Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sorry Anonymous...

Although I was hoping to never have to do this, the time has come to block anonymous comments on this blog. In the past month I've received two inappropriate messages from someone who prefers to hide behind the protection of an Anonymous login. If you have something to say, why hide your identity?

And just for the record, I don't have a problem with the Alchemy system in it's entirety - in fact I was just awarded a bid for a project where I submitted an estimate based on real costs. What I have a problem with is the potential for the devaluation our work, and the potential for new printers that are desperate for work who may take on projects for which they will not be appropriately compensated (perhaps in hopes of landing future work, which may never come their way). All this adds up to speculative work, which any graphic design association in North America (and around the world) will tell you is unethical.

If you read my last post, you would have seen this:
What I propose is this: If you are a letterpress printer that sells your work on Etsy, if you decide to participate in Alchemy, you should only submit proposals with realistic bids. I did not propose a full-fledged boycott.

And thank you for attempting to educate me about free markets. I did study economics in a past life; and no, I am not against the
prices of goods and services being arranged by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers - as long as the seller is appropriately compensated for his or her time and efforts.

Sorry to anyone that might have or might have wanted to leave a useful comment anonymously, or who doesn't have a Google or OpenID account, but from now on, you'll have to login to leave a comment here.

Now for some useful content...I've had a few questions about the colored paper I used the other day to print notecards. I'm not sure who the manufacturer is as I bought the paper loose from a scrapbooking store - but I will look into it.

Happy letterpressing!


  1. Good for you Erin for speaking out about spec work. It is a real problem in our industry. Sometimes it seems like everyone wants something for nothing, not realizing that a designer is providing a valuable service that deserves to be paid for, just like you would pay your accountant or your lawyer.
    I think the more we can spread the word to other creatives who might entertain spec work that their time, ideas, and hard work is worth more than $20 for 20 hours of work, the better off we'll all be. Clients will get better products, and we won't all starve:)
    (I happily sign my name too.)
    Kathleen Losche
    from cake & pie

  2. I too think it was very brave of you to speak out, you only voiced what many of us are feeling - it is hard to get across the message that LP is not just a glorified form of instant reproduction, and certainly not a nice little hobby for people like yourself.

  3. Well done Erin. It's the same in the jewelry world. I used to make jewelry with high quality materials. People opted for the cheap stuff made overseas and then realized what junk it was. I've moved on now and do stationery, both printed and letterpress. I always offer two sets of stationery: the inexpensive easy to recreate and the more expensive time consuming one. More often than not the inexspensive one wins out, but when people find out how much time and work it takes to produce just one letterpress card, they feel the price is well worth it. By the way, could that cardstock that you used possibly be Bazzill? That's what I buy for my printed cards, people love the different textures that each color has. Thanks for the great blog!

    Diana Keller from
    Mainliner Press

  4. It is unfortunate that people don't understand all of the hard work that goes into letterpress printing. I also commend you and your bravery for not keeping quiet.

  5. Erin- I really enjoy your blog, and countless times have found just the info I need as I tinker along with my little Kelsey 5x8. I'm glad you've been discussing these issues, but I find it a little confusing that you devoted a whole post to rebutting a comment none of us can see. Opposing viewpoints aren't inappropriate content, and if you're going to bring up a topic that's up for debate, you have to allow the other side to have their say, or else the discussion isn't a discussion, it's a pep rally. I will keep reading your blog, and loving your work, but this was a little disappointing for me.

  6. too bad there are poo heads out there. Good for you for speaking up! Your work is beautiful! :)

  7. I also agree with most of the responses.

    Although get the feeling Erin wasn't blocking that poster because their comments were in opposition - I feel they may have been less then nice in the way they expressed their opposing opinion?!?! maybe?


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