CatPrint Interview: Paper Traveler with Beverly Jones

Continuing with the 3rd installment this year of our Customer Q&A series, we recently spoke with Beverly Jones, owner of Paper Traveler (www.beverlyjones.co) to discuss her greeting card business, design style, and inspiration. Check out the interview below:

What does your business offer?

I design greeting cards which fall into three collections, a collage collection, a vintage envelope collection, and a photograph collection.

I love arranging handmade papers and vintage envelopes, and have fun snapping photos, whether I’m out for a neighborhood morning walk, or a trip around the world.

cardtexasmerci

Could you describe your background and how you got into design?

I’m self taught. I’ve collaged since kindergarten, and I’ve had loads of fun wandering around with my camera, a gift from my boyfriend. Over time, playing with design has become more formal and focused. I also used to be a buyer for a card and gift store; the designers I ordered from were my inspiration for becoming a creative artist on a professional level.

When did you create your first Paper Traveler design?

I created the first cards I felt comfortable about showing to strangers in 2003, and took them to Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. where I sold a few. It took several years for me to get to the next level, though. I started testing new designs in 2012, in the store I managed, and finally released them out into the wide world in 2013.

cardwhitehouse

How would you describe your design style?

Many of my designs are nature inspired, whether I’m collaging with floral prints and subtle Japanese papers, or photographing pretty flowers or plants. My vintage notecards evoke nostalgia. Each time I pick up an old envelope I think of the connection between the sender and the receiver of the letter, and try to evoke an equally strong feeling for today’s shopper as I work with the design on my computer.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Almost every day I go for a morning walk, and when I do, nature, words scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk, and the street art I see all speak to me. I also love going to vintage malls and flea markets to find old, interesting envelopes. Other designers and small business owners are all around to encourage me, and help me to believe in my art and myself.

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Where are you located?

I’m located in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

What outlets do you use to sell your work?

So far, my cards are sold online, in bookstores, hardware stores, tabletop stores, card shops and boutiques, museum shops, and party supply stores. I’m excited to see what other venues are available, too, and I enjoy connecting with other small business owners to see if I can provide new products for their stores and companies.

How long have you been printing with CatPrint?

CatPrint has been my printer since late 2013. I love the flexibility that I have with CatPrint to do small print runs, especially as a micro business owner. CatPrint’s quality is consistently excellent, and I love the working relationship that we have.

cardgoldflowerscherryblossoms

What is the biggest difficulty you’ve encountered in starting your own business?

I didn’t realize how big this issue was for me, but actually believing in myself was extremely difficult for a long time. There were days — and sometimes weeks — when my attitude really crippled me, and I was unable to move forward to build my business. I finally realized that I had to give myself permission to grow my company, rather than make excuses and wither and die. I’m sure I’ll still have times like that, but I think I’m over the biggest self-confidence hurdle, and can now focus on other challenges, like cash flow!

cardbluecherryblossom

Do you have any advice for artists looking to start their own business?

  • Believe in yourself. 🙂
  • Hire a coach, if you can, to help you focus on your next steps.
  • Join an artist group/community on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, for encouragement and support.
  • Find multiple ways to sell your art.
  • Continue to look for joy and inspiration in everything you do – it will carry over into your work, and it’ll help you to feel great!

cardjetaime

Check out Beverly’s work online at:

www.beverlyjones.co

Twitter: @papertraveler

Facebook: Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler

Pinterest: papertraveler

Instagram: @papertraveler

Toner & Ink.. Not the same thing!

Toner? Ink?

Often heard used interchangeably, these are actually two very different things with the same purpose. Ink and toner are the materials that are used to create any printed image, but with different techniques and outcomes, kind of like the difference between writing with a marker and writing with a pen.

catprint q

Ink: For Inkjet Printers

Ink is used in inkjet printers for basic personal printing, like for home and school use.

Two Types of Ink… It matters!

Dye Based Ink

The dye is absorbed by the paper which provides bright, vivid colors, which is very good for color printing photos. Unfortunately, it can fade when left in sunlight for too long and smear when it gets wet.

Pigment Based Ink

These are made of resins (organic molecules that plants secrete) that are ground into small particles. Pigment based ink sits on top of the paper instead of getting absorbed like dye inks, which gives the print less vibrant colors. However, it is fade resistant, and is also resistant to water. This is typically used for printing documents.

Toner: For Laser and Digital Printers

Toner is most commonly used in laser printers and copy machines, which are usually found in a busy environment like workgroups instead of just at home. They’re required for fast, high quality, high production printing.

What’s it made of?

Toner is typically made of electrically charged dry carbon powder that is contained inside plastic cartridges. These powders can either based with carbon or based with organic dry granules with polymers.

When printing, the toner sticks to the paper through a heating process where the toner melts and binds to paper fibers, which makes it hard to smear, making it usually of higher quality than inkjet prints.

Why CatPrint’s Prints are so Awesome

Now you have a hint as to why your prints at CatPrint look so amazing! If you have yet to place an order with CatPrint, you should do so today! Here’s one of the very special things about CatPrint: you can put your entire order on hold and receive a free hard copy proof if you want to see what your print will look like before your entire order is printed. Click here for more information!

How QR Codes Can Help You

QR Codes: Quick Response Codes.

