I received an inquiry recently.
It’s the kind I used to get all the time. I don’t get them often anymore.
Someone needed stationery printed.
Notice – I didn’t say “someone needed stationery.” They needed it printed because they already had the design and the specs laid out. They knew the colors and the papers and needed someone to execute it.
I am not that guy.
Perhaps I used to be, but I’ve realized over the years that the things that make A Fine Press what it is aren’t the things that make for a profitable print shop.
- I’m not hellbent on efficiency – I like the herky-jerky nature of the creative process.
- I’m not interested in doing the same thing every day – repetition breeds efficiency and makes a print shop profitable.
- I’m less interested in the paper than how the recipient experiences that paper.
I’m not a printer.
What I do is make compelling stationery for bold and daring clients. People willing to consider ideas they’ve never heard before.
So I’ve built a process that’s not centered on efficiency or savings. It’s built on exploration and experimentation. It’s laser-focused on creating transformation in the relationships my clients have with the recipients of my work.
My people don’t know what their stationery will look like. They know what the world will look like with their stationery in it.
It’s an easy thing to say, but a fairly hard thing to live. Most people don’t have a way to categorize me. I’m not like the printers or designers they’ve encountered.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve started referring to A Fine Press as a multi-disciplinary studio that specializes in stationery and brand expression.
Because I have no desire to be confined to “invitations” or “business cards” or even “letterpress.”
When we start with the fewest assumptions possible – a function (what it needs to say or do), and emotion (how it should make people feel) and a vocabulary (the visual style and/or the literal words) – when we start with that, we can explore the edges and make daring, unconventional stationery that elicits a “holy $#!%” from the people you seek to impact.
It’s not easy, but it’s a ton of fun.