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Re: [PPLetterpress] Community Print Center Questions...

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  • Claire Taylor
    Perhaps putting up fliers at local art colleges - seems like an opportunity graduates, now without access to a print studio and equipment, would appreciate.
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 1, 2013
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      Perhaps putting up fliers at local art colleges - seems like an opportunity graduates, now without access to a print studio and equipment, would appreciate.

      Claire

      On Feb 1, 2013, at 2:54 PM, Scott Rubel wrote:

       

      I tried to GIVE away free time in the San Gabriel Valley in a small letterpress shop. No takers for years.


      Maybe people don't believe a good deal because it's a good deal.

      They must be out there, so your only trouble is probably publicity.

      --Scott

      On Feb 1, 2013, at 12:35 PM, Steve Robison wrote:



      OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

      I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

      I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

      I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

      But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

      So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

      Let's have a little online dialog...

      Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

      I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

      Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

      --Steve

      Steve Robison

      -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type





    • Austin Jones
      I do not live in the San Francisco area so I can afford to be a Smart Ass and suggest that it may be due to the fact that there is a shortage of 21st century
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 1, 2013
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        I do not live in the San Francisco area so I can afford to be a Smart Ass and suggest that it may be due to the fact that there is a shortage of 21st century monks in the local area.
         
        Or perhaps there is an abundance of Smart Asses in the local area who would rather do most anything other than something productive.
         
        Or perhaps the 21st century monks don’t realize they need such a place. Did you tell them?
         
        Where are the 21st century monks getting such work done now? Can you find them?
         
        In all seriousness – I don’t have a clue. I live on the right side of the map. I know that it would be difficult to get such an operation going in this area. I would ask myself – Is there a need? What is wanted? Can I fulfill the need? Do I want what is wanted?
         
        I know that you are very serious and I am making fun. I am just trying to say that I admire your efforts and I don’t know the area, market, nor the audience. The objective has to be provide a service that is wanted to those who want it. The first thing is to determine what is wanted. I certainly wish you luck. It sounds like an ideal program if you can find the monks who are willing.
         

        Austin Jones
        austin@...
         
        Sent: Friday, February 01, 2013 3:35 PM
        Subject: [PPLetterpress] Community Print Center Questions...
         
         

        OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

        I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

        I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.
         
        I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

        But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

        So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs?

        Let's have a little online dialog...

        Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

        I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

        Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

        --Steve

        Steve Robison
        robisonsteve@...
         
        -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type
      • Christine Gittings
        I think $50 a month is a flippin steal. I would sign up for sure at that rate but living up here in the great white north it s just too far. Are you willing
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 1, 2013
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          I think $50 a month is a flippin steal.  I would sign up for sure at that rate but living up here in the great white north it's just too far.   Are you willing to offer some instructional assistance as part of this fee(i'd actual insist that you charge extra for that)  Do you teach classes? Maybe that would generate some interest and awareness of the fantastic deal you're offering.  Short of that I don't know what to suggest other than a ton of people in your area need a kick in the ass.

          Sent from my iPhone

          On 2013-02-01, at 3:35 PM, Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...> wrote:

           

          OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

          I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

          I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

          I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

          But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

          So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

          Let's have a little online dialog...

          Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

          I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

          Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

          --Steve

          Steve Robison

          -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type

        • victoria kniering
          wellll. on the brainstorming end of it.. if you are trying to sell yourself (so to speak), you need to get your face and the face of the shop out there, and be
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 2, 2013
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            wellll. on the brainstorming end of it.. if you are trying to sell yourself (so to speak), you need to get your face and the face of the shop out there, and be seen --word of mouth goes only so far (letterpress is not like photography in it's popularity ...in some circles maybe, but not in many. so enlighten the masses, at least the people that count -- other artists, schools, wedding planners <------yup really....  and people that have seen such things as "your" posters and want their very own for...say a birthday or retirement or even a funeral if that works for them.   50$ is a steal
            but....how many letterpress operators or students of letterpress are in your area that aren't afilliated with a college, school or shop that YOU know of?  so if there are even 4 people that need the shop you really need to "make" people, i.e. why i said contact  the schools etc.   especially at the end of univ. semesters...anyone that has been learning wants to continue to learn and to have access to a shop.   the only other thing I can think of on that note is become affiliated with a Univ. or college or trade school that wants to offer letterpress or to actually "publish" under their school name and is willing to have students do the work for it...  and pay you fees for such a service.  i don't think this is exactly what you have in mind.. but as a one stop shop with a monthly fee, you will need many warm bodies to make the rent.  is the 50$ inc. any supplies or do you sell the supplies?  paper, ink, boxes?
            the description of where you are located doesn't tell me much.. are you in a larger city or college town, where there's lots of foot traffic and the possibility to pick up a few people just in passing?  do you have an arts counsel? tap into their mailing list by posting an ad..... get someone from the news station to come interview you and the place and talk about the concept of what it is you want to do.   a center was opened, here on the east coast years ago pertaining to printmaking....and it did take off...took a while but they have shows and visiting artists, and print marathons etc.. so they get the people into the shop to check it out.

            good luck with your idea...
            vjkniering
            On Feb 1, 2013, at 5:41 PM, Christine Gittings wrote:

             

            I think $50 a month is a flippin steal.  I would sign up for sure at that rate but living up here in the great white north it's just too far.   Are you willing to offer some instructional assistance as part of this fee(i'd actual insist that you charge extra for that)  Do you teach classes? Maybe that would generate some interest and awareness of the fantastic deal you're offering.  Short of that I don't know what to suggest other than a ton of people in your area need a kick in the ass.

