the contacts, i've got bulk accounts with major paper distributors who ship to me straight from the mill at a crazy discount if i order thousands of dollars' worth at a time and can do it on their production schedule. i've got equipment and lots of practice being a perfectionist about printing.

and so. so so so.

i will be opening a short-run print shop. actually, it will be a
fine-art
short-run
indie-powered
designer-loving
eco-friendly
in-house
kick-ass
anything-but-basic
print shop equipped with everything you need to wow your clients and amaze your friends.



i'll be featuring vibrant, water-resistant pigment inks and all the best cotton, recycled, and bamboo paper you can imagine. oh, and want something a bit more exotic? how about sugar cane? kenaf? or perhaps some self-adhesive kraft paper? done.

the thing is, for most people, printing is the un-fun part. it's the tedious, error-ridden part. it's the part that brings swear words to their lips and tears to their eyes. it incites arguments between otherwise happily engaged couples just trying to keep invitations personal, practical, and affordable.

but I love it. i love learning the tricks and figuring out how to avoid the troubles. i like discovering new methods and new substrates.

i mean, i read blogs about printing. i really do.

the official launch will be in february 2012 at aperandpink.com but in the meantime, i'm always still print-print-printing along. i'm bringing on new customers now and hope to continue doing so as february approaches.

and now you finally know what i've been scheming. yay!

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