Becoming a Featured Artist

Ever wondered how our ready-made designs came to fruition?

The first official collaboration we did was with Alphabet Bags back in 2015. They are a fellow husband & wife team who create all their own original designs. We reached out to them and they agreed to let us put a couple of their designs onto our Stamps. Since then we have been scouring the globe in search of talented artists who share our passion for traditional crafts.

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What are the benefits?

As a featured artist, you will have your chosen designs engraved onto our products and will receive a commission for each sale. Each artist gets their own online profile with links to their website and will also have their name printed onto our packaging labels.

Most of our veteran artists are either Illustrators or Calligraphers. We maintain a close relationship with all our artists and treat them as part of our extended family.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in becoming a featured artist, please submit your application below. All designs are carefully selected based on what we think would be a good fit for our brand. There is always the chance that your ideas may get rejected, in which case please don't take it personally. We are a design focused company and we care very much about the quality of our content.

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Product Development: A Year in the Making

By the time this blog post goes out, it will have already been more than a year since we started designing our latest product. The process from design to manufacture has been a long but rewarding journey for us.

Let's start from the beginning.

Preface

As a relatively small, fast-growing company we are always looking for ways to adapt to the ever expanding market. There are some areas that we are still working hard to improve such as faster turnaround times and overall email response times, but these cannot be easily resolved without rapid expansion of the team and this is something we aim to take our time with.

The most important step we felt at this stage in the company was to develop a better version of our product. When we started this company in 2013 we were one of the first new millennium companies to start offering Wax Seals. There were a handful of veteran companies in the US that had survived the internet boom but most were outdated and still operating as if it were the 20th century. Our arrival onto the scene was a much needed breath of fresh air in the Wax Seal industry.

Due to its rise in popularity, we have seen the market become saturated with more and more copycat companies all trying to undercut each other. It has reached a point where the consumer can no longer identify who's product is who. As a leading supplier and specialist in this area we felt that it was important for us to take the next step forward and lead by example.

Stage One - Analysis

First we started off by taking the existing design of our wax seal and analysing every last detail from ergonomics right down to the individual materials. These were our findings:

- Our customers would often mark a line on the brass head in marker so that the image would be straight when stamping it into the wax. We decided that the new handle should have a flat top with our logo embedded into it so that you know which way is up without having to look at the bottom of the stamp.

- Another observation was that the brass head should have added weight for a better hand feel. This would also ensure that the wax cools quicker, making it easier to apply.

 

Stage Two - Design

We went through 100's of iterations before finally settling on something that we felt was right. Not only did we want to create something that was unique in shape, but we also wanted it to fit comfortably in your hand. Quite often our customers will be stamping hundreds if not thousands of invites at a time, so ergonomics are a top priority.

Once we were happy with the initial shape we set about translating it into a digital render. We have a strong background in design and so this step was a lot of fun for us. After a couple of months we had a final 3D render which could then be made into a prototype.

Stage Two - Development

After weeks of testing it was time to develop the final product, and this is where we faced our greatest challenge yet. In the beginning we were lucky enough to find a family-run manufacturer who specialised in homewares for large household brands in the UK and America. The learning curve was particularly steep for us and the longest period in the development was with the countless number of back and forths where we had to revise the design to suit the manufacturing process.

Here is the final working CAD drawing which was used in the production of the first functioning sample:

Unfortunately, nothing can really prepare you for what happens during this period of development and suddenly it all came to a complete standstill. The factory that we were working with was forced to go through a 6 month period of government regulation testing and so we were left completely stranded. 

Stage Three - Packaging

This is the step that would normally come last, however since the product was now on hold we thought it would be a good idea to have everything ready and prepared so that both the product and the packaging would fit hand in hand. For us this was an important step because our business is all about 'Creating an impression' and so it's only right that we should practice what we preach. The design for the new packaging came about from our newly revived branding, which is a reflection of ourselves and how we are maturing not only as people but as a company as well.

