Short Run Printing is Our Specialty

GaneshasAdvice

Ganesha’s Advice is just one of several greeting cards focusing on allegorical art that Oak Creek Printworks has printed for artist, Roe LiBretto. You can view more of Roe’s art at  http://www.roelibrettofineart.com.

Oak Creek Printworks has been printing greeting cards and small prints for artists and photographers since 2003.

The cards Oak Creek printed for me are beautiful! The color accuracy and paper quality are more than I expected from an online service. I look forward to doing business with you again. Thanks for all your help.

Roe LiBretto

Greeting cards are a money-maker for the artist, with the market bearing a 200- to 300-percent mark-up. We print any size greeting card and all come standard with envelopes. Cards are printed on your choice of beautiful smooth white, acid-free archival quality 100 lb. matte cover stock, or 100 lb. coated gloss cover. To finish, we hand crease, fold and inspect each and every card for assured quality.

A2 is the industry ID for a card that folds to 4.25″x5.5′”. The A6 folds to 4.625″x6.25″, A7 is 5″x7″ and A9 folds to 5.5″x8.5″. We also print panoramas that fold to 9.125″x4″ to fit in a #10 business-size envelope, and squares that fold to 5.25″x5.25″ and come with a 5.5″ square envelope.

If you need cards for gift bags or floral arrangements and want to go small, we print gift cards, which are tiny notecards, measuring only 2.25″x3.25″ when folded. We’ll also drill holes or include envelopes to match.

Check out Oak Creek Printworks Custom Printing and online design tool today to start earning money on your art.

Envelope Sizes and Styles for Note Cards and Greeting Cards

announcement envelopesWith a dozen different envelope styles and hundreds of sizes in existence, how do you choose the right one for your note cards and greeting cards?

For artists who are creating greeting cards we like to simplify the process by following standard envelope styles, sizes and general availability in the United States.

Style
Oak Creek Printworks includes announcement style envelopes with all custom printed greeting cards, and we sell announcement style envelopes in four sizes. Announcement envelopes have a square flap, while Baronial envelopes have a deep, pointed flap. Announcement envelopes are readily available in all the standard greeting card sizes. Baronial envelopes are manufactured in a variety of sizes, but available here by special order only.

Size
The smallest announcement style envelope is an A2. If your card folds to one-quarter of a letter sized page, it’s an A2. The matching A2 envelope is slightly larger than the 4.25”x5.5” folded card, and measures 4.375”x5.625”. Envelopes and packaging for A2 note cards are available in the Oak Creek Printworks store.

The A6 card is slightly larger, measuring 4.625”x6.25” when folded. Its matching envelope is 4.75”x6.5”.

The A7 card folds to 5”X7”, and the corresponding announcement envelope is 5.25”x7.25”.

The A8 card folds to 5.25”x7.875”. The companion envelope is 5.5”x8.125”.

The A9 card is an 8.5”x11” letter sheet folded in half to 5.5”x8.5”. The companion envelope is 8.75”x5.75”.

Square cards fold to 5.25” square. The companion envelope is 5.5”x5.5”.

Panorama cards fold to 9.25?x4? with a #10 companion envelope measuring 9.5?x4.125?.

Other envelope sizes, and colors other than white are available by special order.

An amended version of an article originally published August 12, 2008.

Digital Beginnings – The New Technology

Thunderscan

Combine the capabilities of the ThunderScan 72ppi monochrome scanner with Apple Computer, Inc.’s brand new Apple LaserWriter, what you get is a far superior product for the new era’s “desktop publisher.”

The technology was brand new and not yet perfected, but I knew immediately that this was what I had been waiting for, preparing for, and drawn to since the field trip to the Bank of America corporate headquarters twenty-some-odd years earlier in the 1960s. 

The year was 1985 when my photojournalism instructor suggested computers and printers could be used for more than creating the crude graphic images of the ’70s. It was spring, and Apple Computer, Inc. had just introduced their first Laser Printer boasting an incredible 300 dots per inch resolution.

ThuderScan-cats

The ThunderSsan was not a grayscale scanner and could only produce the appearance of a halftone. Consider that the only image editing software at the time was Apple’s MacPaint, a 72dpi monochrome (black and white) gem of a starter program for a personal computer user in 1985.

The demonstration took place in a room seating about 50 people. It was during this presentation I learned that the computer could be used as a typesetting machine, a process camera, and a drafting table all in one, and one could buy a printer that could output type and graphics at high enough resolution to be reproduced on a printing press with excellent quality. All that and it would all fit on a desktop.

On the ride home my instructor engaged me in conversation and we discussed the potential of this revolutionary combination of hardware and software, which completely turned the traditional graphics design and production workflow on its head.  Instead of contracting one vendor for type galleys, a second for camera work and then cutting everything apart and pasting it up on boards, a graphic designer could output the laser prints from home (or more precisely, from the corner of one’s bedroom) on a single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper and hand the layouts off to the printer for reproduction.

This Macintosh, ThunderScan, LaserWriter combo was as big in 1985 as was the mind-blowing Macintosh in 1984. Count me in.

The LaserWriter filled the roles of both typesetting and process camera with its debut in 1985.

The LaserWriter filled the roles of both typesetting and process camera with its debut in 1985.

