Plunked down in the vibrant heart of the entrancing Hungarian capital of Budapest (and a easy stroll from the Danube River) sits the thrum and hum of the Absoloot printshop. The sunny, spacious shop houses laughter, good cheer and a heaping dose of the ever-alluring smell of ink and paper. Andrea Hermann, one of Absoloot‘s founders, shares with us stories about the true worth of a good night’s sleep and the irresistible appeal of paper & design.
(from left to right: Judit, Andrea Hermann, Juci & Reni)
PRINTING HERITAGE We are two gals, Judit & Andrea, who live in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. We love paper, we love design and in 2011 we thought about starting our own business involving paper & design. That’s how Absoloot was born. We wanted to work with talented young artists, so we emailed and invited them to participate in our business. They receive a percentage of our sales, so you are an investor in their future with each purchase.
IN THE BEGINNING We believe in everyday luxury that you can feel. We bought an Adana table press for our first range of notebooks, but then we found out it would be too small for our ideas. Then we got to know some letterpress printers over here – there are only a handful. One of them is an avid collector of these machines and he sold us a more than 100 years old Joseph Anger und Söhne platen press. We had to renew her a bit and still need newer rollers, but it’s awesome!
HUNGARY FOR LETTERPRESS We have a nice studio with an industrial feel to it. It’s more like an office where we work on computers, but of course our printing presses have their own corner (we do everything ourselves, unless the job requires different machines or higher volumes) and this is where we hold workshops or exhibitions, since it’s quite spacious, more than 100 square-meters. We love to work for others, to create a nice design and fulfill customer orders, but the focus is on the products of our own brand.
DESIGNED FOR PRINT We are working with a bunch of young, talented designers and illustrators from Hungary and Europe, so we can always help out a customer with the design. We send out the project to our friends and anyone who’s interested sends us a price and some references and the customer can choose from them. It’s a good opportunity because you have multiple choices.
FULL TIME FUN Yes, but we do a lot of other things, too… Organizing workshops, exhibitions, designing our products, going to design markets and so on.
PRINTING FEATS We haven’t really advertised ourselves, yet we’ve got very good reviews from our customers and thanks to this word-of-mouth, inquiries are coming in from all over the world! Our products are starting to gain international recognition, so we’re actually looking for an investor to work on expanding our business.
SHOP TIPS Well, we’re beginners, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned: if you’ve been trying to set up the press for hours in vain, that means you’re tired and you should stop trying and get back to it after a good night’s sleep.
WHAT’S NEXT Workshops and a series of exhibitions, finding an investor, expanding our brand worldwide, hiring new colleagues and interns and getting new machines for the print shop.
Big round of thanks out to Andrea, Judit, Juci, & Reni for letting us get the skinny on the fine presswork of Absoloot!