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Harlane's History & Future: What It Means for Our Customers
Why Now? Harlane Answers the Old Questions
Posted: September 6th, 2008 @ 4:43pm
Harlane's Antique Typesetter
Typesetting has worked with Harlane since the 1960's but we've promised updates and we've been getting inquiries from our long-time customers.
1) What's wrong with the current process?
2) Why are we changing the name plate materials?
3) Why DID we only print rose names?
So now, here are the answers! I'll start with a picture of our "current" equipment. Then, I'll share our inventory with you. Our current printing process involves a typesetting process that is time-consuming, inventory intensive, and old. The typesetting equipment was made the year I was born!! It requires a few new parts andproduction that requires setting one letter at a time within a set frame. Some plant names exceed the parameters of the frames we have. Beyond that, the results are a bit unpredictable--sometimes the letters might be "fuzzy", maybe the font was slightly bigger from one letter to another, so it didn't look as nice as it used to when the letters were new. Some of my newer customers, not understanding the idiosyncracies some of us "long-timers" have understood, have not been as pleased at the final product. And, I understand that, because I worked hard to match as many letters within the name as I could-- but it sometimes just didn't work quite well enough, unfortunately.
Good news: The manufacturer is still around! Unfortunately, they no longer have parts for my antique. They were able to find the machine in their archives, though, and tell me what I would need--then, they wished me luck to find it.
Moving on to the question about our name plates. The name plates are still great, but the ink is not as permanent as we would like in some climates and we have people in some parts of the country, especially the Southwest, with their brutal heat, that would prefer a thicker product. So we have found a very reliable, UV stable engravable product that solves both problems. It also happens to be available in several colors and thicknesses and is able to easily snap to our current stakes! For customers who like a rigid name plate, it also provides that more formal look you see in botanical gardens at a fraction of the costs from other companies.
In order to match your current name plates, if you are one our valued long-time customers, we are matching our current plates with a similar custom color that will be available very soon. We think our new customers will love this time-tested color contrasted plates in their gardens, also. But, our current name plates will still be available, both printed (only) rose names and as blanks, for now.
So, why were we so adamant about only printing rose names?
Because every order is hand-printed and due to time needed to make each piece, we keep an extensive inventory of thousands of names.
Can you possibly imagine 85 linear feet, 4 feet high of name plate inventory?
!! We could not keep up with all the plant names you needed to label your garden properly, so we were firm: Rose names only. Some of you snuck few other names in occasionally, and mostly we had to apologize and request you to write those names on our "blanks." Our picture can possibly clarify that image and help you understand our previous position on that point.
WE WILL BE PRINTING ALL PLANT NAMES NOW!!
What changed? Why will Harlane now print any plant names? We have a laser that engraves and cuts and does not require the time or inventory we previously needed. We think you'll love our new permanent engraved product. It also allows us to offer choices in thickness and colors, as wellas other possibities to be offered "down the road."
We invite you to take our Harlane journey.
Please email me if you would like name plate samples.