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About letterpress printing process, products and services. Tips and tricks

Letterpress is a printing technique dating back to the mid XVth century. Even though nowadays digital printing is commonly used as the main method for printing, letterpress is seeing a rebirth because of its unique feel, texture and visual effects. However, this revival, as opposed to letterpress’ use back in the day, is seen in fine arts, stationery, special events etc.

letterpress printing processHow does letterpress work?

The process back in the day followed a very strict, detailed, meticulous and precise routine: individual metal letters of various fonts and sizes were carefully arranged and put together to form the text to be printed; after that, ink was applied thoroughly over the letters and then they’d be ready to be printed by applying pressure. As an alternative to the individual metal letters, nowadays photopolymer plates are used, though there still are artisans using the old ways. At the same time, as an alternative to the hand-operated letterpress machines, automated letterpress printing machines are used.

Tips for creating a letterpress-friendly design:

  • avoid using fonts that are too thin or have fine details. During the printing process such details can be lost, so it is best to consider not using them.
  • avoid using more than 2 or 3 ink colors. Adding another color actually means starting the whole printing process all over again; each color gets its own plate and printing time, therefore, the price is surely influenced by the number of colors to be printed. Also, avoid overlapping the colors.
  • avoid using transparency, shadows, gradients etc. These can not be reproduced in letterpress printing. It’s either the color evenly spread or no color at all.
  • image files can not be used in letterpress and hot foil printing. So no, Photoshop files are not ok as they are image files. The designs used in letterpress and hot foil have to be vector files, grouped and converted to curves. That means you must use a program that creates vector files and the most common ones are Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator (.cdr and .ai files).
  • NO: .psd, .jpeg, .png etc. The design file has to be either .cdr or .ai or vector based .pdf.

Why is letterpress printing more expensive than digital printing?

Despite the use of polymer plates and automated printing machines, letterpress is still a highly complex and time consuming process. Setting up the machine alone takes a lot of attention and patience. Each color in a design gets its own plate and each plate requires a new machine set-up, washing and inking. The thick card stock used for letterpress printing is also not your regular card as well.

Why choose letterpress?

Letterpress printed products are high quality and luxurious; they are special, they provide an exquisite visual and tactile experience that will make it difficult for the receiver to throw them away. In this era of technology when all you need to get contact information is a mobile phone and we even started sending wedding invitations through emails, paper is indeed losing ground. However, letterpress printing came to show that a tangible, physical object will surely leave a lasting impression that will definitely be beneficial on the long term.

letterpress printing process hot foil business cardsWhat does Funky Print Studio offer?

Funky Print Studio is a family-owned and operated letterpress and hot foil atelier based in Bucharest, Romania. Our services include:

  • letterpress printing (we print on an Original Heidelberg Platen windmill from circa 1960) – edge painting, rounded corners, blind impression, emboss (as opposed to deboss = letterpress printing); we also make our own polymer plates in house
  • hot foil printing – various foil colors
  • die cutting – cutting card stock in whatever shape and size using custom dies
  • finishing processes – cutting, folding, perforating, drilling

We do our very best to revive antique machinery and printing processes in order to create impressive details that will be treasured for a long time.

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10 ways to get rid of depression
rant, tips and tricks

10 ways to get rid of depression…

… and the nasty consequences that come along from it. The 10 ways to get rid of depression is an article i kept thinking of writing because of several reasons:

10 ways to get rid of depression

  • i think every single person deals with depression at some point in their lives at least once
  • even though i keep this blog mostly for the shops and things related to the shops, this problem is somehow related to them as well. If you’ve been hit by depression before, you know how it affects your creativity and will to do any sort of activity at all. Hence they’re related!
  • i just got over a couple of days of depression and i decided to do this while it’s still fresh in my mind
  • i wanted to continue with lists of my opinions and experiences ever since i wrote “Lessons learned in online selling”. So i decided to take on this type of articles on various topics.

As i was saying, i just got over a couple of days of depression myself. Luckily for me, these episodes are not intense and they don’t last long; but they do happen and it’s frustrating that they affect my spirit, creativity and i just generally don’t feel like doing anything at all. So here are my 10 ways to get rid of depression:

1. Talk to yourself – As weird as it may sound, do talk to yourself. It’s important to work with your own mind and bring it back to a positive track.

2. Laugh – Yes, even if you have to force yourself at first, laugh!

3. Watch comedies – They will definitely get you to No. 2, so watch some comedies you know you enjoyed before.

4. Spend time with friends and family – When being depressed you tend to shut yourself out; don’t! Talking and spending quality time with friends and family can make a huge difference.

5. Read – reading is a way of getting rid of everything around you and escape to a brand new world. It’s definitely always a good idea to use this as a method of getting rid of depression.

6. Make lists – of what you’ve accomplished and your future goals. It gives you a boost of power and you’ll feel pumped up!

7. Take a long bubble bath – i don’t know about you, but bubble baths have always made me smile and feel playful. You should give it a try!

8. Buy flowers – i don’t grow flowers and i’m not particularly fond of flowers; but they have such a calming effect that they need to be on this list.

9. Surround yourself with colorful things – if the flowers have a calming effect, the colorful things on the other hand, make you feel happy!

10. Play with your pet – and if you don’t have a pet, i recommend you get one!

This is it! These are my 10 ways to get rid of depression. What do you do to fight depression?

