Tech-ni-fold sister firm CreaseStream challenged visitors and exhibitors at last month's Progressive Greetings exhibition to a card-creasing contest in a bid to build sector insight.
The winner, Katrina Wight, who used a hand-cranked, manually-operated CreaseStream Mini to crease 47 cards in a minute, received the £1,500 unit as her prize. The event took place at London's Business Centre in Islington.
Wight specialises in creating hand-drawn illustrations of dogs and cats and adapting them for greeting cards made from 100% recycled paper and card for her company, Katrina R Wight.
"I use a scalpel to crease my cards, which works fine, but the CreaseStream produces a better result and is much, much faster, enabling me to make products that are more cost effective," she said.
CreaseStream founder, and managing director of Tech-ni-fold, Graham Harris said: "Many of our products require no electrical input, yet can produce more output than those that rely on such appliances. The competition gave us invaluable feedback, and the show has taught us a lot."
Harris said desigers fell into three categories, using basic scalpels or rulers to score their card stock, buying pre-scored substrates or outsourcing their artwork completely.
"Because of the growing popularity of card creation coupled with the increase in digital print processing, the problems of cracking are becoming more evident, and there lies an opportunity," he said.
He said there weren’t enough simple and straight forward creasing solutions on the market to accommodate designers who could not justify the cost of an automatic machine.
"Our rotary method of creasing lends itself to this market because it is faster and more accurate than most of the clumsy types of desktop solutions in the lower price bracket. We can address some of the market, and now hope to develop something to suit the majority."
The CreaseStream Mini range starts with the manual hand-fed version, for materials from 75 to 400gsm and up to 52cm in width. Optional micro-perforating devices give users more scope to produce a wider range of finishing applications.
A quick-feed version is supplied with a sheet-feeding mechanism that speeds up output to an average of 3,000sph, while an auto-feed version can produce more than 4,000sph.