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Fall 2016 Letterpress workshop

 

 

workshop_fall2016_blogSummer has come and gone; it’s time to buckle down and get busy with a fall letterpress workshop. If you’re in the Ottawa valley or in nearby Ottawa or Kingston, come out for a day and learn how to set type the old fashion way and print your own personalised note cards.

Dates: 

**Rescheduled to Saturday, October 15– 10 to 5

Cost: $150 per participant

Here’s what is included

-all supplies (including paper)
-learning about setting type the old-fashioned way and setting your own
-access to our 110 cases of type (possibly the most type in Ontario aside from Upper Canada Village) and our vintage cuts (etched graphics).
-a chance to use our 60-year-old letterpress to print your own note cards
– You will be walking way with at least 50 A2 (4×5.25″)  flat letterpress note cards,  a value of $100.
– the knowledge that you handcrafted a stack of your own letterpress stationery (priceless) :)

Day of workshop schedule

10am-11am The first hour of the workshop is spent discussing the history of letterpress printing, basic typography, types of papers and each participant’s project over coffee and Chantal’s homemade muffins. Each participant is given a handout for their own personal reference that they can keep

11am-noon The rest of the morning is devoted to learning how to compose type in a composing stick, choosing from over 110 cases of type including lead type and wood type and from our dozens of cuts (pictorial etchings mounted on wood).

noon-1pm Break for lunch. Westport has several nice cafés that serve tasty lunches.

1pm-3pm– Work on composing your type, then learn how to mount the type in the chase using furniture, leading & slugs. Each participant will proof their project on our proofing press to ensure there are no errors before printing on the big press.

3pm-5pm Each participant will learn how to mount the chase containing their type on our floor model 10×15 Chandler & Price letterpress and take their turn printing 50 pieces of their own project on a variety of paper stocks.

If you have a special project you would like to print, please discuss it with us first and we will try to accommodate you. The price may vary depending on the project.

How do I sign up? 

You can reserve your spot right away by buying the workshop listing on our website:

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT

 Workshops take place in our studio at 26 Spring Street in Westport, ON.

 


On hiatus

Joel and I founded Papillon Press in 2009. I impulsively bought a letterpress and shop equipment on Kijiji and moved it to our first home and studio in Sudbury, ON. We started with wedding invitations and eventually expanded to selling our greeting cards wholesale. We went to the National Stationery Show 3 times. We’re even up for a Louie award this year! We built the company from the ground up, and so it is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that I am putting Papillon Press on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

-I would like to pursue another career path

-I have taken Papillon Press as far as I can with what I have. To bring it to the next level would have required more time, more money and exponentially more effort; something which I am not prepared to do at this time.

-We have invested a lot of money in the company and sadly just aren’t seeing the returns. It’s difficult to make a living selling letterpress paper goods.

What this means for you, the customer: it means we are phasing out the wholesale portion of our business, as well as the wedding invitations and custom letterpress printing service. Our online store and Etsy shop will remain open; we will even introduce new cards during the next year. We will also continue doing craft fairs. We are strictly retail now, so you can still buy our cards! 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 7 years. I’ve worked my ass off and learned so much! I want to thank our loyal customers; every person who has bought their wedding invitations from us, or had something printed with us (the clients who didn’t whine, that is) or even those who have bought one single card has helped to keep us going. You know who you are!

Now, on to new things. Sincerely,

-Chantal


Beware of Printingthestuff.ca

I am not one to share my grievances publicly, but my hope is that when someone is contemplating using the website Printingthestuff.ca they will come across this post and think twice.

At Papillon Press we sell our greeting cards wholesale to stores across North America and internationally. I wanted to introduce a couple cards with gold foil accents this year so I sent two greeting card files to Printingthestuff.ca. I asked them up front if the cards would be printed in Toronto, because they seemed kind of shady and I did not want the printing outsourced to another country. It’s our company mandate that all our goods be made in Canada; it says so on the back of all our cards. The sales person, Steve, wrote back in an email: “Yes we print within Canada”. He also confirmed this on the phone when I spoke to him.

My second up front question to them was: could they print on a particular paper stock which all our offset greeting cards are printed on (Cougar Cover Smooth Natural White 100 lbs) and they replied “Yes we can print on 100 lb paper”.

Fairly satisfied but still apprehensively, I sent the files off to be printed. After a couple weeks DHL calls me up and tells me we have to pay $18 in brokerage fees  because we’re told that “printing materials” are being sent to us from Pakistan. Having no idea what this package could be, I start to get a sinking feeling that they are the greeting cards I ordered from Printingthestuff.ca. Lo and behold, those “printing materials” are the greeting cards. Not only that, but they were not printed on the specific paper I requested (wrong shade of white and gloss coating on the inside of the card). Both these facts were a direct contradiction of what Steve had written and said on the phone.

I first tried calling Steve 3 times, no answer or voicemail. I emailed Steve with my complaints and asked for a full refund because we had been deceived about the origin of the cards, and they printed on the wrong paper stock. He fired back an email that said he had never guaranteed any of the above things (I had even attached the emails he had sent as proof, but he still denied it) and refused to give a full refund. He said that he had never guaranteed to print on Cougar paper, just 100 lbs paper. He also said that he had never said the cards would be printed in Canada and that it clearly states on Printingthestuff.ca that the printing is outsourced (I can’t find that info anywhere on the website).

