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Every tale starts with a beginning…

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Every tale starts with a beginning…

I’m a pendant for getting the best. I think we all like “the best”. However, race to the bottom and “I want it now” culture, drives a very different mantra of “will do”. It amazes me how some people talk the talk and say one thing and what they actually want is miles off from my benchmark.

My background in repro, better described as the bit before it hits a press in print, was all about, maximising the end result and the quality of what we were going to print. So, what does this actually mean, and why does it make a difference.

Images, best resolution, sharp throughout, in focus and properly taken. I have a background in professional high-end grade scanning, not just looking at the colour balance, but tonal curves and a lot more. Yes, I use pro digital Nikon DSLRs these days for photographs, but also use exceptional scanners to capture art pieces, drawings and historical materials which need digitising with the utmost care and attention. We’ve retouched historical photographs for magazine covers. The supplier/owner of the image has been amazed at the results. With a bit of careful attention, referencing, considering composition, lens characteristics and a lot more whilst re-constructing and enhancing the image to create a sharp, well-balanced end result. We know when we have scanned medium format transparencies and had a reference image of the same location, taken on a good DSLR, the traditional colour transparency held more detail than it’s a digital counterpart. A great example was being able to pick out blades of grass, with some definition.

Logos and technical drawings, scalable artwork is everything. Ensuring the artwork is sharp and the detail is defined is essential. We will re-draw up artwork in a vector format to ensure it meets the needs of reproduction regardless of end size. I started my career artworking in a vector environment every day. It delivered quick results in a fast-moving environment of promotional print. It’s stood me in good grounds for everything I’ve done since.

Typography, in my early years in the trade, whilst I was at College, I was lucky enough to have a placement at Warwickshire Illustrations in Cheylesmore in Coventry. They were a high-end design agency working with clients like Jaguar and Rank among many names. The senior staff in the studio there were meticulous, for the kerning (spacing of characters), ligatures, typeface elements for characters, and fine-tuning of all typography to be effortless for the reader to read with ease. Hence why now, I do like, love and ooze pride when I see proper typography, well-executed on a page.

That work experience placement also taught me a lot about, concept creation, the scamps, visuals and idea development, even before you start to layout the item in any technical format, to artwork the job.

With over 3 decades in print, specifying is so important, getting it right for the job, thinking through what the end-user is going to think as they handle or engage with your piece of print. Materials, the where and how are so important when thinking about the brief, and yes every job should have a brief. Recently I’ve kicked a job back to the client, so we can have a brief that will get the results, he is expecting.

We are so different than other providers, well the online ones anyhow, as we care, want to support you in your project. To get to my position in this trade is through experience, education, and graft. It’s why I proudly describe what I do as artisan, boutique, craft-based print, with the culmination of the aforementioned. Yes, you can have cheap print, when you pay a little bit more, for #properprint with real engagement. No job is ticket number running through our studio, it is all about the customer, the joys of being small and paying attention to detail is at the heart of what we do.

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