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

Do You Know What Toner Is Made Of?

If you check out our previous post on Toner vs Ink, you will know the basic differences between the two. But what exactly is toner made of anyway?

Carbon powder up close!
Carbon powder up close!

In the old days, toner was only made of carbon powder. But now, different polymers have been added with the carbon powder to help increase the quality of printing, specifically polymers called styrene acrylates and other various styrene copolymers coated with polyester resin (resin is an organic molecule that plants secrete).

This is what polyester resin looks like up close.

This is what polyester resin looks like up close.

 

This is an example of polyester resin art. Isn't it pretty?

Polyester Resin Art

This is an example of polyester resin art. Isn't it beautiful?

This is another example of Polyester Resin Art.

What does toner powder consist of?

Toner is not actually just one powder; it is made up of a different combination of powders put together in a very specific and precise way that allows it to be used in a laser printing process!

The Big Three

1: Iron Oxide

Iron oxide powders are able to create either positive or negative magnetic charges to become the needed opposite charge of the other toner powder particles during the printing process. It acts as a carrier so that the toner particles stick to the right parts on the rotating drum of the laser printer when printing.

2: Plastic

Heat sensitive plastic powders are melted during the laser printing process. This allows the toner to adhere to the paper and print the image needed.

3: Pigment

Pigment powders give the toner its colors, such as cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Toner powder... such pretty colors!

Toner powder… such pretty colors!

Other Ingredients

Groundup sand, wax, or silica hold the combination of the big three together in the toner. Wax is melted during the printing process to distribute the toner powder on the paper (similar to what the plastic does) while silica is sometimes added to the toner to stop the powder from clumping up together when it is packed in the toner cartridge.

The Future of Toner

Although they’re combined, these individual powder particles are very tiny, ranging from 5 to 15 microns (that’s a millionth of a meter!), which is around the size of your blood cell. Even so, there are researchers working on creating even smaller toner particles. That is because the smaller the particle, the higher the quality of the printed image will be.

Once again, this is just a hint as to a reason why your prints at CatPrint are so beautiful. If you are not ready to print an entire order, receive an instant quote from us and a free hard copy proof just to see the amazing quality of what your prints will look like.

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

Black: What Do You See?

Although it may seem as though black could only be one color, there are actually multiple different “shades” of black that exist. The color that we call black is actually what is known as
pure black.  When we see things that aren’t quite pure black, we use the inaccurate term “shade” of black. The term “shade” for these off-black colors is inaccurate because according to color theory, a shade of a color is any pure color mixed with black to decrease the brightness of the color you choose.  A more accurate term for these “shades” of black is calling them off-black.  Off-black colors differ only slightly from pure black while still keeping the low lightness and the low relative luminance that black has.  Off-black colors have their own hue and saturation.  Some examples of off-black colors are onyx, black olive, charcoal, and jet.

The reason we see these black tones differently is due in part to the photons and the reflection of light that colors have.  Black is when there are no photons at all reaching your eye.  A black surface is one that absorbs all of the photons so that none of them can hit your eye. The reason we can see different variations on the color black is because of the saturation of different colors that are making up the black.  For instance, in the color Onyx, the RGB levels are 53,56, and 57 respectively, whereas in pure black the RGB levels are 0,0,0.

FYI: What is DPI?

DPI stands for dots per inch, which refers to the small ink dots that come on paper during the printing process. The amount of these ink dots in one inch of paper is the number you get for your DPI.  These little dots are important because they determine how well your file will print.

You may ask, how do they do that?  The dots per inch determine this based on another small number known as PPI or pixels per inch. To make sure your file prints in a high resolution you need to make sure that your dots per inch are larger than your pixels per inch.  An example would be having a DPI of 1200 and a PPI of 300, leaving you with 4 ink dots for every pixel.

Finding out what the DPI of your image is can seem like a difficult task but is actually quite easy! If you are using a Mac computer, you simply open up the file in preview, click tools > Show Inspector.  To resize on a Mac open the image or file in preview click tools> adjust size.  If you are working in Windows, you want to open the image or file in the picture viewer on your computer.  Once opened you will right click the file, then select “properties”, after that click on the “summary” tab.  If “title”, “subject”, or “author” fields are displayed click “Advanced>>” on the bottom.