Simple (but satisfying) Printing

2006 December 4

I ran out of business cards recently so I'm printing a new set today. There are so many high-tech ways to print things today, but I prefer the anachronistic practice of printing them by hand. The easiest way to do this yourself is to get a Print Gocco. I discovered this machine while living in Japan. It's a self-encapsulated miniature silkscreen-printing press with reduced mess, and a high level of convenience.

This machine was invented for the market in Japan where there's an old tradition of sending special personalized "New Year's Day Cards" called nengajo (pronounced "Nehn-Gaw-Joe"). I figure that before the Internet and e-cards, the Japanese postal system must have made the bulk of its annual revenue from this national custom. It probably still does. To me, the most amazing aspect of this custom was the fact that all nengajo from your friends (sent asynchronously of course) would arrive pre-sorted in your mailbox exactly on New Year's Day!

Although we don't have this custom here in the States, the Print Gocco makes a great creative toy for anyone that is curious about the process of screenprinting. Due to the prevalence of color inkjet printers today for making flawlessly perfect nengajo, I would imagine that the Print Gocco will eventually meet its demise so pick one up (with supplies) while they're still around.