This week I had the pleasure of going to a local printer to have Tegu’s first round of business cards run. I’m not a print guy by trade, so this whole thing has been a learning experience for me.
I’ve always loved industry. Factories. Assembly lines. Warehouses. There’s something so primal about being in a room full of heavy machinery working away, just looking for any opportunity to gobble up a wayward finger or leave a telltale grease smudge on clean clothes. It’s like a buffet for your senses, taking it all in.
There’s the machines, a printing press in this case. Staunch in its presence, sneering at you as it whirs and clunks its way through its job as if it’s too busy to be bothered by such a young soul. It’s never had the shiny showroom finish of a new car, but the battleship grey enamel has withstood decades of neglect better than any auto ever has. The dull exterior coated in a layer of grime, a stark contrast to the vibrant colors produced from within.
It’s dizzying to try and follow a blank sheet of paper from one end all the way to the finish, colors flying, wheels turning, levers moving. (The automated, gloved, white hands are hidden underneath I’m sure.) Your efforts are distracted by the cacophony of clicks and whomps that create the soundtrack to this well choreographed ballet between paper and machine. The rhythm is soothing and steady, warm like a mother’s heartbeat and just as nap-worthy.
An acrid scent of solvents and pigment lingers in the air. It’s a refreshingly purposeful smell that you would recognize blindfolded, like new tires or the garden department of a hardware store. The beauty and cosmetic industry spends millions to develop new perfumes, but I’ll take the sweet distinctive smell of industry any day. Sure the fumes are toxic, but never has losing brain cells smelled so sweet.
The end result of course, is a warm tangible copy of your original creation being spat out fresh and new. No placenta and no crying, but holding it up to the light for inspection may as well be a smack on the rump. And while everything still needs to dry and be cut before being boxed and sent home, and most people who receive a card will never see the process, it’s great to witness the miracle of birth… Of a business card.