We wanted to maintain some elements of the original packaging so we went with a dark card stock on the outside and a kraft paper lining for the inside. The main difference with this packaging is that the box slides out in a slow revealing motion to create a sense of mystery and excitement during unboxing. Unlike before where the box lid simply lifted off the top to reveal the full product in one fell swoop.

Now both our business cards and our packaging feel consistent.

Final Stage - Piecing everything together

After a long wait and much nail-biting, we have finally reached a version of the prototype that we are happy with and are proud to finally reveal to the rest of the world.

Developing a new product has not been an easy task. It has taken us a long time to get to this point, but as the saying goes "No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time".

It is with the greatest hope that our new die-cast logo set into the top of the handle (a first of its kind in the Wax Seal industry), will become a signature feature for our brand. We hope to release the full details soon so please be sure to keep on eye on our Instagram account.

 

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Fourth Generation of Stationers

We were rummaging through some old photos over the weekend and discovered this great shot of my wife's Grandfather in 1981. He was the owner of the third largest stationery company in Hong Kong at that time, which was handed down from his father before him who first started the business in 1951.

At just 27 years of age, his father became well-renowned for his Chinese calligraphy brushes which were made using advanced manufacturing techniques he had picked up while travelling to the mainland. This was at a time when Hong Kong was still under British rule. Thirty years later the company was handed down to his son who achieved continued success through the expansion of their product offering to include board games and printed goods.

 A photo of the foil blocking machine from the second gen factory, when it was at the height of production.

Sadly after 50 years of trading, the new millennium gave rise to a growing number of internet companies whose competition forced them to eventually close.

In a way I guess this makes us the Fourth generation of stationers, and even though our company is not a continuation of the original family business it's nice to know that there is a common thread that runs throughout the history of the family.

This is our Co-Founder (my wife) on the left when she was 2 years old posing in her grandfather's warehouse vs. Our daughter now at 2 years old helping out with order fulfilment at Stamptitude :D

Here's hoping that we can continue these traditions throughout future generations to come.

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New Studio - 1311

My wife and I started this company 4 years ago from our small flat in Hong Kong. It was 2012, the year of the London Olympics and also the year that two high school sweethearts decided to get married and move abroad. It was a bold move, leaving behind family, friends and a great design job in the UK in search of fulfilling a lifelong dream as an entrepreneur.

In 2015, after two years of hard hustle we managed to get the business off its feet and were finally able to move our operations out from our living room and into our first proper studio. It was a humble 800 sq.ft office space but it was very special to us as it marked the beginning of a bright future for Stamptitude.

Skip forward to 2016, we have now expanded into a 1300 sq.ft studio in an open area industrial unit. With the aim of hiring a team of people in the future, we now have adequate space for a dedicated packing area, separate machine room and an eating / meeting area.

The aim is that by having a team to help with production and packing, we will be able to free up time for ourselves to focus on running the business and serving our customers. There are also many new products and exciting news to be revealed in 2017 and we look forward to sharing it with you as we continue to grow not just as a company but as a team of people.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all

Oli, June & Milly

 

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Using Wax Seals to Add a Personal Touch to Your Branding

Handwritten correspondence is something of a rarity in the digital age, reserved only for the occasions when you want to show somebody that you truly care.

This is also true for modern day branding. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that the passion for what you do is accurately reflected in the way you present your work. The attention to detail that goes into crafting a product should also translate to all areas of packaging, stationery and marketing materials.

By borrowing traditional techniques it is possible to craft an experience that will both delight your customers and create a lasting impression. Below are some examples of how our previous clients used something as simple and tangible as a Wax Seal to add that extra touch to their branding.

CLARY PFEIFFER - www.claryphoto.com

DENNY LIU - www.behance.net/dennyliu

KARLI INGERSOLL / HYGGE COFFEE - www.karliingersoll.com

THE RUM HOUSE - www.therumhouse.ie

TANG TONG TAVY - www.tangtongtavy.com

TROUVE MAGAZINE - www.trouvemag.com

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