Adventures in Card-Making

The story that needs to be told – in three parts

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Popular Embossing Folder

On a sunny morning in 2015 I opened my mailbox and eagerly got ready to read my favorite magazine Paper Craft Essentials Issue 122 and then my jaw dropped – “WOW, what a great folder!” I exclaimed. Little did I know, THAT FOLDER as the All Occasion Embossing Folder came to be called was already creating a world-wide phenomenon in the paper crafting world. Over the next two years, I used “That Folder” for all types of cards – birthday, anniversary, Halloween, Christmas. I started noticing that other crafters were using it too. Pinterest boards were slowly appearing and then a Facebook group popped up. A few months ago just for fun, I typed in “That Folder” in my browser and 3,000,000 hits showed up! I began to wonder if the design team had any idea what a phenomenon their creation had become. Although there were hundreds of Pinterest boards ( I even had one!) See link  and u-tube videos all I could find was Craft Stash’s brief article. I wanted to know the rest of the story and I bet you did too. So I wrote to the editors of Practical Publishing and with the help of Louise Spragg ( On-line Content Editor) and Shirley Foster (Product Development Manager) and my new favorite on-line store Craft Stash I am able to bring you the story that needs to be told. I asked a lot of questions so this story will be told in 3 parts with part of my interview included. Part one will be featured today, with part 2 (The story continues) on 8/16 and Inspiration on 8/23.

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Product Development

The Product Development Team made up of researchers, testers and designers are always looking for “new ideas and concepts and so they came up with the wave instead of a straight separator between two patterns.” Although they have a specialized team that works on designs, many more people are involved in the total process from the conception to packaging and distribution. Remember my post a little while ago about Pinterest? Well it seems that when some of the designers suffer from “creative blockage” they turn to Pinterest too! They are always working because the product launch is usually about 6-8 months which means that they are now working on Christmas designs!

1. Can you take my readers on a brief timeline “trip” on how long the process is from conception to manufacturing?

” The original folder was designed as a cover gift on one of our magazines, so the process is slightly longer than designing a standard commercial product, as we have very strict deadlines. We have to agree product concepts at least 8 months before the on-sale date of the magazine to ensure the gift is produced in time. Once we have an agreed concept, we brief the designer, so that they know what type of product, style, size etc. we need. We also have to brief our manufacturers at this stage, so that they can provide us with estimated costs. The actual design can take anything up to 2 weeks, depending on what it is. Once everyone is happy with both the design & the costs, the artwork is sent to the manufacturer. Again, depending on the type of product, it can take up to a month before we receive samples for testing. Once tested & approved, we’ll brief the designer on how we want the product to be packaged, what wording should be included & what the product should be called. The designer will then create the packaging artwork. Unless we found any problems & needed to retest, that would be more-or-less our involvement. We have a much quicker turn-around for commercial product, however we have to be involved throughout the process, & plan how & when the product will be launched commercially.”

Stay tuned for the next part of the story next week.