Many people don’t know that QR codes have been in use for about a decade now in Japan’s automobile industry. However, recently QR codes have shown up in everyday usage. They are kind of like improved bar codes! Bar codes have a maximum capacity of 20 numerical digits and make it easy to keep track of products in a warehouse or supermarket. However, QR codes are able to contain thousands of alphanumeric characters, which allows it to be scanned and used versatilely.

Try scanning this with a QR reader!

Try scanning this with a QR reader!

You can generate your own QR Code!

There are a number of QR generators online that are free. You can even get a little more creative and have them custom designed with your logo within the QR Code.

qr code catprint logo

Now try scanning this one!

 

How do you use it?

You simply need a QR code scanner/reader app on your phone, which you can download in your app store for free. When you scan the QR code, it takes you to the direct URL for what the QR code was meant for.

What can it be used for?

QR codes can be on basically any type of media such as business cards, flyers, posters, shirts, cups, whatever you want, and link them to these items and much more:

  • Webpage URL
  • Full Contact Details such as a vCard or meCard
  • Phone number
  • Product Info or ordering
  • Special offers and coupons
  • Event page
  • Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks
  • YouTube video
  • Physical address including maps
  • App Store Download
  • Skype Call
  • SMS Message
  • Surveys
  • Email Address or Message

A Small Price for Management

If you use a website to generate a QR code that also has QR code management, by paying a small price, you can use the QR code management to change the destination address after your QR code has been created or printed. This is especially helpful if you have made an error or need to make an update to the URL or basic information.

Tracking and Analyzing

QR Codes can be tracked and analyzed to see where the QR codes were scanned, which is very helpful to see where and what type of marketing has been successful. For example, you can create a QR code for a billboard poster, and then a separate QR code for flyers that you pass out to people, and compare which form of media advertising has obtained the most response.

Simple, Easy, and Versatile

Maybe next time you’ll put a QR code on your prints with CatPrint!

PMS: Not What You Think!

What is the Pantone Matching System?

Pantone Colors are colors within the Pantone Matching System that make it easier to match colors across different printers. It is especially useful so that if you talk to a graphic designer in California, they can match the color you want with the printer in New York, and your prints can come out in the exact colors that you want!

Each color within the system has a specific Pantone number which allows everyone who utilizes the Pantone system to know how much of certain inks to put together to create a specific color. These are organized in sheets with the color on top and the number on the bottom.

pantone_color_chart712-814

The History of the Pantone Matching System

The Pantone system was created around 1962 when a part-time Pantone Print Company employee and Chemistry student named Lawrence Herbert wanted to figure out a better way to organize the 60 or so pigments that Pantone had to print on.  Herbert narrowed down the 60 pigments to just 12 colors that could be mixed and matched in specific ways to make every other color.  Due to Herbert’s chemistry background, he came up with mathematical formulas to help decide exactly how much of each color would go into making the other colors.  When Herbert got a handle on this, he bought out the printing segment of Pantone for $50,000 (because the other side of the company was exactly that much in debt) and started systematizing the colors in order to universalize his newly made system.  

Herbert Solves Kodak’s Problem

Herbert realized that not having universal colors for printing was especially a problem when Kodak had multiple companies printing the packaging for their products.  The multiple companies would print the packaging with different yellows, leaving some packages darker than others.  Customers thought that the darker packages were older and meant the product inside had gone bad.  When the Pantone Matching System was released, Kodak no longer had a problem with merchandise staying on the shelves due to the consistent color of their packaging.

Pantone Colors are Important

Since the first universalized color system was made, Pantone has continued to create color systems for textiles, plastics, as well as other types of materials so that everyone can have a standardized color system.  There is also the color guide which is a huge book of all of the colors that has a Pantone number. Different countries and states (including Texas) even claim Pantone numbers for their flags.  

You may have also heard about the Pantone Color of the Year! Allegedly, there is a secret committee that have a secret meeting in a secret location in Europe to decide on the Pantone Color of the Year!  

This year’s color is Emerald, and here is a chart so you can see the colors for the past 13 years.

color-of-the-year

Quick Explanation: Offset vs. Digital

Most people don’t realize that there are two ways to print, with huge differences between them: offset and digital.

Offset printing is most commonly used for high volume commercial jobs. The process starts by burning an image onto a plate, transferring (offsetting) the image to a rubber blanket, and then onto the paper. The image to be printed gets ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.

Digital printing eliminates many of the mechanical steps required for conventional printing, including making films, color proofs, and making plates. Think of it as a larger version of what you have at home but capable of handling larger sheets of paper.

A few reasons why digital printing can help include the following:

  • Shorter turnaround time: At CatPrint, if your order is placed by 2:00 PM EST it can be delivered the next day if you choose 1-Day Delivery. The quick turnaround also allows us to send you a single hard copy proof for free with your paid order.
  • Affordable low volume printing: While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs. This is why CatPrint is able to offer no minimum quantities on your orders.
  • Variable Data Printing is a form of customizable digital printing. Text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press. For example, clients ordering business cards from CatPrint are able to print the same design with multiple employee names and job titles in a single order.

Still not convinced digital printing is right for you? Feel free to contact one of our Customer Service Representatives to answer any other questions you might have about digital printing.