If you have ever printed or manufactured something from production to shipping, you will know that it is not always a smooth and easy process. There are SO many things that can, and do go wrong.
An appreciation for what people DO create, especially when aligned with your values, grows exponentially as you journey into what is sometimes referred to as manufacturing helldom.
We've had whole pallets go missing without a trace, whole books printed misaligned, sections missing, upside down, supply issues, you name it. All these things are usually kept secret behind a professional business facade of 'we've got it all together'. And that doesn’t really help anyone, customers have no idea of the hurdles we go through, and other creatives wonder if making something is always this complex. Yes, it is.
I’m an advocate for transparency. The truth is, this is an evolving ongoing process of learning, putting out fires, solving complex logistical problems, and constantly holding strong to a vision coming to life with integrity.
When we started our manufacturing journey we landed on a small boutique printer based in Europe who could help us create a product inline with our values. We wanted to work with someone with great attention to detail, excellent credentials and access to paper and materials we felt comfortable using. We built a relationship over many years, and its all about the right fit. Eventually the fit wasn’t quite right anymore as we started to experience rising and compounding issues, the quality and attention to detail was dropping, timelines weren’t being met and more. Not to mention post covid our printing quotes went up by 80%. Eighty... Which meant we could no longer produce what we wanted with integrity to quality and materials and remain affordable.
So after a year long search and a huge process of changing where we produce our products, we found a more suitable printer with way better credentials, access to more sustainable products and an all round better product and service, specifically for publishers, self publishers and small print runs. We did not take this move lightly as it meant moving from Europe to China, something I wasn’t open to, until we discovered the integrity and quality with our new printer was actually far better, more reliable and more sustainable.
We are still in search of the perfect FSC certified paper that meets our high tactile standards, our current FSC paper isn't quite where we envision it yet but we are actively testing new options. This is an ongoing search for exactly what we like that meets our values, attention to detail, quality and maintains integrity.
As artists and creatives the journey from concept to physical creation that aligns with the initial vision, and holds true to what is personally important for us is often one of the greatest challenges. We are not about getting the bottom dollar as low as possible, and choose materials that are often far more costly than larger publishing houses use to be as cost effective as possible for mass production, often compromising on quality, integrity of materials and product experience.
Thank you for staying with us on our journey as we constantly evolve and improve what we choose to create in the world, as everything has an impact.