Here’s the best part though; he then called me a racist for having a problem with the cards being printed in Pakistan and not in Canada:

Regarding racism, Yes your statement is defiantly racist. Because you are concerned with countries not your printing, whereas we clearly state on our website as we do outsource work overseas to give best prices to customers as well as this is not to be informed to customer as our responsibility is to supply them with correct printing.

There defiantly is no refund as product is right.

I love how he “defiantly” refuses to give a refund or basically do anything to accommodate my dissatisfaction.

I wrote back saying this was extremely poor customer service and that he had deliberately deceived me. He wrote back reiterating that I am racist and again denied any of the above claims, despite having emails as proof.

Let me be clear that I never would have ordered from this company if they hadn’t assured me on the two aforementioned points.  There is absolutely no way I would have been fine with the printing being done in Pakistan…or on the wrong paper stock. We’re talking about over $700 in goods here that are completely useless to me.

The next thing to do was to file a dispute with Paypal, send a complaint to the Better Business Bureau and write this blog post. Printingthestuff.ca OR K & Z Services Pty Ltd OR  Beeprinting.com.au or whatever they’re called again refuse to give me a refund through Paypal. The dispute is then escalated to a claim and Paypal looks into it, doesn’t bother contacting me for any supporting documents (remember I have proof in the form of emails of the lies Steve told) and finds in favour of Printingthestuff.ca

I am now filing a complaint against Paypal for not giving me the chance to show supporting documents or explain over the phone (they had afforded this chance to Steve, apparently). As it stands right now, I am over $700 out of pocket because of being lied to by a shady printing company. The battle continues and I can’t tell you how frustrating this whole process has been. Not only was I blatantly lied to, but then subjected to the absolute worse customer service on the planet. Consider this a bad review. What should have been an obvious resolution to Paypal is now leading me into another battle with them. Ugh.

I hope this blog post will help potential customers of Printingthestuff.ca steer away from their shady company. I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this. Beware of companies that claim to be Canadian but drop ship their goods from somewhere else.

Update Paypal is telling me their Purchase Protection does not cover custom made items or customized items and service which is why they decided in favour of Printingthestuff.ca, because the cards are custom-printed. Make a note to yourselves; that’s a huge range of items that Paypal will not help you out with if something goes wrong.


Dent Craft greeting card

That time of year is coming up; the time when you start thinking about which card your business will be sending out for the holidays. Is your business looking for a fun alternative to boring corporate Holiday cards? Look no further. Any of our Papillon Press holiday cards are available to be customized with an inside greeting of your choice. We’ll even design it for you!

Below is a card we did last year for Dent Craft. They chose our Festive Reindeer card and requested that the string lights be printed in their company colours, with an inside greeting printed in one colour.

Interested? Go ahead and fill out the Get An Estimate form and we’ll get back to you with a quote.

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Our customized Festive Reindeer card
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A one-colour greeting is printed inside the customized Festive Reindeer card.

 


The Studio – Then and Now

Everybody loves a makeover, right? I know I do. That’s why I finally got around to doing before/after photos of our studio and house.

When Joel and I first saw the house in late 2012, we immediately saw the potential despite it’s drab appearance. That, and the 1000 sq. ft heated workshop were a definite selling point. But it needed sprucing up. The house and workshop were in great condition so the only changes necessary were mostly cosmetic.

Here are before/after photos of the outside. Wait until you see the inside…another day though (because it’s pretty messy right now) 😉 The moral of this story is: it’s amazing what a coat of paint can do!

 

The main thing we did here to the studio was finish off the bottom part of the building, which had a layer of yellow foam insulation showing. This is called "parging", when you add a layer of concrete over the bottom foundation. We also added a coat of black paint to the barn doors, added a couple colourful pencils in front of the doors (to advertise what we do from a distance). We also levelled the yard, re-seeded it with grass and make two flower beds in front of the windows.
The main thing we did here to the studio was finish off the bottom part of the building, which had a layer of yellow foam insulation showing. This is called “parging”, when you add a layer of concrete over the bottom foundation. We also added a coat of black paint to the barn doors, added a couple colourful pencils in front of the doors (to advertise what we do from a distance). We also levelled the yard, re-seeded it with grass and made two flower beds in front of the windows.

 

 

 

The house needed sprucing up. We improved its appearance with a few coats of paint: first we painted the rust-coloured shutters a fire engine red, really making them pop. We also painted the front porch black, which contrasted nicely with the red shutters. This year we finally got around to digging up the entire front garden and replanting it with low-maintenance perennials.
maison_beforeafter2
The front porch was untreated wood when we bought the house. We painted it black to contrast nicely with the new fire engine red shutters and added some pretty flower pots.
maison_beforeafter3
The studio is behind the house, as you can see. The side porch was untreated wood when we bought the house so we needed to spruce it up to look prettier for when clients walk past it to the studio. Again, pretty simple makeover: a coat of black paint for the porch, fire-engine red shutters and pretty potted plants.
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And finally, one of the first things we did when we moved in was to order a lovely sign to put at the front of the house. I love this sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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