This post is part of our Customer Spotlight series, which features different Printi customers. This month, we caught up with Catherine Herold, Founder, Artist, and Graphic Designer at Catherine Herold Art+Design.
How did your company start?
I started my art and graphic design business around 2010. Prior to that, I worked as a web manager for a local television station, but a move to another state and starting a family had me restrategize to a home-based business. Over the years it evolved from strictly graphic design services to creating and selling digital design products, and reconnecting with my roots as a traditional artist by painting and illustration, and creating prints and other products featuring my artwork.
What’s the long-term vision for your company? *
I love to create artwork that’s affordable for anyone to collect. That was one of my central purposes when I started focusing on my artwork. As for my digital products, I want to create a collection of useful and accessible design tools for other to use.
What are some of the challenges you’ve come across since starting your business?
Finding affordable means of outsourcing the production of certain products, such as prints and booklets.
Tell us a little bit about all of the work it takes to produce your product.
For producing artwork to apply to merchandise, I first have to create the art. I’ll get some concepts and sketch it out, then either paint it digitally (I love digital art) or transfer it to paper or canvas for traditional media. If I’m painting digitally, I’ll set my canvas to 300 dpi. If create a watercolor piece, for example, I’ll scan it into my computer and do some editing in a program like Photoshop. I usually scan at 600 dpi so I have a HUGE file that’s high quality and large enough to apply to any product, but for something like a print, 300 dpi is enough. Then I’ll upload my files to the platforms producing prints or other merch, or just send it to my own printer if I’m producing them myself.
For digital products, I use a lot of traditional media, so watercolor or ink, usually. I’ll scan and edit the same way I do with my paintings. Then I’ll format the individual elements as .jpgs or .pngs, or for specific programs like Photoshop or Illustrator. I compress all of the files and upload to my store platforms and they’re good to go.
How did you come across Printi?
I was searching for a way to produce some short-run booklets featuring drawings I did during the Inktober challenge last year. I looked at several businesses that produce booklets, but they either wouldn’t produce a small batch (less than 50) or they were very expensive. I found Printi, and loved their price point and that they had more flexibility with the amount you could have printed. Their instructions for preparing your files were easy to follow, so I sent them my booklet file. There was an issue with the page order, but they worked with me to correct it. When my booklets came in, I was thrilled! They looked so nice and professional and made my first experience in producing an art book easy and painless.
What advice would you give people who are starting a business?
Do what you’re good at, and do what you love. Look to other successful businesses to see how they’re doing it, but always put your own mark on it. Be ready to work! There’s always something to learn, so be open to new ideas and methods. Try things out – they’ll either work or won’t work, but you’ll have a better idea of how you really want your business to be. Don’t be afraid of failure. You’re going to fail eventually, that’s just part of living and that’s okay! You can reinvent yourself and your business as many times as you need until you get it “just right”.
What’s next for you and for your company?
I really want to produce a big portfolio book one day, with behind the scenes, sketches, advice from me and my experiences – the whole thing! I think it’d be really cool to find myself in a major bookstore or library one day.