Mic-grafika was a small business owned by me whose business was focused on small format printing, color photocopying, paper binding and laminating services, graphic design services, graphic preparation for printing and applied design services.
Printing services included products such as printing and production of printed paper and plasticized materials such as business cards, memos, notebooks, letters of thanks and diplomas, labels, leaflets, brochures, price lists, stickers, calendars, booklets, documents, enlarged photographs and other printed materials. on paper up to A4 size.
The production of printed material combined the tasks of printing on paper, cutting paper, plasticizing paper, spiral binding, binding by gluing and other finishing techniques that I was able to do with the equipment at my disposal.
In addition to printing services, I also did print preparation services in a graphics program for clients who recognized my design skills but wanted to print content in larger printers and on better printing machines that I did not own.
Most often it was a matter of preparing for the printing of larger posters, posters, stickers and other printed material of a larger format or it was necessary to meet the needs of users so that the material can withstand external atmospheric conditions.
My equipment, such as an ink-jet or laser printer, could not compete with the larger and significantly more expensive printing machines that other printers owned.
In the press, I filled a gap in the market where it was not worthwhile for large printing houses to do business.
I also did design work in a graphics program (Corel graphics package) in which I did graphic processing for print or for digital applications like websites or digital catalogs, logo making, photo processing and everything else where I could apply my creative abilities.
I started working in the graphic program and preparing the press more seriously in 2002, when I worked for two months in a printing house. There I gained a basic knowledge that helped me in the later period. Eventually I had to quit my job at that printing house because my employer didn’t give me a salary and didn’t register me for employment.
I decided on my own, without start-up capital, to start a business and take a step forward, instead of being at the employment bureau or doing some precarious occasional seasonal jobs. At that time there were many unemployed in Croatia. I have written over a hundred applications for some permanent job but without success.
The beginnings were modest. I just started with a personal computer, an ink-jet printer, a scanner, a small paper cutter, a plasticizer, and a plastic spiral binding machine. My family helped me get these tools.
I filled the printer with color in bottles that I specifically ordered for my printer model. Otherwise, it wouldn't pay off at all, since inkjet cartridges are often more expensive than the printers themselves. With original ink cartridges, the cost of printing per page of paper would be too high for any job. Thus, with filling the cartridge with paint from a bottle, the cost of printing per page of paper was several tens of times lower. Each tank could be refilled dozens of times.
Although in this way the print quality was slightly worse than with the original color cartridges.
After a few months of work, I managed to get smaller but welcome funds for self-employment.
I got an A4 color laser printer, a digital camera, a better paper cutter, and equipped the office with the materials I needed to complete my orders.
I soon hired the employee I needed for marketing and to help finish the printed material. For larger jobs, I was welcome to help family members who were happy to help me with non-demanding finishing tasks such as gluing or tying paper.
The seat of the craft was in the family house, in a room adapted for that purpose.
The craft operated from March 2003 until October 2005, when I had to close the business due to disability retirement.
Despite the challenges, the experience I gained helped me make working with graphics an occupational therapy. I continued with graphic expression a bit because my creative abilities did not disappear. I am ready to continue to learn and develop in this field driven by a love of art. It is an integral part of my personality.