            Sent from my iPhone

            On 2013-02-01, at 3:35 PM, Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...> wrote:

             

            OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

            I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

            I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

            I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

            But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

            So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

            Let's have a little online dialog...

            Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

            I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

            Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

            --Steve

            Steve Robison

            -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type



          • T Howard
            Steve, What a great opportunity for you and your community. If you are looking for promotion, here s an idea. Until recently, I worked for the USPS, and they
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 2, 2013
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              Steve,

              What a great opportunity for you and your community. If you are looking for promotion, here's an idea. Until recently, I worked for the USPS, and they have a newish product that will let ANYONE send a flyer to every mail box in the neighborhood you choose, for about 16 cents each. No permit needed. It is called "EDDM Retail" (Every Door Direct Mail Retail). I am still a cheerleader for this product because it is a crazy cheap way to get word out about anything.

               It is done by Carrier Route, you can send to as few as one single route, and most routes have 300 to 500 boxes. This means that for $50 to $70 you could blanket a neighborhood. Less than the cost of two rolls of stamps. The tool is here:
              https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm

              You provide the flyers (NO addresses required, but they have to be a certain size - must be larger than standard "letter size" & they have to have an indicia that you can print on them), you take them to the post office that is going to deliver them (or mail them directly to that post office), pay for them there and they then deliver them within a few days.

              This product can be used by anybody - for a lost dog, a garage sale, any kind of business, to promote an event, even for political mail (do have to comply with separate Political Mail laws on disclosures/contents).  The people I sold this to found that it didn't take but one or two new customers to pay for the whole mailing. 

              Best wishes for much success!

              Tina Howard
              Pecan Corner Press
              Blanket, Texas



              From: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
              To: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
              Sent: Friday, February 1, 2013 2:35 PM
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Community Print Center Questions...



              OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

              I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

              I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

              I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

              But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

              So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

              Let's have a little online dialog...

              Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

              I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

              Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

              --Steve

              Steve Robison
              robisonsteve@...

              -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type




            • bigwheelpress
              Put a hold on the fantasies. I have founded and operated two successful community based workspaces. $50 a month is silly. Try $250 a month and sort out the
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 2, 2013
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                Put a hold on the fantasies.

                I have founded and operated two successful community based workspaces. 

                $50 a month is silly.  Try $250 a month and sort out the people who are not really serious.  Maybe four hours for $50.

                The biggest problem is space hogs.  You will get a small group of regulars who will be there 24/7 running their etsy businesses, pushing out the new folks..."oh I have just 250 more owl cards to print, why don't you go sort some type".

                You need cheap equipment.  Not $12,000 eBay Vandercooks.  Your list of equipment, if you just went out and had to get it today, is a very large budget.

                Also you need a mechanically savvy person on site to keep it all working.  All you need is 20 members waiting three months until the Vandy is up and running again.

                And make sure everyone puts in highly regulated clean up time.  It takes no time at all to turn a California job case into a useless mess.

                Don't forget insurance and written disclaimers for everyone.

                24/7?  That's the kind of schedule that you come in and equipment is damaged and no one is around to blame.  The worst care of equipment comes from people who do not own it.  I ran a workshop once for only professionals ...they broke more equipment than a similar sized group of high school students.

                And if you make it non-profit with a board of directors don't be surprised if you get kicked out or need to leave some day.

                The best run workspace is one with a geekish benevolent despot in charge.  Someone to tell a space hog or annoying person to hit the road.  A person who can fix everything in the shop.  And there will be people who need to be sent home.  You put out a welcome mat and they will find you.

                Isn't Burlingame a high priced neighborhood?  Why not interest a community college in the idea.

                Sorry to be a downer, but I've done this, and it is really hard to make it work and still be fun.

                Good luck

                Bill Muller
                Big Wheel Press






                -----Original Message-----
                From: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
                To: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
                Sent: Fri, Feb 1, 2013 3:53 pm
                Subject: [PPLetterpress] Community Print Center Questions...

                 
                OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

                I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

                I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

                I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

                But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

                So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

                Let's have a little online dialog...

                Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

                I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

                Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

                --Steve

                Steve Robison

                -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type
              • goldquoin
                I have been gradually growing a print center over three years with slow but steady success. Strategies that I have found successful are: • Actively recruit a
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 2, 2013
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                  I have been gradually growing a print center over three years with slow but steady success. Strategies that I have found successful are:
                  • Actively recruit a solid core of people who work well together. (I found the most receptive were working designers tired of the digital drudgery longing for a more hands-on experience.)
                  • Offer workshops, mini-lessons, demonstrations and classes.
                  • Different fee structure: People with the money don't have the time (and vice versa.) Have a very low membership fee that allows people to participate in lessons, classes, etc and be a part of somethign; and have a high day or weekly rate for those who want to do extended projects. (Don't ask them to pay $600 a year, ask them to pay $300 a week when they have a project they need to get done.)
                  • engage in some group projects that attract visibility (members work on a book/folio and have a public signing; a poster for a charity event, etc)
                  • Develop a relationship with a library or university as a source of contacts, expertise, venues for publicizing.
                  • Work with local arts umbrella organizations.
                  • Patience.Patience.Patience

                  Best of Luck!



                  --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Steve Robison wrote:
                  >
                  > OK. Give me some on-list feedback.
                  >
                  > I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.
                  >
                  > I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.
                  >
                  > I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.
                  >
                  >
                  > But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.
                  >
                  > So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs?�
                  >
                  > Let's have a little online dialog...
                  >
                  > Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...
                  >
                  > I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...
                  >
                  > Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.
                  >
                  >
                  > --Steve
                  >
                  >
                  > Steve Robison
                  >
                  > robisonsteve@...
                  >
                  >
                  > -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type
                  >
                • Amber Ellis-Seguine
                  Lol. Bill all good points but you have little background to go on to assume many, although not all, of these issues have not been addressed. Steve is extremely
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 2, 2013
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                    Lol. Bill all good points but you have little background to go on to assume many, although not all, of these issues have not been addressed. Steve is extremely cautious and smart and already has a plethora of equipment. 

                    I think playing devils advocate is important. We just have to keep in mind email has no tone and we might not have the full picture. We can be supportive and realistic all at the same time. 

                    If I know anything about Steve he has crunched the numbers and realizes how many ppl he needs to make 50 bucks a reality. 



                    On Feb 2, 2013, at 10:43 AM, nohogallery@... wrote:

                     

                    Put a hold on the fantasies.

                    I have founded and operated two successful community based workspaces. 

                    $50 a month is silly.  Try $250 a month and sort out the people who are not really serious.  Maybe four hours for $50.

                    The biggest problem is space hogs.  You will get a small group of regulars who will be there 24/7 running their etsy businesses, pushing out the new folks..."oh I have just 250 more owl cards to print, why don't you go sort some type".

                    You need cheap equipment.  Not $12,000 eBay Vandercooks.  Your list of equipment, if you just went out and had to get it today, is a very large budget.

                    Also you need a mechanically savvy person on site to keep it all working.  All you need is 20 members waiting three months until the Vandy is up and running again.

                    And make sure everyone puts in highly regulated clean up time.  It takes no time at all to turn a California job case into a useless mess.

                    Don't forget insurance and written disclaimers for everyone.

                    24/7?  That's the kind of schedule that you come in and equipment is damaged and no one is around to blame.  The worst care of equipment comes from people who do not own it.  I ran a workshop once for only professionals ...they broke more equipment than a similar sized group of high school students.


                    And if you make it non-profit with a board of directors don't be surprised if you get kicked out or need to leave some day.

                    The best run workspace is one with a geekish benevolent despot in charge.  Someone to tell a space hog or annoying person to hit the road.  A person who can fix everything in the shop.  And there will be people who need to be sent home.  You put out a welcome mat and they will find you.

                    Isn't Burlingame a high priced neighborhood?  Why not interest a community college in the idea.

                    Sorry to be a downer, but I've done this, and it is really hard to make it work and still be fun.

                    Good luck

                    Bill Muller
                    Big Wheel Press






                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
                    To: Steve Robison <robisonsteve@...>
                    Sent: Fri, Feb 1, 2013 3:53 pm
                    Subject: [PPLetterpress] Community Print Center Questions...

                     
                    OK. Give me some on-list feedback.

                    I'm trying to start this reasonably priced "Community Print Center" in Burlingame, California (about 15 miles south of San Francisco) for those who don't have a working letterpress shop/studio of their own, or for those who have their own shop/studios but from time to time might need larger equipment to complete special projects.

                    I think $50per month is an extremely reasonable amount for a brand new, fully outfitted shop with several platen presses, a Vandercook proof press, lots of type, instructional programs, guest letterpress artists, art exhibit space, 24 hour 7 day a week access, neighboring studios and an art community for collaboration and inspiration, etc.

                    I'm modeling it after "Em Space" in Portland, Oregon which has been wildly successful.

                    But so far I haven't had enough people sign up to make it a reality.

                    So what am I missing? What would make it a place you would want to go to for your letterpress wants and needs? 

                    Let's have a little online dialog...

                    Let the suggestions and fantasies roll...

                    I want to create something that letterpress enthusiasts will be so excited about we'll have people lining up for it...

                    Thanks in advance for your creative thoughts.

                    --Steve

                    Steve Robison

                    -- this message was sent by monks from the 14th century who calligraphically scribed each letter prior to the invention of moveable type

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