My top 6 MUST HAVES for running a stationery business
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I have been running my stationery for over 5 years now and I know a thing or two about the tools you need to run this type of business successfully. So I have compiled my must have list for running a stationery business below. Here is a disclaimer; If you want to run your own stationery business, some of these tools would be a great help. However, depending on the type of stationery business you are in, you may need more or less of these tools.
Here we go and in no particular order…..
This printer is a must have for me because of obvious reasons. I print stationery all the time and need a laser jet that produces quality and at a good speed. I still use my inkjet for a lot of my projects but this printer can handle heavy card stock and prints on envelopes like an angel (sometimes) so it is definitely on my list of must haves.
You know that I had to put more than one printer on the list. I mean, I run a stationery business! This printer is certainly a workhorse. I still have my original one that I purchased used for over 5 years now and it’s still going pretty strong. It handles heavy cardstock wonderfully and feeds from the top so your card stock doesn’t get bent. I can also print on cardstock that is as wide at 13 inches - comes in handy for larger art prints. The quality is fantastic and it is where a majority of my stationery gets printed on. Unfortunately, because this is an older model it does not have wireless capabilities, but that doesn’t bug me so much. This model is no longer manufactured but you can still find them online. If you would rather go with the updated version I would recommend the updated model: Canon Pixma Pro 100.
3. Font Books!!!
As a stationery/graphic designer you may understand my struggle with organizing my fonts and picking the right font for the right job. Sure there are programs out there to help me organize my fonts in my computer when used for programs, but I found them to be annoying or I just didn’t understand them. So instead I created my own system. You see, the problem was that when I needed a font for a certain job, I just need to visually see my fonts and then select one of them. So I created this huge binder full of printed pages of each font file. Here is the type of binders I use, I need something that was big enough to carry all my fonts (I have 2 font books). I literally printed out each one of my fonts (you know, when you go into your font folder and open up the file, print THAT page), organized them by category, used tabbed dividers to label those categories, and then simply started organizing each font into the correct category. Sure it took a while, but if you ever had to find the perfect font for a project, then you know the struggle. And don’t worry so much about how much ink I used up to print out all my fonts, I just printed it all on my Brother Laserjet - it’s my standard office printer and the toner used up is minimal, plus the replacement cartridges are dirt cheap! This is seriously one of the best ideas I ever had.
Don’t let the big scary title fool you. This cutter will cut large amount of paper for you, like butter. I mainly use it for 110lb card stock but you can certainly use it for heavier or lighter paper. I cut all my card stock into 5x7 and odd sizes that my client requests. I also use it to cut business cards. I used to use my Accucut for business cards but it was a pain to line it up so it cuts correctly. So instead I just print the design on my stationery cards and then pile them up in this paper cutter and chop where necessary to create the business card size. This machine has also been a lifesaver when I need to trim just a little bit off an edge of some stationery. If you have a need to cut large amounts of card stock/paper for any reason - this is a winner and you can’t beat it for the price! I must say that there is a small learning curve to using it - very small. So I suggest breaking out a pack of reject card stock that you no longer need or use, and testing it out on this cutter before using your nicer card stock.
This paper trimmer is a must when needing to trim smaller quantities. There are many choices out there but this is the one brand that I currently use and I recommend it. The blade is self sharpening so you never have to replace it. I have had this paper trimmer for over 5 years and it still works like new - and I put it through some tough times. I mainly use it for trimming down art prints, luggage tags and any small job. This guy has a pretty large surface so you have to have a place to place it, or store it when not in use. It’s a great paper trimmer to have if you are not quite ready for the larger heavy duty paper cutter that I mentioned above.
I always get asked how I get my card stock scored for my folded note cards. Unfortunately, most people do not live close by me so you can't take advantage of my local print shop which scores my cards at a very affordable rate. Most print shops will make you shell out big bucks for scoring your card stock - umm, no thanks! So instead I went out searching for an acceptable replacement to my local print shop for those of you who need an affordable option and this is what I found. I personally cannot recommend it because I have not used it, but it was recommended by another stationery designer who posted a video on how it works, and your cards run through the machine like butter! She scored 120 cards under 5 minutes! I personally recommend to score these cards before you print on them so you have stacks of them ready at any given time. Essentially that is what I do, I have my print shop score thousands of these cards for me so I can just print and ship. If you need to score odd sizes, you can then do the scoring after the printing - it's up to you.
There you have it! My must have list for running a stationery business. Did I forget one? Let me know in the comments below.
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