Need a little print inspiration? We find we’re most inspired when checking out our very own customers’ awesome print. This week, we shone the spotlight on Kate Moby, an eco-friendly illustration and design business known for their stunning hand-drawn designs on homeware, stationery and gifts. Here’s exactly how they use print to look amazing.
Tell us a little about Kate Moby – what makes it unique?
My process is a little unusual… I grow bamboo in the garden, which I then cut, dry and hand carve into dip pens. Using lots of different coloured inks, I create nature-focused illustrations – either featuring brightly coloured animals or minimalistic botanical designs. I then scan these, retouch and artwork as necessary and send them off to exclusively UK-based printers to create my homeware, stationery and accessories.
What inspired you to start up?
In a way, I was very fortunate to graduate at peak ‘credit crunch’ time, when there were no design jobs around at all. I never had the comfort of a job and the difficult decision-making process to abandon security for the unknown of my own thing – it just wasn't an option!
I had to do something to earn a living, so I started out as a freelance ‘creative jack of all trades’ doing a range of commercial photography, layout design, artworking, graphic design etc. for some pretty great clients like the BBC and Cartier. I started doodling in my evenings as a break from client work, where I could just please myself rather than a brief, and it's literally snowballed from there.
Incredibly after approx 6 years of working on my own designs and contentment full time, my work is now stocked internationally and has been featured in the Guardian and Country Living, but if I'm being honest it all happened a little by accident!
What print products do you use and how do you use them?
All of my work is printed in some form, and I love how it can make a design accessible. It's always an honour when someone wants that design in their own home or as a gift for someone special.
Personally, I'm a bit of a stationery addict, so I'm a sucker for a collectible postcard (which I give away at events) or a quirky greeting card. I've got more notebooks that are too pretty to use than I dare admit to! From a business stationery angle, the instantprint brochures are beautifully done – I've used them with matt laminated covers for trade shows and it makes prospective buyers feel like you're giving away a premium product, which is a great first impression to make.
How do you make your customers feel special?
It honestly is always an honour that someone chooses my work, so I love putting in little extras to show my appreciation. I love the premium silk 350gsm flyers that I've designed with space left so that I can write a handwritten thank you note, which I include in every order. And who can resist a good sticker? I use the small 37mm circle stickers to seal up packaging and add colour to envelopes, so someone feels special before they've even opened it. I'd love to hear suggestions of other ideas that help customers feel special.
What made you choose these print products? And what results have you seen?
Honestly, firstly I just though the prices were unreal. To be so competitive but not scrimp on quality makes great print so accessible. And the turnaround time is so fast, that if you've let a deadline get a bit tight it's like having a get out of jail free card.
How did you find the instantprint experience?
Whenever I've needed help with the ordering process, the support has been amazing – when you're a team of one most of the time, it really means a lot to have someone who's happy to help on the end of an email.
If you could give any business starting out a top tip what would it be?
Sometimes there is a time for business plans, targets and financial forecasting. But equally there’s also a time for just doing something that you love and see what happens. So don't over think it, take a break, go for that walk. Whether you believe you can or believe that you can't, keep scribbling.
Have Kate Moby’s inspiring words left you wanting more? Start your own print journey right here, right now. Or, if you’d like to featured on an upcoming customer showcase, pop an email over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.