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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lessons learned in online selling
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Lessons learned in online selling after 2 and a half years

Several days ago i read a very compelling article on Cristina’s blog about lessons learned after several years of freelancing (a lot more than my 2 and a half years of online selling!). I thought it would be interesting to write down my own most important lessons learned in online selling as an answer to Cristina’s post.

lessons learned in online selling

At the beginning of 2013 we bought our first piece of machinery: our die cutting machine! She looked like one of those ancient buried treasures; she needed a whole lot of love to get back to a functional state… A whole lot! Now we pretty much have our own fully equipped printing house: letterpress printing machines, paper guillotine, polymer plate making machine, paper drilling machine, paper folding machine… Am i forgetting anything? Well, the point is, we’ve managed to grow. I honestly have no idea if growing this much is enough, not enough or a lot. However, the journey so far did teach us a lot.

1. Success will never happen overnight

Cristina’s first lesson also deals with time frames. I believe this is by far the most important lesson i’ve learned about online selling, but i think it basically applies to any new business. It will not get successful and profitable overnight. When we opened FBS i kept reading forums where people shared their selling experiences; a lot of them stated that it took an average of at least 3 months to get their first sale. So from that point on it’s just a constantly increasing battle to sell more.

In our case it’s an even bigger struggle since we both have day jobs as well. So growing our studio while keeping full time jobs is a lot of work. But we’re slowly and steadily getting there.

2. Communication is the most important detail of online selling

Good communication is the key to online selling. Saying “thank you” and “sorry” is extremely important. Explaining each detail as well as possible is also just as important. People can only see photos of what they’re going to buy, so naturally there could be a bunch of questions. Communication could help close a lot of deals with potential clients, but it can also be your downfall if not done right.

3. Photography skills are needed

As mentioned above, people can only see photos of what they’re buying from you. That means your photography skills will have to be constantly polished so that the quality of your item’s photos will keep on increasing. For me, this is my all time nemesis. You can always call in a professional product photographer if you can. Good photos are bound to increase sales. The lessons learned in online selling will always include a whole chapter for photography.

4. Promote constantly

As the saying goes: “Seldom seen, soon forgotten.” You will need to promote your shop / business / items as often as you can, and yet not so much that it gets aggressive. There’s a limit to everything and it might actually backfire! Use social media well. Figure out which ones work best for your niche and promote there constantly.

5. Remember to breathe!

I agree with Cristina on this one also. Overworking yourself is not ok in any way. It affects your mental and physical health, your family and your family life. Take breaks, go on vacations, one day trips, take a walk in the park, walk barefoot on grass, get a drink with friends, play some badminton, cook with your kids, breathe! Take a chance to unwind from time to time.

Well this is it; these are my most valuable lessons learned in online selling.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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Dos and don’ts of online selling. Tips and tricks for online sellers

Dos and don’ts of online selling is a highly debated topic. Online selling has its benefits, but in order to be successful there are certain basic rules that sellers should be aware of. Well maybe “rules” is a little harsh, so i guess guidelines should be more acceptable. We shall call them “the dos and don’ts of online selling”.

When we opened our packaging and paper supplies etsy shop i did do some research beforehand and even tried approaching a few experienced sellers in order to get some tips. Now, more than two years and several hundred sales later (those intermediated through etsy), i can say i’ve dealt with plenty different situations and plenty different clients. Also, maybe the most interesting thing of all, i’ve gotten to see and hear plenty sellers’ opinions.

dos and don't of online selling

Probably the most important DON’T for online sellers is: DON’T be rude to your clients! No matter what, you can’t be rude to your clients. Of course, there will be times when clients are unreasonable, that’s a given (you can’t satisfy them all!), but the way you handle these situations is very important.

DON’T reply right away! It’s very frustrating dealing with difficult customers; you are very well aware of the time and effort you put into creating your items, so it’s only natural to feel hurt, but being rude to those clients would actually do more damage to your shop than help in any way. Think it over and only reply once you’ve calmed down. “Sorry” and “thank you” are a huge part of dealing with such situations, so DO use them! Yes, even if the client is obviously unreasonable, they don’t say “the client is always right” for no reason. You might feel inclined to disagree thinking: how could i possibly apologize and be thankful to a client who is rude from the get go? Yes, DO start your message by thanking the client for the feedback (even though negative) and apologize for the fact that your item is not exactly what was needed. Grit your teeth and DO that. It will be a lot better on the long run. It might actually change the client’s opinion in fact. On the other hand, if you’re rude back, the whole situation would just escalate.

– if you’re an etsy seller dealing with a public negative review, it is even more important to use diplomacy. I did talk about etsy reviews a while back so you can find more information about this over there. It is safe to say that difficult customers are not that many, so for the majority of normal, regular customers it will be important to see how you manage a not so favorable situation. These potential buyers will read your reviews and if there are unreasonable comments, they will also realize that. But they will also see your replies and if they are rude, the fact that the initial comment was unreasonable will not matter as much. If, on the other hand, you did use those “thank you” and “sorry” words, the potential buyers will know that they’ll be dealing with professional people

DO communicate! No matter what the situation is, DO reply to your clients / potential buyers. DON’T leave issues unsolved and try to find solutions that work for both parties.

DON’T lie! If you’re having difficulties with the deadlines, try to explain it to your clients the best way you can. DON’T tell your clients their items have shipped if they actually haven’t. Provide accurate information and accurate photos of the items you’re selling.

Well i’m pretty sure we’ll be having other similar posts as there are many DOs and DON’Ts in online selling, but the ones above are, in my opinion, the most important ones. Please feel free to add your own DOs and DON’Ts based on your own experiences!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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