A Second Look Back at My Beginnings

Illustration by Fran Davis for Nancy Haberman.

Illustration by Fran Davis for Nancy Haberman.

I was 20 years old with almost no professional work experience to my credit (unless you count selling movie theater tickets), plus I was about to become a college dropout, so I felt really lucky to have landed a job working with computers as a “computer operator trainee” and keypunch operator. 

One night about six weeks into the job, it was work as usual, just like any of the other long and lonely swing shifts, except that night there must have been a crimp in one of the punch cards. I stood alone in disbelief, while the computer belched up hundreds of cream-colored 80-column punch cards, spewing them into the room. 

They collided high in the air, pouring down all around me, leaving me knee deep in data. Eventually, the data storm tapered off and the last punch card drifted gracefully down to the gray industrial carpet. The weary Univac 9600 coughed up the sum total of its cards in the thousands, leaving me, the bewildered novice, down on the floor facing the prospect of an all-night clean-up and sorting job. 

While I was gathering up the punch cards, I recalled the time when I was five years old, and I was duped by my big sister for the umteenth time into playing this fun, new card game called “52-pickup.” I can’t even count the number of times I fell for that one. Eventually I would wise up, so she changed the name to “Round ’em up, cowgirl”—and I was sucked in again. Call me gullible.

This time a game with a new name had me picking up hundreds of cards instead of the familiar fifty-two. I straightened the cards, about the size of a business envelope, placing them all face side up, weeding out any that were bent or torn so that I could duplicate the information on them before placing them back into the mix. 

As I sat on the floor, surrounded by a blanket of cards, I set about the task of collecting, duplicating and sorting the mass of the mangled media. Silly as it might seem, I was captivated by those 80-column punchcards. That’s when I started ruminating on how all “those little holes” worked. 

This “happy” accident and the night-long salvage operation set me on on a journey into a world rich with digital information. That night back in 1971 I began my love / hate relationship with computers.

Art Imitate Life Imitates Art

Calendar Printing at Your Fingertips

Girl Meets World calendar

Oak Creek Printworks printed this “Girl Meet World” calendar as a season wrap gift for the cast and crew of the popular Disney sitcom. Each month featured a collage of still images from the “Season 2” shows.

Using the current batch of do-it-yourself calendar and bookmaking software, you can create your own custom calendar or book and print it on your inkjet or laser printer.

Get started using the free Apple or Microsoft photo editing software. Apple computers come loaded with an application called Photo. The PC equivalent is Microsoft’s free Photo Editor, which is a free download from their site. Each program enables its user to import jpg images into the respective software.

Once imported you can use the photo editing tools in Photo/Photo Editor, or, edit the images in your choice of software, saving the edited file in a compatible format, like jpg.

Oak Creek Printworks printed this “Girl Meets World” Calendar from an Acrobat PDF file created with Apple’s Photo. We printed it on our Konica Minolta C6500 production printer, making it cost effective to print large quantities of multi-page documents.

If you want to turn your Photo/Photo Editor book or calendar project into a file that can be printed by anyone, you can “Print your file to an  Adobe Acrobat PDF (portable document format),” save and send to your choice of printers.

Contact Oak Creek Printworks for a quote on printing and binding your custom book or calendar project.

My Digital Beginnings

punchcard

Ever since visiting the Bank of America building on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in the 1960s, becoming a computer operator was my dream. Do you recognize this card? Way back in 1971, the 80-column punchcard marked the beginning of my digital life.

I labored alone on the swing shift at local manufacturing plant, and when my work was completed in the wee hours of the morning, I searched for something to keep me busy until it was time to clock out.

Lucky for me, I found a stack of punchcards labeled Mona Lisa, and when I ran the program, nonsense characters lined up one after another, as they plotted out an image of Mona Lisa on the blue and white striped page.

Thus began my love affair with digital art. Not long afterwords I began a study of art and graphic design, dead set on the concept that computers could and would make art.

ascii_mona_lisa_by_mikenu

Sunrise, sunset, cliche Kodak moments?

sunrise-IMG_1499No matter how cliche one might consider a sunset photo, you have to admit they’re hard to resist.

No two sunsets, or in this case sunrises, are the same, even from one second to the next, one frame to the next.

I’m mostly awake at sunrise, but apparently today was one of the rare days I peeked outside at exactly the right time.

The sky was on fire, so I grabbed my camera, wrong lens and all, ran outside, and was able to snap off a couple of frames before the sky dramatically changed.

Looking just to the left of this view, I turned and caught the tail end of a flock of crows overhead.

Not a bad way to start the day!

sunrise-IMG_1501

Letterpress Alive and Well in the Age of Computers

Grandpa-UncleLou

One might say printing, design, typography; all are in my blood. My grandfather in the rear left is the pit boss in this 1930s era print shop. My mother was a proofreader, and my uncle, rear right also worked in the shop and later became a Linotype operator at the Chicago Sun Times. He retired in the 1960s after the paper adopted cold type.

Computers were not for my Uncle Lou. But they were, and are for me, which is why we do all our greeting card printing on short run digital “presses.” Nonetheless, the art and craft of letterpress is not dead, as we learn in Print Magazine’s recent feature, “The Letterpress Journals: Guardians of the Craft.”