The Norfolk Print Co. Studio Tour
This time last year we'd made the decision that we needed to move our work area out of the house and into a studio of some sort because big printers were starting to take over our kitchen and we were finding that there was no separation between our work and home life. We initially took on a small office above an estate agents but then lockdown happened and our access to the office was restricted. So the search continued and that's when we remembered a new business centre down by the port of King's Lynn, which we'd stupidly passed on a few months earlier in favour of being located in the centre of town.
We got in touch with Sian, the Lake Business Centre manager, and viewed the office the very next day -- It was love at first sight! It came with 24 hour unrestricted access, amazing shared facilities and a stunning view of the The Great River Ouse. Not only that but it was on the ground floor, bigger & included parking.
Moving into office 5 was one of the happiest days of our NPC journey so far and the start of a brand new chapter. We got to to work putting our stamp on the place. We added a temporary terrazzo style vinyl floor and filled the room with plants and dried flowers. Practical & cosy, we very quickly felt at home here, made even nicer by our friendly office neighbours. There's even a few of us that bring our dogs in on some days so the communal spirit here is really nice, as is our building manager, Sian who really looks after us.
Most of our furniture is from Ikea with everybody loving the adjustable height trestle tables (which can also be tilted). This is where we do all of our packaging and at the back of the room we have a 3 meter workbench with an attached cutter where we cut down our prints to size and store our paper rolls. This bench was from Amazon and was a steal at a couple of hundred pounds. We also get a lot of compliments on our brown faux leather chairs - these plus the matching stools were from Argos.
Moving onto the more technical parts of our studio, our printer of choice is the Epson Surecolor P7000. For a long time we also had the HP Latex which was twice the size with a max printing width of 54" but we found it took up a lot of space and wasn't getting enough use. Our Epson only has a max printing width of 24" and uses a whopping 11 ink cartridges which gets kind of expensive but it's a total workhorse and the quality is unreal. I get a lot of people asking advice on printers and this will always be the one I recommend although there is a smaller 17" version (the p5000) and this might be more suitable starting out with larger format printing. We also use an A3 Epson Ecotank 7750 for all of our packaging, which we also print and cut in the studio ourselves.
Our favourite part of the studio though is looking out at the river! We get to watch the sunset every day and enjoy the passing boats, wildlife and changing seasons. It's even become quite an influential factor in our brand identity.
It's also comforting to look out at the water on a personal level. I lost my dad in April 2019 and he spent most of his life working at sea. The water always made me feel closer to him when I was little and again now that he is gone. All in all, our studio is one of my favourite places to be.
“Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.” - Henry David Thoreau