Earlier this week, in preparation for my upcoming studio tour, I decided to explore the notion of getting note cards printed. It has been a while since I have offered note cards for sale but I remember well the angst of printing them myself. I recall spending oodles of cash on printer ink, then there was lots of time spent sourcing great paper stock at great prices (or not so great prices), spending forever on the computer to get things formatted properly (so the images wouldn't print crookedly and then they did anyway), sitting by the printer doing production control...well, on and on the trauma went...so this time I started looking at outsourcing the job!
So far it would seem that the companies are coming in quite close in terms of cost. There are some major differences though. One well known on-line printing company (Vista Print) can only give me a 4" x 5.5" size (I want larger). The crop is goofy - for example borders may occur on top and bottom - it depends on your painting format. There is no option for text to appear such as my name, name of the work pictured and my website address. Yet they do offer full colour printing which gives my images the best chance of being identical to the original.
A printing firm locally is a bit more expensive but I would get a larger card, 5" x 7", which is what I want. The cards would be professionally set up so there would be proper borders. They also allow text and as I can pick them up, I save shipping fees. Ah, but the printing might not be as close to the original as I would like.
So now for the focus group bit...what would you pay for a quality art card? Please keep in mind that the aim here is not to offer reproductions that would be matted and framed. For this I would be offering a much larger size and a totally professional printing job - from the scans to archival inks. These are simply note cards - a colour image on good paper stock, folded, blank inside, with a bit of text with my name etc. on the back.
The picture at the top of this post shows note cards that I purchased from artist Suzette MacSkimming last year. They are 5" x 7" and the printed image is approximately 4" x 5". There is identifying text on the back and envelopes were included. I paid $2.00 each. (I tried using the company she used but they no longer print note cards. Bummer.)
Given the quotes I have received so far, if I did a large print run of 500 cards (10 different images with 50 cards each), the cost comes out to about $1.25 to $1.30 per card. So if I charge $2.00, I will be able to recoup my costs. Obviously this isn't a money making project, note cards never are. I would be simply doing this in order to offer a larger product line and to allow people who might not be able to purchase an original to take home a favourite image. In some cases the originals are not for sale anyway.
My wonderful readers/focus group, do you think $2.00 is the right price? Someone commented to me this week that people will pay $4.00 or $5.00 for a Hall Mark type card and they thought $2.00 was too low. Humm... I look forward to your response! Oh and thanks in advance. I appreciate the input. :-)
Woo-hoo, it snowed yesterday!!!! Yup, I love the white stuff - skiing, snowshoeing, beautiful vistas, no mosquitoes, no poison ivy, no yard work, the ability to follow wildlife tracks...I could go on and on but instead here are some pictures I took this morning.
Time to put this birdbath away and to get out the heated one...
I no sooner filled the feeders and the birds were swarming around me...
It is to really warm up this weekend so my winter wonderland will melt. Ah, but this brief treat will do me until the real winter hits some weeks from now. I am off to walk the pooch before supper. More time in the snowy woods...yum...