One of the best parts of meeting with amazing brands and makers is the impromptu product knowledge I pick up from speaking with the experts. I find myself sharing these seemingly random facts frequently, so I’m working to bring more knowledge and information to you through these interviews and features. Nicole Katz from Paper Chase Press and I connected to speak about the brand’s new collection, Paper Cuts, so I took the time to ask her some questions about paper as well as chat about the company and her background! Read on for more and if you have more questions about paper, let us know in the comments!
Paper Chase Press is a family business. Nicole’s parents started the business in 1976 and she grew up in the shop – her mom went back to work when she was 2 weeks old! She worked in the shop throughout high school and then studied photography in college and moved to New York. As of 2005, printing had started to be outsourced to China and the 2008 recession made it harder for printers to stay open. Paper Chase Press had evolved the business and incorporated advanced technology over the years, but business was still tough. In 2008 Nicole came back to LA to open a gallery within the space – the company had a publishing imprint and had been publishing art books with artists, which allowed them to work with amazing artists. At that point her parents were ready to retire and Nicole saw an opportunity to take over the business. Over the last few years, Nicole has restructured and developed the business, changing the focus from large scale print jobs to smaller scale projects using a digital press. This has allowed Paper Chase Press to work on creative projects such as single imprint books, lookbooks, and catalogues. It also led to the creation of Paper Cuts… read on for more from Nicole!
WHY DID YOU LAUNCH PAPER CUTS?
We have amazing clients – designers, museums, creatives, etc. We wanted to partner with them to make products that these clients wouldn’t have a reason to make otherwise. The goal is to take regular products and elevate them – we’re able to do that by combining the best of these creative brands with the best of our production capabilities. We’ve created exclusive products with brands and designers including Jean Stories, Clare Vivier, Sophie Buhai, Kelly Wearstler, Tomboy Style, Commune, and Hopewell Workshop.
WHAT VARIABLES SHOULD WE CONSIDER WITH PRINTING TYPES?
The most important factor in considering what style of printing to consider is the quantity of materials you need. Different methods for production are more or less economical depending on the size of the run. Choosing papers will depend on the method of production and your own personal preferences so it is best to work backwards from quantity onwards.
YOU WORK ON SEVERAL PRODUCT TYPES – WHAT ARE THE CORE PRODUCTS EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE?
When it comes to business collateral if you want to look like you have all of your bases covered, you should have at least business cards, letterhead, mailing labels, and some kind of notecard or buckslip. This will ensure any item you send out or give to a client is branded and consistent.
ARE THERE GENERAL RULES WHEN IT COMES TO MATTE VS. SHINY OR SMOOTH VS. TEXTURED PAPER?
It used to be that when you printed photographs, you wanted to avoid using an uncoated paper. But with advances in digital technology, it is possible to print on uncoated papers now without it appearing “unsaturated”. My personal preference is always more for matte or uncoated papers, especially for books, because I prefer an un-reflective surface.
WHAT’S NEXT IN PAPER PRODUCTS?
Everyone in my industry seems to be talking about packaging. Necessity is the mother of invention, and packaging is no exception. There are amazing new materials being developed, like biodegradable fungus that can be printed on and turned into food packaging.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEW BUSINESSES OR MAKERS IN NEED OF PAPER PRODUCTS?
The most important thing is to work with a designer so that whatever you do print looks professional and is consistent among all items. Then when you’re ready, print only what you need. Don’t start with 5,000 business cards, start with 100. Invest in making a short quantity of all the collateral you need so your covered.